A new method of watching television which is shaking up both the TV and cable industries will be up and running in San Antonio by the end of this year, 1200 WOAI news reports.
It's called 'Aereo,' and it acts as a community antenna, picking up the over the air signals of local television stations, and beaming them not just to your television sets, but also to your laptop, smart phone, and tablet, allowing you to watch live over the air TV on numerous devices.
"It's an update on that old fashioned antenna, the rabbit ears, and we think it will bring a new type of audience, a larger audience and a younger audience, back to broadcast TV," Virginia Lam, Aereo's Vice President, told 1200 WOAI news.
She says Aereo will immediately begin constructing antennas and retransmission sites in San Antonio and will be up and running by Christmas.
She says there are several things which are revolutionary about Aereo. She says one of the main ones is the ability to watch television on mobile platforms, something which has previously been limited.
"Your laptop or tablet or phone," she said. "Or on your big screen TV or through an apple box or Roku TV."
She says an eight dollar a month subscription to Aereo also provides customers with a 'cloud' DVR. She says you can pause, rewind, and rewatch live television shows, and record up to thirty hours of programming, on a DVR which exists in the cloud, and you don't have to have cables, wires, and ugly bulky boxes cluttering up your living room.
"You as a consumer never have to install any cables or boxes or wires in your home," she said.
Keep in mind that, at least for now, Aereo is only for over the air broadcast signals, you can't use it to get cable channels like ESPN or premium channels like HBO, although she says Aereo has recently added its first premium channel, Bloomberg Television.
The TV networks, TV stations, and especially cable TV companies have not been friends of Aereo. They have unsuccessfully sued the company, claiming that it is illegally stealing its product and distributing it without permission, consent, or payment. The courts have ruled that Aereo is simply an 'antenna retransmittor,' and makes it easier and more efficient for people to watch
TV stations which are readily available to the public anyway.
But Aereo is a major threat to TV stations and networks because it denies them the 'retransmission fees,' which are a large and larger part of a local television station's budget. Whenever you hear that you 'might not be able to watch the Super Bowl because of a disagreement between CBS and Joe's Cable, what is at stake is retransmission fees, the amount of money the cable company pays the station and network to retransmit it's signals.
With Aereo, that amount of money is $0.
Aereo says it's customers have been exactly the kinds of people that Big Cable doesn't want to lose. A majority are in their late twenties to early thirties, with an average income of about $100,000.