Official AEREO Discussion Thread - Page 13 - AVS Forum
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post #361 of 593 Old 01-03-2014, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by SEMIJim View Post

But still: How did the local stations and networks do it before that had cable/satellite retrans fees to support them? Perhaps, just maybe, if they actually had to work for it, instead of getting a free ride from subscription TV, their product might improve and people might start liking them again?

Consider: Do you know anybody that actually likes broadcast TV? There are people, like us, that watch it because... well, it's all there is. But given the dearth of quality programming (and most of that is on PBS), we're kind of mildly embarrassed to admit we watch it.

Jim
I know a ton of people who like broadcast TV. And if you look at any local market's broadcast-vs-cable ratings, you'll find that the network affiliates generally command the lion's share of viewers. People have a natural tendency to assume their spheres of experience are the same as everyone else's. You have no friends who watch broadcast television, so you simply assume nobody else does either.

Don't worry. Everybody does it.

If you want local stations to go back to the way it was before, then you'll have to remove the internet and about 2/3rds of the cable networks. The landscape was different. Ad dollars are split up more ways than ever. I would suggest to anyone who thinks television salespeople don't have to "work for it" to try it, sometime. Get a job in a TV station's sales department. See how easy it is to make truckloads of cash from local television ad sales.

Get back to me when you've done that.

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post #362 of 593 Old 01-03-2014, 10:48 AM
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I had this relatively thorough response written-up, and dumped it.

I don't think we're going to see eye-to-eye on this, so there's probably little point in re-hashing what's already certainly been re-hashed, ad nauseum, here.

Jim
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post #363 of 593 Old 01-03-2014, 12:35 PM
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I'll bet we see eye-to-eye on more than you think. I AM one of those who thinks broadcasters should be able to reach those who wish to view on tablets, phones and the like. I'm not anti-Aereo.

I also think broadcasters will catch up to the point Aereo remains a niche business.

The real issue will be retrans fees. If Aereo doesn't have to pay for essentially re-transmitting OTA programming, then why should cable have to pay? If that argument comes down to "they don't," then broadcast stations will lose a significant portion of their income. Even those in markets where Aereo doesn't exist. What happens after that is open to speculation and that's probably where we differ.

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post #364 of 593 Old 01-06-2014, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEMIJim View Post

Were it not for DRM/HDCP, the digital sound signal our TV gets would be relayed to the receiver, so, yes: It does have something to do with DRM.

Because of HDCP, we're obliged to either route everything through a receiver with HDMI (the receiver is about 10', as the cable runs, from the TV and all the video sources, btw), or route a separate digital audio connection to the receiver, and have to separately switch audio sources when we switch video sources.

No, you're not. As I said you can still buy lots of video hardware that still does optical out, in fact my Tivo does this right now. But at a sub-$100 price point, I'm not surprised Roku decided not to spend the money to put the hardware in to handle it. This is a business decision, not a DRM one - I'm sure the industry would all like to standardize on HDMI to reduce costs but they realize that older stuff is still in use so they still support it IF it makes sense cost-wise to do so. For Roku, it doesn't, and that sucks for the Aereo users that don't upgrade their receivers.

You do realize that AppleTV has an Aereo app and has optical out, right?
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post #365 of 593 Old 01-06-2014, 07:59 AM
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With regard to re-trans fees, Aereo isn't the problem for the networks, cord-cutting is. What is the difference between someone dropping pay-tv for Aereo or dropping pay-tv and using an ota antenna? None at all, except the networks can use Aereo as an excuse to move content behind the pay wall. Now, I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but it is pretty convenient for the networks that Aereo, a service started by one of the industries giants, comes out when "cord-cutting" is starting to gain traction. wink.gif
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post #366 of 593 Old 01-06-2014, 08:00 AM
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My point is that, were it not for DRM and HDCP: I wouldn't need any of that. I could plug my video sources into my TV, run a digital audio connection to my receiver and I'd have digital audio.

Your reasoning is that DRM/HDCP isn't the problem because it can be worked around. That, IMO, is faulty logic. I wouldn't need the work-arounds were it not for the industry-imposed problem, in the first place.

If I may permitted a reductio ad absurdum argument to illustrate the point, since you appear determined to miss it: If I persuade Congress to pass, and whomever's President at the time to sign into law, a law requiring all audio interconnections be made only with SEMIJim Overthruster Transcoding Management, but I liberally license the SJOT technology (with, naturally, big royalties to me), does that mean SJOT Management isn't the reason you can't directly connect any two audio devices anymore?

Anyway... we're getting a bit OT for the thread. I was only grousing, as an aside. I'll let you have the last word on this particular side-issue, if you're so inclined.

Jim
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post #367 of 593 Old 01-06-2014, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEMIJim View Post

My point is that, were it not for DRM and HDCP: I wouldn't need any of that. I could plug my video sources into my TV, run a digital audio connection to my receiver and I'd have digital audio.

And you can do that right now with Aereo and an AppleTV. You're trying to say it's all the TV makers' fault now I guess but there's plenty of devices out there that still do optical out without DRM. Yeah you have to switch audio sources, just like you have to switch inputs on your TV. Not seeing the big deal here, Harmony remotes do this all the time.

BTW my 2010 Panny plasma does have optical out but doesn't do passthrough, everything gets converted to PCM 2.0 I believe. Is this the source of all your angst?
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post #368 of 593 Old 01-07-2014, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

I'll bet we see eye-to-eye on more than you think. I AM one of those who thinks broadcasters should be able to reach those who wish to view on tablets, phones and the like. I'm not anti-Aereo.
Well, perhaps we do, then smile.gif
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I also think broadcasters will catch up to the point Aereo remains a niche business.
I'm not holding my breath. Look at everything the entertainment industry has done and find me one thing that is truly forward-looking. Remember DIVX? Almost lost BD to that. We still got saddled with DRM, which means less recording flexibility than we had with analog. HDCP: Same thing: Less flexibility than we had with analog interconnections. "Buy" a digital movie? Can't. You can get a Right To Use license, but you can't actually buy one. Same with e-books. (Except from Tor and its subsidiaries.) You can buy digital music, but it's in a crippled format.

Unlike the old days, when Congress told the entertainment industry to pound sand, when it tried to outlaw reasonable, personal re-use of media: Today's Congress is in the MPAA's, RIAA's, etc. pockets, and the latter are happy with the status quo.
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IThe real issue will be retrans fees. If Aereo doesn't have to pay for essentially re-transmitting OTA programming, then why should cable have to pay?
Well, then: What happens if the broadcasters decide they can't fight the future any longer and stream stuff, themselves? They'll get no retransmission fees from that, either.

Besides: They've had the opportunity to get on that train for... how long? Hulu Plus. So lame both Netflix and Aereo provide a much better return for the $8/mo. No, I think Hollywood and the broadcasters will fight being dragged into the 21st tooth and nail.

After all: It worked for the railroads.

Oh, wait... no, it didn't.

Jim
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post #369 of 593 Old 01-09-2014, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEMIJim View Post

Well, then: What happens if the broadcasters decide they can't fight the future any longer and stream stuff, themselves? They'll get no retransmission fees from that, either.

Besides: They've had the opportunity to get on that train for... how long? Hulu Plus. So lame both Netflix and Aereo provide a much better return for the $8/mo. No, I think Hollywood and the broadcasters will fight being dragged into the 21st tooth and nail.
The problem is, the broadcasters don't own the content any more than Aereo does. They don't have the rights to stream all of it since some of the shows were aquired before streaming was an issue. They have the rights to send it over the air and through MSOs they have agreements with.

You can bet the new contracts cover that, but something those long running CBS procedurals may not include those rights.

Aereo has taken it upon themselves to stream that content anyway, which I'm surprised hasn't gotten the ire of the studios who get money to have Hulu or Netflix stream it and get nothing from Aereo.

This isn't just about the broadcasters - it's about every bit of content that Aereo is simply taking as their own and charging customers to view in way that legal, binding contracts with studios don't allow for.
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post #370 of 593 Old 01-09-2014, 12:19 PM
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Aereo has taken it upon themselves to stream that content anyway, which I'm surprised hasn't gotten the ire of the studios who get money to have Hulu or Netflix stream it and get nothing from Aereo.
Oh, they're just waiting to see what happens before they move in and they will move in. Though I'd look for the NFL to trot out some heavy artillery, too.

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post #371 of 593 Old 01-09-2014, 12:22 PM
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Oh, they're just waiting to see what happens before they move in and they will move in. Though I'd look for the NFL to trot out some heavy artillery, too.
Especially come Super Bowl time....
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post #372 of 593 Old 01-10-2014, 12:23 PM
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post #373 of 593 Old 01-10-2014, 02:28 PM
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This should be a really interesting case. SCOTUSblog surmises the case will probably have oral arguments in April. (Copies of the briefs are available on scotusblog.com, docket #13-461, American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc.)

The key issue is whether the Aereo service delivers public performances in violation of copyright law as the broadcasting and media companies have petitioned, or whether they are private broadcasts to an individual consumer using third party equipment as Aereo claims.

Aereo's argument appears to rest almost entirely on the Cartoon Network vs Cablevision case in which the US 2nd Circuit Court held that Cablevision could lawfully offer its subscribers the ability to use a DVR that was located at Cablevision’s facility, rather than at the user’s home. The US Supreme Court declined to review that case and let Circuit Court ruling stand. The broadcasters and media companies are much more interested in Aereo because its methodology can "upend" their business model.

Aereo claims, like Cablevision did, that it captures the broadcast on equipment that is assigned to a sole customer and only does this upon the command of the customer. Aereo has been persuasive so far.

Public or private? We should know later this year.
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post #374 of 593 Old 01-10-2014, 04:12 PM
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Do you suppose if Aereo loses this fight privately owned boxes such as Simple.tv will be the next things targeted? Hey, I'm thinking of putting one at a relative's house in Wisconsin so I can watch the Packers from my house in NC!

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post #375 of 593 Old 01-11-2014, 05:46 AM
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Do you suppose if Aereo loses this fight privately owned boxes such as Simple.tv will be the next things targeted? Hey, I'm thinking of putting one at a relative's house in Wisconsin so I can watch the Packers from my house in NC!
I don't see how. In the case of simple.tv, they're selling hardware. They're not charging anyone to receive, convert and stream anything. YOU're the one doing all of that privately from inside your house (well, a relatives in this case) using signals you captured on and antenna at that premises. Since it's not technically YOUR house and since it could be construed that you're using it to circumvent some section of the DCA, I imagine that YOU could be in some gray area, but I don't think there's ever going to be a significant number of people doing precisely what you're doing to ever be on anyone's radar. Most of the users of that box plan to stream whatever they receive at home to a tablet wherever they are and - if I were a judge - I'd see that as fair use. The internet provider is the only one getting a fee and they're no more actively involved in this than they are when you store legally-purchased content in the cloud for your own use.

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post #376 of 593 Old 01-11-2014, 07:09 AM
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Yep, there are no rebroadcast implications with personal DVR use no matter who makes it. Out of home streaming from them (like Tivo and others are doing now) is still personal use only.
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post #377 of 593 Old 01-11-2014, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

I'll bet we see eye-to-eye on more than you think. I AM one of those who thinks broadcasters should be able to reach those who wish to view on tablets, phones and the like. I'm not anti-Aereo.

I also think broadcasters will catch up to the point Aereo remains a niche business.

The real issue will be retrans fees. If Aereo doesn't have to pay for essentially re-transmitting OTA programming, then why should cable have to pay? If that argument comes down to "they don't," then broadcast stations will lose a significant portion of their income. Even those in markets where Aereo doesn't exist. What happens after that is open to speculation and that's probably where we differ.

That's exactly the issue. There needs to be a referee who can make decisions that are fair for all players, including the content creators. And there needs to be a way to stop internet piracy. It's bad enough that Aereo seeks to profit by redistributing over the internet a feed (an OTA signal) that it paid nothing to acquire.

What is Aereo doing to make sure that pirates cannot hack into the Aereo internet transmissions and create DVDs of individual programs to be sold illegally throughout the world.

 

Frankly, with all the stories of computer hacking, I wonder whether the loosely regulated internet environment can long endure. For a system of commerce to work, people have to be able to have faith in the reliability and security of the system.

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post #378 of 593 Old 01-11-2014, 01:37 PM
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Yep, there are no rebroadcast implications with personal DVR use no matter who makes it. Out of home streaming from them (like Tivo and others are doing now) is still personal use only.
Which is also Aereo's argument. They effect the same function FOR an individual for a fee. It's individualized. There's no rebroadcasting or public performance if you buy into the individualized argument. Wheras cable companies retransmit one signal to all of their subscribers. If SCOTUS looks at it this way, then Aereo will be allowed to exist, but cable providers will still have to ante up retrans fees.

Of course, at that point, local broadcasters will legally be able to presume they have streaming rights (pretty easy to set up the same sort of "individualized" service) to anything they broadcast. They'll undercut Aereo by banding together to provide the same service for free (ad supported).

The fun part is going to come when Hollywood decides it's been cheated out of $$. Then the games will truly begin.

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post #379 of 593 Old 01-11-2014, 02:25 PM
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And SCOTUS may be looking at fine lines of distinction. I wonder whether Aereo might have had a slightly better case if they had made their business model one of leasing equipment and space. That would look even more like private equipment. Sell the equipment (with assumed buy back) and lease the space? I would think those models might be tried some day even if Aereo loses. And that's why I'm not so sanguine about a legal firewall of "private equipment". If the court wants to shut down Aereo but their clever young clerks point out these possible dodges you could end up with a much more broadly ranging opinion. Aereo is revealing a problematic continuum where previously there seemed to be a clear demarcation.

 

Is it true that with Aereo you cannot watch outside some defined viewing area? That might make it more palatable to the admittedly techno-challenged justices but I don't see what difference that should make once you have put your "private" stream onto the web. Just like Simple.TV. 

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post #380 of 593 Old 01-11-2014, 03:54 PM
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This whole question of taking local OTA broadcast TV signals and turning them into streams on the internet is very interesting.

SCOTUS could decide that none of the precedents from prior to the internet age are adequate to decide this present case.

After all, back when the courts ruled that a person had a right to use a VCR for personal recordings, the internet did not exist.

And the case that allowed rental of a remote DVR was not quite the same thing, either, because that was a case of a person who already

subscribed to cable TV service, and cable TV already has to pay retransmission consent fees (unless the station chooses must carry status).

 

Back in the day, the FCC tried very hard (maybe it still does) to make sure that a cable TV system would not be required (via an assertion of must-carry status) to carry a station from a distant market that was within a reasonable driving distance, because then the advertisers from the more distant market could impinge on the local advertising market.

There were some kind of rules regarding significant coverage.

 

How does Aereo handle things? If a person lives in Chicago and subscribes to Aereo, can he still watch WBBM when he's on a business trip in NYC,

or would he instead have to watch WCBS if he wanted to watch CBS on his Aereo service while in NYC?

 

Also, if regarding cable TV and satellite local signals are allowed to be retransmitted 100% intact, is Aereo a different animal because once a signal is out on the internet,

can it be guaranteed that it won't be broken apart into individual streams for illegal streaming that violates the rights of the copyright holders for each program?

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post #381 of 593 Old 01-11-2014, 07:19 PM
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How does Aereo handle things? If a person lives in Chicago and subscribes to Aereo,
You'll need to select a different city for your example; Aereo pulled out of Chicago a few days before the promised opening date.  Anyone who lives in Chicago and subscribes to Aereo must have another home somewhere else.

I had been looking forward to subscribing but now have the feeling that they'll never offer service here after all, regardless of the outcome of the court case.  Let's hope I'm wrong.
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post #382 of 593 Old 01-11-2014, 08:42 PM
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Aereo says:

 

"...you would need to to be in the market area to watch the channels available in that area."

 

You can't watch your Aereo while in remote cities.

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post #383 of 593 Old 01-11-2014, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsymon View Post
 

Aereo says:

 

"...you would need to to be in the market area to watch the channels available in that area."

 

You can't watch your Aereo while in remote cities.

OK, so that means that a person who resides in Raleigh and subscribes to the Aereo service there could not travel to NYC and use Aereo to watch the Raleigh stations while in NYC. But could the traveler access the NYC Aereo service while in NYC? Or is Aereo only useful for travel within the subscriber's home market?

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post #384 of 593 Old 01-11-2014, 10:42 PM
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Aereo's FAQs seem to indicate that you can only use Aereo within the DMA associated with your account. You would not have access to your stations if you travel outside of your market, nor would you be able to access the stations in another market even if Aereo offers services in the other market.

Now you probably could solve the problem of losing access to your home stations by setting up a VPN on your home network or possibly finding a free or paid VPN that has an IP address located in your home market. The first option should almost certainly work, since you would still be using your home network to log in to Aereo, and Aereo wouldn't know that you weren't really at your house.
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post #385 of 593 Old 01-12-2014, 06:41 AM
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Aereo's FAQs seem to indicate that you can only use Aereo within the DMA associated with your account. You would not have access to your stations if you travel outside of your market, nor would you be able to access the stations in another market even if Aereo offers services in the other market.

Now you probably could solve the problem of losing access to your home stations by setting up a VPN on your home network or possibly finding a free or paid VPN that has an IP address located in your home market. The first option should almost certainly work, since you would still be using your home network to log in to Aereo, and Aereo wouldn't know that you weren't really at your house.
Or a "Slingbox" ?

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post #386 of 593 Old 01-12-2014, 07:10 AM
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Or a "Slingbox" ?
Well, that would require an antenna. And if you can get good OTA signals at home, why bother with Aereo? Slap a tuner on your PC along with Remote Potato or Media Buddy for your other devices and you're good to go.

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post #387 of 593 Old 01-12-2014, 07:31 AM
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Well, that would require an antenna. And if you can get good OTA signals at home, why bother with Aereo? Slap a tuner on your PC along with Remote Potato or Media Buddy for your other devices and you're good to go.
My old version of the Slingbox also has A/V inputs and remote blaster capabilities so anything that I can connect to a TV and control with a remote can be "slung". I don't use mine anymore and I know they started marketing limited function models, so I don't know what is currently possible with newer units.

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post #388 of 593 Old 01-12-2014, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by DrDon View Post


Well, that would require an antenna. And if you can get good OTA signals at home, why bother with Aereo? Slap a tuner on your PC along with Remote Potato or Media Buddy for your other devices and you're good to go.

Connect Aero box to Slingbox then you have your locals anywhere you have a network connection.

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post #389 of 593 Old 01-12-2014, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post


Well, that would require an antenna. And if you can get good OTA signals at home, why bother with Aereo? Slap a tuner on your PC along with Remote Potato or Media Buddy for your other devices and you're good to go.

 

And if you can get good OTA signals at home there is also Simple.TV. So Aereo doesn't look so great anyway. One of you entrepreneurs should do a startup that sells (with buyback) antenna and Simple.TV-style equipment and leases space and internet connections where the OTA signals are strong. Presto! A product that is superior to Aereo with respect to both legal vulnerability and service area - the world!

 

I could buy one setup in Packerland and one in NYC or some other huge market with a zillion OTA channels.

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post #390 of 593 Old 01-12-2014, 07:50 AM
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Well yeah but as Don said Aereo is not targeted to folks that can throw up an antenna, get perfect reception and then use Slingbox or WMC or whatever.
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