Aereo: The New York Startup Taking On Cable TV

Aereo, will you send me my invite and take my money already?

The New York Tech Meetup has become my absolute favorite monthly ritual. Setting my alarm for 12:50pm and clicking refresh until I can snag a ticket the moment they go on sale. Getting the email newsletter the day of the event and checking out all the presenting companies. Filing into the Skirball Center and watching the entire auditorium slowly fill with people who all share my same passions. The event brings with it the motivation and excitement that keeps me working on all my own projects.

Last night’s event featured one company that blew me (and everyone else) away. I’ve written before about my thoughts on a post-Hollywood world, but there’s a company that is already acting out my fantasy. Their name is Aereo.

Twelve dollars a month allows anyone in New York City1 watch live TV on any device they want, from computer to tablet to smartphone to TV2. Aereo’s large Brooklyn based data center provides each users with their own personal digital cable antenna and DVR box, allowing them to receive and record television signals which are them processed and delivered back to the user’s device of choice.

While this may upset numerous cable providers, Aereo has built their system in strict observance of the law. By signing up for and using Aereo, no laws are being broken and no piracy is being committed.  Technically, it’s the same as purchasing a DTV converter box, you’re just storing it in a remote location.

The Broadcasters v. Aereo lawsuit is proof that the cable providers are scared and attempting to cling to their dying business model. Unlike Amazon’s systematic dismantling of the book industry, I don’t feel bad for the cable networks at all. There is no need for users to pay for a plethora of channels they’ll never use. In addition, the internet has revolutionized content delivery systems and there is no need for further innovation to be halted by dinosaurs who refuse to adapt.

I’m definitely on the invite list for Aereo, and I can’t wait to give them my money.

  1. While there are plans to expand to the rest of the United States, there are no official launch dates.
  2. Using Airplay and AppleTV.

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