There was a lot of buzz Wednesday afternoon as folks in Birmingham learned New York-based TV tech start-up Aereo was including The Magic City in a 22 city expansion this spring. It’s the result of the company receiving a $38 million infusion of financing from IAC/InterActiveCorp and Highland Capital Partners – a development made public on Tuesday and announced at CES.
It does seem to be a viable solution for those in the metro area who aren’t able to easily receive over-the-air digital signals who don’t want to consider cable TV or satellite as replacements. Customers will also be able to access Bloomberg TV, where Aereo’s CEO, Chet Kanjolia, spoke about the legality of the service yesterday morning. But if you want to watch, let’s say a BCS championship game on ESPN, you’re out of luck for right now.
But back to legality…
Shortly after it launched in New York City last year, many of the broadcast networks filed temporary injunctions against the company on the grounds of copyright infringement. Their workaround involves the digital antenna you’re paying to lease from them (that’s what’s pictured up above, alongside a dime). Incidentally, The New York Times points out that Aereo doesn’t currently pay for the content. There are also concerns about what legally constitutes digital video recording, and how the service will affect revenue for the networks.
Prices for the service range from $1 a day to $80 a year in addition to a one hour per day free trial option, with DVR storage options available from 3 – 40 hours. It works on PC and Mac platforms, with plans for an Android version to be introduced later this year.