Live TV On Your iPad? How The Heck Does That Work?


Photo: Aereo

Aereo is a paid service that lets you watch live network television on your iPad.You can also set shows to record and stream them later, kind of like a DVR living in the cloud.

Pretty cool, right? Here’s what it entails.

How much does it cost?
$12 per month.

How does it work?
It’s a novel approach. Your monthly fee buys access to a physical antenna that picks up over-the-air TV signals and sends them to a central server. That server then sends video to your iPad.

Does this mean I have to use some sort of special app?
No. Aereo operates within the Safari web browser on your iPad.

Can I record shows?
Absolutely. If you’re familiar with TiVo or other DVR services, you’ll be right at home with this system. You can browse future programming in a TV guide format and select a show to record. Watch TV on your own terms while you’re on the go.

So I can watch FX and HBO, right?
No! Aereo is only compatible with channels that broadcast over the air such as FOX, NBC, ABC, PBS, and CBS. This still leaves plenty of great programming at your disposal, so don’t let that turn you off.

Is this even legal?
That’s to be determined. Aereo’s currently tied up in a lawsuit with ABC, PBS, and Univision.

The company is sticking to its guns though. It issued a statement that reads in part “Consumers are legally entitled to access broadcast television via an antenna and they are entitled to record television content for their personal use,” so it sounds like the company will see this through to the end.

Can anyone try it?
No. Aereo is only available in New York City right now. The company hasn’t announced any plans to expand.

What does it look like and how do I use it?
Click here for our hands-on review walkthrough of Aereo >

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.