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back to article Aereo finds new way to ENRAGE TV barons: An app for Android things

TV-streaming subscription service Aereo is about to launch a public beta of an Android app that will allow fandroids to watch its controversial service - one that's roundly hated by television broadcast giants. "We know consumers have been waiting a long time for an Aereo Android app and today, we're happy to announce its …

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Silver badge
Pirate

Sue them? For what?

And how is what Aero doing any different than me buying an antenna and DVR from my local big box? Or renting the DVR from my local rental store?

More power to them. Too paraphrase what another poster said in another topic thread: "If the media monopolies can't give me what I want, where I want it, on any device I want to use, then screw them."

It appears the media monopolies have yet to realize that what they are selling is not real high on the list of "can't live without it or death will result."

Because we know who the REAL pirates are -------------------->

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Idiots

Why don't they have a $7 subscription service. Or buy Aero and keep it at $8.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Idiots

I'll bet that the black smiths of yesteryear felt the same about Henry Ford in his horseless carriage invention. In reality, old technology has to roll over and give place to newer ideas. The internet, as a means of television distribution, has come into it's time.Everyone benefits by this service. Rather than support x-number of tv stations, all a program producer has to do is have a centralized server connected to the internet. Current tv has to be allowed to die a natural death, with their spectrum given to the wireless phone industry and others.

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Re: Idiots

That would be like the railway companies getting a law passed requiring somebody to walk in front of buses and cars waving a red flag - a completely ridiculous idea

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Re: Idiots

"Why don't they have a $7 subscription service. Or buy Aero and keep it at $8."

Because the subscription service is for the DVR service which, from the article, is the key to the service.

So if you ditch the service, you just have an over the air antenna for your phone.

(I don't know that you can watch live tv streams. )

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Bronze badge
FAIL

soon...

Well it is not in my area, but it costs the same as Netflix...what's a man to do?

Picking up over the air channels is not unlike the DAB/DVB fiasco in the UK. I live less than a mile(!) from the enormous transmitter, but due the relative angle and reflections very few of the local "Free-to-air" channels work. And I have a mythbox for those that do.

A mod up to the comment above, just make a cheaper,better service....

Oh, as an aside since I cannot get ABC I watched the new "Agents of Sheild" on the website. Using seamonkey I got no adverts at all....!

P.

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Anonymous Coward

What it will take to kill this and what should be able to do

Aereo is only a good deal because we can't do what we should be able to do. The switch to HDTV promised us incredible video and more channels. What a huge portion of the public has gotten is the inability to receive local channels and no easy way to record them.

I live near the middle of the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area. It has been an ongoing chore to find an antenna to pick up all the local stations at my girlfriend's house. (She can't afford cable) I tried a $30 non-amplified RCA antenna; a $40 no-name amplified antenna and now a $90 amplified antenna from Wineguard. Still no ABC. (Or CBS on the other ones) According to the FCC, a modest medium level antenna should do the trick. (If you mount it 30-feet in the air. I guess someone believes every does that, don't they?) There needs to be a reasonably priced antenna that actually works.

HDTV has also taken recording a program out of the hands of anyone who doesn't want to spend a crapload every month on a cable or dish dvr. A simple DVR with tuners that can record two channels at once could easily sell for $250-300 with plenty of storage. That will never happen thanks to Tivo's stranglehold on the patents in the US.

A simple VCR-like experience of an over-the-air, set top DVR without subscriptions would make Aereo unnecessary. Since that ain't gonna happen, more power to them. If they can get the $8 per month, great!

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Re: What it will take to kill this and what should be able to do

Cheap DVRs exist. I bought a Homeworkx PVR off Amazon for $45. I can record my local stations in HD. I don't have an HDTV, so it also functions as a digital tuner. I can also use it as a media player to play my ripped BluRays and DVDs in mp4 format. There's limitations, like only recording one station at a time, but for the price it's amazing.

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Silver badge

Re: What it will take to kill this and what should be able to do

I live in the boonies and had a homemade antenna (about $5 worth of parts: a few wire hangers, a board, some screws, and cheap transformer I got at Wal-Mart [yes, Wal-Mart]) that could pick up all my local channels plus a couple that I didn't know existed before. I don't have it anymore because I had to switch to an ISP that won't give me cable internet without cable TV when I moved, but I can tell you it worked way better than the $50 amplified antenna I had before I built it. Also, I just had it nailed to the wall behind my TV, not 30 feet in the air. Give it a shot.

http://makezine.com/projects/digital-tv-coat-hanger-antenna/

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Re: What it will take to kill this and what should be able to do

Amplified antenna's are mainly useless - what matters is the signal to noise ratio which is dependant on the RF field strength, the gain of the antenna (excluding amplification) and the noise level of the first stage of amplification. For a modern TV the noise level of the first stage of the tuner is usually as good as (if not better than) the noise level of an amplified antenna. If you are in a poor signal area - use a bigger antenna mounted as high up as possible and outside (indoor mounting drops the signal strength by over 6dB).

For an example of the sort of antenna that you should look for in a poor signal area, look at BestBuy SKU: 1305458800 (link http://www.bestbuy.com/site/antennas-direct-uni-directional-antenna/1305458800.p?id=mp1305458800&skuId=1305458800)

(In the UK look at Maplin part number A20HG (link http://www.maplin.co.uk/71-element-high-gain-digital-tv-aerial-221121) )

(In an electrically noisy environment, the directivity of the antenna is also a factor - however all high gain non-amplified antennas are inherently highly directive which reduces the impact of the interference.)

The larger the antenna, the better the result (if installed correctly) is the general rule. A small antenna will give poor results except in very good signal conditions.

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Re: What it will take to kill this and what should be able to do

If you'd like some expert help with antennas, let me recommend this Canadian site with a forum on OTA including quite a bit on antennas:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=81

I haven't built one yet, but I intend to since I live on a hill with a good line of sight to transmitters.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What it will take to kill this and what should be able to do

"A simple DVR with tuners that can record two channels at once could easily sell for $250-300 with plenty of storage. That will never happen"

Uh, I bought an HD TiVo a year ago. It can record two channels at once. It has plenty of storage. It cost a hundred bucks. I got it retail, at Best Buy, too; if I'd actually tried to save money it would have been cheaper. Where've you been shopping?

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Trollface

All power to 'em and all, but... why?

All power to Aereo for sticking one to the man, and such, but isn't this like a monk with a marker pen saying, "I can draw those pretty books you have much faster, Abbot" when nice Herr Gutenberg is already cranking out bibles?

OK, so that's a tortured analogy. But supposing we could get free-to-air TV on any device, at any time, from any market. Would there actually be anything worth watching? I find there is less and less programming of any sort on any kind of TV-like service that I want to watch, and of that that I do, it's all consumed online.

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Re: All power to 'em and all, but... why?

"Would there actually be anything worth watching?"

When I switched to OTA programming, I was less than impressed by the conga line of procedural crime dramas and un-funny sit-coms on network tee vee. Dig a little deeper, though, and you'll find a lot of programming to enjoy. Sure, the vast majority sucks, but I only need a few hours to satiate. That can be found across 20 odd free stations, but a little effort is involved.

My favorite shows rerun in the middle of the night, but a DVR tames that wild OTA beast into submission. So, I can watch at my leisure.

Soon, you'll develop a healthy prison entertainment mentality. Example: Non Lit buffs evolve into voracious readers when you have no other means of entertainment behind bars. I started watching esoteric, limely documentaries (I'm a Yank, as you guys call it) and thoroughly enjoy them.

A whitewashing of the ol' frontal lobes from the drudgery of cable has actually improved my viewing experience.

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Silver badge

The lawsuits will fail...

Here's the thing...

The device captures only over the air signals and then uses your wifi connection to store your recording on the cloud. This is analogous to video taping (DVR) of over the air signals to customer who don't have satellite or cable.

The stream, including commercials are being captured. Where things could get interesting is if they seem to have two people recording the same show and they only save one copy. I don't know how that would play out....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The lawsuits will fail...

The stream, including commercials are being captured. Where things could get interesting is if they seem to have two people recording the same show and they only save one copy. I don't know how that would play out...

Given that the article talks about attaching "a tiny TV antenna about the size of a dime" then I can't see you would have much hope of getting a decent signal out of that. So I suspect the way it works is that you set your device to "record" the program to "the cloud" - the system knows what channel you are recording so it will decide to combine your recording with another one "for storage efficiency" and then you will download this 2nd version to view .... and I expect it will just happen that the 2nd recording that you actually watch will be one they record themselves using a proper aerial etc. I assume they'll justify this by comparing with the Amazon and Google music upload services where if they detect that what you've uploaded is a rip of a CD/track in their library then they'll substitute their version.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The lawsuits will fail...

I was under the impression (I could be wrong) that the tiny antennae were all located in a central location but allocated on a one-per-user basis and the received broadcast was sent to the DVR server from there, as opposed to being mobile, so as long as they've chosen the correct location for their antenna cluster then it shouldn't be an issue.

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