Aereo, a service that lets you stream live broadcast networks like NBC, CBS, and ABC, is the focus of a big Supreme Court case today that could determine the future of TV. The networks are suing Aereo, claiming it violates copyright laws. If the networks win the case, Aereo will likely have to shut down.
What is Aereo and how does it work?
The company assigns each subscriber an antenna that can access programming broadcast for free over the air. It then streams that content to your device over the Internet. You can also record shows in a virtual DVR and stream them later. Aereo costs $US8 per month, but is only available in a handful of U.S. cities right now.
To get started with Aereo, head to Aereo.com. The service works within your Web browser, not a separate app. It also works on just about any smartphone, tablet, or PC.
Here’s a quick tour of how it works.
Here's the main menu for Aereo. There's a channel guide on the right side that tells you what shows are playing live.
The show starts playing in a window on the left. It's live, but delayed a few seconds because the signal has to process through Aereo.
We searched for 'Parks and Recreation.' But it's not playing right now! Good thing Aereo has a DVR function.
The recorded show starts streaming within a few seconds. You can even fast forward through the commercials, just like a regular DVR.
The antenna tab shows you how much space you have left in your virtual DVR. You can delete shows you've already watched to free up space. You can also pay more money to get more storage.
There's a social element too. If you connect Aereo to Facebook, you can see what your friends are watching.
Aereo works on just about any device with a Web browser. If you're using an iPhone or iPad, you can use the AirPlay feature to beam Aereo to your Apple TV. There's also an Aereo app for Roku boxes.
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