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Aereo's Fight for Life in US Supreme Court

Aereo's Fight for Life in US Supreme Court

Old Apr 23, 14, 9:25 am
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Aereo's Fight for Life in US Supreme Court

Any Aereo subscribers out there?

I have been using it for a few months now. I'm not a resident of any of their service areas but its amazing what a decent VPN and a little GPS spoofing can solve

The service provides what's printed on the tin - over the air channels via the internet.

The company and the service however are under threat from the TV networks who object to their business model. They say the networks should be getting rebroadcast fees for Aereo's pass-through of their signals. That's how the network / cable company relationship currently exists.

Aereo's argument is that they simply provide an antenna for those customers who could get the content on their own antenna for free. The case is currently before the US Supreme Court.

Some background here:

http://gawker.com/is-aereo-the-new-b...the-1565679614

Any opinions here either on the service or the lawsuit?

I personally feel that charging people for content should generally result in renumeration for those content providers, but given the unique business model and regulatory status of broadcast TV networks, a case could also be made for Aereo's position. My gut tells me the networks will prevail.

My ideal resolution would be a rethink of Aereo's model with rebroadcast fees included, and an expansion of their channel lineup along with a commensurate yet reasonable fee increase. If the available content could be available on an a la carte basis, all the better.
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Old Apr 23, 14, 9:37 am
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Aereo's model is to skirt around the legal terms and not pay for re-boardcasting fee.

But if you look at it another way, you could put up your own antenna, hook up a Tivo and a Slingbox and now you pretty much has the same setup as Aereo. So what's really wrong with Aereo doing those for you and charge you $8 a month? They could say that the $8 is for renting a space for the antenna (one per subscriber) and renting the equipment to store and stream your recordings to you.

I hope Aereo wins though. There is nothing for us to gain if the networks win. But if Aereo won, price of local channels sub on cable will go down, and networks will provide free internet live streaming (just to combat Aereo).
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Old Apr 23, 14, 9:50 am
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Originally Posted by YYZC2 View Post
I personally feel that charging people for content should generally result in renumeration for those content providers, but given the unique business model and regulatory status of broadcast TV networks, a case could also be made for Aereo's position. My gut tells me the networks will prevail.

My ideal resolution would be a rethink of Aereo's model with rebroadcast fees included, and an expansion of their channel lineup along with a commensurate yet reasonable fee increase. If the available content could be available on an a la carte basis, all the better.
I agree with you opinions, but do not believe the networks are ready to participate in this model. It would essentially be condoning of an ala carte cable pricing model, which nobody but consumers want. The plaintiffs - people like the Disney cartel (ABC, ESPN, etc.) have much to lose, due to investment in many off the air channels.
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Old Apr 23, 14, 4:36 pm
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Is there an actual rebroadcast fee that GOES to the broadcaster and not the content delivery company, like the cable and satellite delivery guys?

that said. I don't think aereo is going to be shut down. Just a hunch.
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Old Apr 23, 14, 5:27 pm
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The broadcasters are finally getting their comeuppance - they have been making the cable companies pay for their crap for years, and the cable companies gladly pass that on to us.

I think Aereo is part of the beginning of the end for the current way TV gets to our homes and I wish them all the luck in the world. It is a scary world when the company that can help you get away from cable is the same company that owns the cable, plus most of the content that is made you want to watch when you dump cable.
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Old Apr 23, 14, 6:27 pm
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As sad as it will be to see, I doubt Aereo is going to survive this. It seems the Supreme Court is inclined to rule against them, just not quite sure how.
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Old Apr 23, 14, 8:26 pm
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Here is the Supreme Court oral argument transcript:

http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arg...3-461_o7jp.pdf

Here is Suprem Court watcher Lyle Denniston's of scotusblog take on the case:

http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/04/ar...digital-slope/

I find it troubling that Justice Alito unrecused himself from the case. Lyle Denniston portrayed a court that didn't know which way it was going.

I find it somewhat interesting the comments about how Aero was designed to structure its way around the copyright law. The Court seems horribly inconsistent about when intentionally insuring your confines remains within the four corner of the law is evidence of guilty. There seems to a be a "too cute" exception to the rules of statutory construction. If only they could apply that to the tax code! There also seems to be an inconsistency when services aimed at large corps structure and things aimed at Joe Six Pack. Just my two pence.

Stu

Last edited by Dubai Stu; Apr 23, 14 at 8:51 pm
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Old Apr 23, 14, 8:38 pm
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1. Corporations and their subsidiaries != cartel.

2. A justice doesn't "unrecuse".

3. Scalia should retire.
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Old Apr 23, 14, 8:47 pm
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Originally Posted by YYZC2 View Post
I have been using it for a few months now. I'm not a resident of any of their service areas but its amazing what a decent VPN and a little GPS spoofing can solve
My gut tells me the networks will prevail
Yes, and most likely because of people like you.
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Old Apr 23, 14, 8:55 pm
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While I applaud their ability to think outside the box, I really am rooting against Aereo.

Under the current structure, "rebroadcast" fees are a large chunk of what the networks actually make now. My fear is that is Aereo would win out the "broadcast networks" would simply become "cable networks". This means that instead of being part of a basic, standalone negotiation, my fear is that the "best" programming will get bundled and sold to operators as very expensive package deals with other channels. In the end, I think this will make television more expensive for all who subscribe. My current cable + internet bill is $160/month. I know I will never "cut the cord" but also know there is no way I want to pay more while I have a hunch Aereo would get deprived of the programming either way.

I don't think Aereo would build retransmission fees into their rates - at that pricepoint wouldn't they just become another Hulu without direct access to optimized programming directly from the networks? In that game I think Hulu would win.
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Old Apr 23, 14, 9:37 pm
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Technical question I can't find the answer to:

Does Aereo truly store a separate digital signal from each of their tiny antennas or do they combine many antennas into an array that is then amplified and split into feeds that are recorded once for each channel?

The answer should make a big difference.

If they combine and split before digital capture they are acting basically the same as a cable company and should pay the fee. If they are truly connecting a real antenna to each separate recording stream, then they are functioning as a DVR which does not currently require a retransmission fee.
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Old Apr 23, 14, 10:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Bobster View Post
Technical question I can't find the answer to:

Does Aereo truly store a separate digital signal from each of their tiny antennas or do they combine many antennas into an array that is then amplified and split into feeds that are recorded once for each channel?

The answer should make a big difference.

If they combine and split before digital capture they are acting basically the same as a cable company and should pay the fee. If they are truly connecting a real antenna to each separate recording stream, then they are functioning as a DVR which does not currently require a retransmission fee.
I believe it is the latter. Aereo's base subscription package offers one antenna, and you can't watch / record another program if something is currently recording. If you step up to the deluxe package, you get two antennas and more DVR space.

Here is a look inside Aereo's Houston data center:

http://blog.chron.com/techblog/2014/...ston-facility/
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Old Apr 23, 14, 10:08 pm
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Originally Posted by OverThereTooMuch View Post
Yes, and most likely because of people like you.
A company based on using technology to circumvent traditional content delivery methods is going to be done in by a customer using technology to circumvent traditional content delivery methods? Oh the irony!

Come over to my house in Canada, I'll pop some popcorn and we can watch the playoffs on Aereo and squeeze in some Hulu, HBO Go or BBC iPlayer during the commercial breaks... or we could watch some Netflix. US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, UK, Ireland... your choice!
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Old Apr 23, 14, 10:54 pm
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Originally Posted by Consultette View Post
My current cable + internet bill is $160/month


ur doin it wrong, unless you have like 12 TVs with DVRs at each one
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Old Apr 24, 14, 10:32 am
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Originally Posted by Consultette View Post
I don't think Aereo would build retransmission fees into their rates - at that pricepoint wouldn't they just become another Hulu without direct access to optimized programming directly from the networks? In that game I think Hulu would win.
The difference is that Hulu doesn't carry stuff like the 6:00 news. Aereo carries it live or it can be time shifted.

I'm not sure how Aereo qualifies to be in a "Travel Technology" thread anyway. You can't use it out of your home market. Unless traveling from Hoboken to Long Island qualifies as travel.
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