Author Topic: Does anyone here use Aereo for TV?  (Read 3871 times)

NestEggChick (formerly PFgal)

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Does anyone here use Aereo for TV?
« on: October 30, 2013, 09:56:41 AM »
I've been wanting to get rid of my cable, but it's really basic cable, so switching to Hulu Plus and Netflix instead wouldn't save me much money. I know that at some point I will stop watching tv altogether, but that won't be right now, and I'm not looking to open up that discussion. Maybe we can discuss it next year :)

I just learned about Aereo (https://aereo.com/about) and I'm wondering if anyone uses it and how reliable it is. If you use it in the Boston area, I'd especially love to hear. I figure even with the cost of a Roku, I'd be coming out ahead in just a few months.

This looks too good to be true for those of us who just use basic channels but still want dvr, so I want to make sure it's as great as it sounds.

Nothlit

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Re: Does anyone here use Aereo for TV?
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2013, 10:38:27 AM »
My parents use Aereo with their old (first gen, I think) Roku, and they like it. They live in NH, on the fringes of the Boston TV market, and would be unable to get a reliable signal from an antenna in their apartment. The only downside they have found is that the interface via the Roku is a little clunky. You can't just leave a TV channel playing endlessly. After each show ends (according to its built-in TV guide) it gives you a 2-minute or so buffer and then dumps you back to the Aereo home screen for you to select a new show to watch. Let's say you're watching some show that's on from 9 to 10 PM. At 10:02 PM, the Aereo app dumps you back to its home screen and you have to choose a new show to watch. This can be annoying if you simply wanted to watch the 10-11 PM show that had just started playing on the channel you were already watching. This is really only a problem for live watching. If you tend to mostly watch previously recorded shows, it is not really a factor.

Now, if you live closer to Boston (Needham, actually, is where the majority of the Boston area TV broadcast towers are) then you might be able to skip Aereo and get by with just a regular antenna hooked up to your TV. I use one hooked up to my Mac via an HDHomeRun box on my network and use the EyeTV software on my Mac as a DVR. The only recurring cost is about $20/year for TV Guide service so EyeTV knows the TV schedule.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2013, 10:40:43 AM by Nothlit »

jfer_rose

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Re: Does anyone here use Aereo for TV?
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2013, 10:40:19 AM »
I can't speak to Aereo, but are you sure you would need to shell out the money for Hulu Plus? I use Hulu's free service and all the shows I want to watch are available there. Some of them are not available on Hulu until a week after airing (but I believe some of those are available on Hulu Plus the day after airing).

NestEggChick (formerly PFgal)

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Re: Does anyone here use Aereo for TV?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2013, 10:45:59 AM »
Thanks! I've considered just getting an antenna, but almost everything I watch is recorded. I'm not sure how I would do that with an antenna. I like your solution, Nothlit. I would just have to figure out what I could do with my Windows computer and very old tv (no hdmi port.) I appreciate your description of your parents' experience, too.

Daley

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Re: Does anyone here use Aereo for TV?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2013, 11:02:22 AM »
Aereo is a clever idea, but can be done cheaper with rabbit ears at home and a $50 USB tuner dongle on a computer, and is currently hotly embroiled legally with big media who's desperately trying to erode the copyright loopholes they're utilizing to provide the service in the SCOTUS. What I'm saying is, don't rely on its existence just yet.

Broadcasters lose final appeal to take down Aereo
An Alliance in Media Petitions Justices to Stop Aereo

StarryC

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Re: Does anyone here use Aereo for TV?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2013, 11:29:06 AM »
Thanks! I've considered just getting an antenna, but almost everything I watch is recorded. I'm not sure how I would do that with an antenna.

I currently do it with a Tivo.  That is a relatively large upfront cost if you buy one new or pay the monthly fee.  However, I do it with one I received as a gift literally 8 years ago.  If you can find one on craigslist (Series 2 Tivo) you will need a digital converter box that Tivo can control, and "lifetime service" which might come with a craigslist box you buy, or if you call they might give you for $99.   If your TV is "very old" you don't need a newer Tivo with HD etc.  I see several series 2s for sale on Boston Craigslist for less than $50.

I think there may be cheaper solutions if you are willing to do more hacking, but I've found this to work pretty well for me.

gimp

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Re: Does anyone here use Aereo for TV?
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2013, 01:51:06 PM »
Aereo is a clever idea, but can be done cheaper with rabbit ears at home and a $50 USB tuner dongle on a computer, and is currently hotly embroiled legally with big media who's desperately trying to erode the copyright loopholes they're utilizing to provide the service in the SCOTUS. What I'm saying is, don't rely on its existence just yet.

Broadcasters lose final appeal to take down Aereo
An Alliance in Media Petitions Justices to Stop Aereo

Agreed.

Having said that, you can also use them to 'vote with your dollar', if you will. They are using a loophole in a law I don't particularly like, that benefits [and was lobbied for by] companies I despise. The way in which they do it is incredibly, hilariously clever. (Isn't it funny how ethics change when something is gray but hurts those you don't like? I'll admit to bias and hypocrisy.) I'd use them as a statement, and to support their legal battles, but not be surprised if things changed.

There is (was?) another company that streams you movies online. They own the DVDs. They physically have a DVD player and individual DVD for every watcher. Technically speaking, all they're doing is providing a remote DVD player, or near real-time DVD rental. I like that for the same reason: everyone knows exactly what they're doing, but if they're following the letter of the law and it hurts a business I don't like, well...

NestEggChick (formerly PFgal)

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Re: Does anyone here use Aereo for TV?
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2013, 10:15:52 AM »
Thanks I.P. Daley. That legal stuff is very relevant. I'll go back to looking at antenne options, too.

StarryC, I'll look into Tivo, also.

Gimp, you make a good point about voting with our dollars, but I also have to consider if I want to rearrange everything for a service that might disappear soon. I might, but I haven't decided yet. I'm still considering all of my options :)