Aereo, a TV streaming service, was declared illegal by the Supreme Court.
Aereo charged $US8 a month to stream broadcast stations like CBS, FOX, ABC, and NBC. It also gave users an option to DVR shows from those networks. It would have been a decent alternative to paying for TV if it were legal.
Now that it’s toast, what can you do if you’re a consumer who wants to see TV but doesn’t want to pay a giant monthly bill?
The good news is that if you wanted to get those stations for free, you still can. All you need to do is buy a $US20 HD antenna for your TV. You get them for free, though you may have to twist the antenna around to get a clear signal.
But what if you really want DVR capabilities? In that case, you can buy a TiVO Roamio for $US500. It will record shows through the antenna.
And what about other stuff? Like, what if you’re a huge baseball fan? For $US100 a year, or $US25 a month, you can get out of market baseball games through MLB.tv. Almost all of the big sports networks over annual web-based subscription packages.
And if you still don’t have what you want, there’s always iTunes, or Amazon Instant video where you can pay on per-show basis for stuff you want to watch.
Still not happy? Then you can try to cajole a username and password out of someone who subscribes to cable. A lot of cable channels offer web-streaming but you need to be a subscriber to some sort of pay-TV service. If you can get that, then you can get access to ESPN, HBO, the Golf Channel, and a lot of other stuff.
Naturally, for anything other than the bunny ears to work, you need to be paying for internet-access, which costs $US40 or more.
As you can see, if you really hate the idea of paying on a monthly basis for a giant package of TV stations, you have quite a few options for seeing the shows that matter. They’re a bit jumbled, but they exist.
You may also want to get an Apple TV, which is getting all sorts of new content, channels, and apps every day. Just yesterday, for instance, ABC announced a brand new Apple TV station. In the long run, channels on the Apple TV may be like apps on the iPhone.
Of course, there’s a bit of a joke hidden in this post. If you really love TV so much that you want bunny ears, and subscriptions to Netflix, and you’re paying for iTunes shows, you may be better off just paying for regular TV.
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