The time has come. We’ve sent out our first invitations to Bostonians! It’s great to be live in the city that’s home to many of our team members. We’re sending out invitations in waves, so if you haven’t received your invite yet keep an eye on your inbox. Your early exclusive access is coming soon!
Thank you for your support, excitement and patience as we launch in the great city of Boston.
We couldn’t be more excited to launch in Boston next month, a town with a passionate tech community that is home to many of Aereo’s employees. To celebrate our Boston launch announcement yesterday, we had the pleasure of attending the Boston New Technology Meetup and introducing our Aereo UI to a group of enthusiastic and supportive folks who made it out to StartupLab Allston, undeterred by the rain. Thanks everyone for the warm welcome – we’re so happy to launch in Boston.
For all those in the greater Boston area who are interested in experiencing Aereo, pre-register here to get first access before it’s available to the general public. Those who pre-register will get a special invitation to join Aereo starting on May 15th. General membership access starts on May 30th.
using an antenna for over 70 years. The broadcast networks have been granted free and valuable broadcast spectrum worth billions of dollars in exchange for their commitment to act in the public interest. It’s a sweet deal: the broadcasters get their free spectrum from the public and make money on advertising to fund their programming; the public enjoys high quality entertainment with their TV or rooftop antenna.
Along the way, cable and satellite providers entered the picture. In addition to free spectrum and advertising revenues, the networks got very lucrative retransmission fees from these providers. And so, for many, broadcast television is now offered in expensive fixed bundles or packages. Yet many millions of Americans continue to use antennas to get broadcast TV.
The approach at Aereo is to make the old-fashioned TV antenna easier to use, creating a platform that gives more choice to consumers. Aereo provides consumers with a remote individual antenna and DVR “in the cloud.” Instead of climbing on your roof or playing with rabbit ears on your TV, you can simply log in to a website and easily use your antenna and DVR through the Internet to watch TV on any device.
The broadcast networks have taken this to court, but the courts have twice ruled in favor of Aereo. And now in direct response to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Aereo’s favor on April 1st, a representative of a broadcast network threatened to stop making certain broadcast channels available to the consumer over-the-air and called the use of Aereo’s antenna technology “piracy.”
About 54 million Americans use some sort of antenna to watch TV. This is not piracy. This has been part of the American way since the beginning of broadcasting.
At Aereo we believe in innovation, we believe in giving consumers choice, and frankly, we love our tiny antennas. Our passion is to make our technology enhance the way people experience television. We think we’re on to something really important here. And we hope you will come visit us at Aereo.com.
Chalk up another victory for consumers
Today marks another important day for consumers as the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in favor of Aereo, upholding a July 2012 decision denying a request for a preliminary injunction against Aereo.
In other words, we’re one step ahead in the fight for innovation, progress, and consumer choice.
“Today’s ruling to uphold Judge Nathan’s decision sends a powerful message that consumer access to free-‐to-‐air broadcast television is still meaningful in this country and that the promise and commitment made by the broadcasters to act in the public interest in exchange for the public’s spectrum, remains an important part of our American fabric.
“We may be a small start-up, but we’ve always believed in standing up and fighting for our consumers. We are grateful for the court’s thoughtful analysis and decision and we look forward to continuing to build a successful business that puts consumers first.”
-Chet Kanojia, Aereo Founder and CEO
Full press release here.
Since launching in NYC, folks from all over have been asking when they can access Aereo in other places. Well, the day has finally come – Aereo just announced expansion plans for 22 new U.S. cities in 2013! With $38 Million in additional funding, we’re excited to say that Aereo will soon be available in the following cities:
Salt Lake City
Want Aereo and see your city on the map? Sign up for news and updates here and you’ll be on our list for an advanced invite.
We can’t wait to make Aereo available to more people. Thank you to all who have supported us and, to those in our new cities, we’re excited to meet you!
For more information, read our full press release here
A few year-end thoughts from Aereo’s Founder and CEO, Chet Kanojia
Major broadcast companies are trying very hard to put Aereo out of business. But, the dispute goes far beyond the fate of one company. What is at stake is whether a consumer’s right to access broadcast television for free, via an antenna and to record that content for private use, is still meaningful. If consumers cannot take advantage of current and innovative technology, that right becomes hollow.
There are certain things we take for granted as Americans. One of those things is free access to over-the-air broadcast television and the ability to record and watch our programs. If you are of a certain age, you used to rely on a TV antenna propped on your roof or TV. Then along came the VCR, which transformed the consumer television experience. We could now record a show for our private viewing. Then, the DVR enabled us not only to make recordings, but also to pause, rewind and fast-forward live television. And, in recent years, a DVR in the cloud became available.
But continued innovation to preserve television access for consumers is in jeopardy.
Consumers have the right to access broadcast television for free via an antenna because the public owns the airwaves. Use of that valuable spectrum is licensed by the public to the broadcasters with the obligation that broadcasters must operate in the “public interest, convenience, and necessity.”
In exchange for the license we grant to broadcasters, we’re entitled to free access to broadcast television. In fact, Congress believed so strongly in maintaining free access that in 2007, they granted substantial subsidies for converter boxes for millions of homes to continue to receive over-the-air broadcasts after the change from analog to digital. The crucial question is: Will the requirement that the broadcasters use the spectrum licensed to them by the public for the “public interest, convenience, and necessity” be enforced? Or will they be permitted to use the publicly owned airwaves to enhance their business interests, while frustrating consumer choice and access.
Unfortunately, every time new technology emerges, so do attempts to block those innovations. Our right to record television for private home viewing was the result of an epic copyright battle between certain television production studios and broadcasters and Sony Corporation of America, then maker of the “Betamax” VCR. Studios and broadcasters vigorously opposed the right of individual consumers to record and watch television programming. In 1984, the Supreme Court resolved that battle and held that a consumer had a “fair use” right under the Copyright Act to make and view those private copies. But for that case, today every consumer would be paying broadcasters each and every time they made a copy of Modern Family or the Super Bowl on their home DVR. More than 20 years later, major broadcasters again tried to stop consumers from having access to remote DVR storage, but again failed in that effort.
If consumers have a right to access over-the-air broadcasts and to record and view those broadcasts for their own use, what’s the problem? Unfortunately, several obstacles stand in the way.
First, in view of cable and satellite dominance of the market, many consumers have simply forgotten that they have the right and ability to access broadcast television for free using conventional home equipment. This is especially true when what would otherwise be free broadcast television is often offered only in a high-cost “bundle” with non-broadcast channels. Consumers should be entitled to buy whatever they want, and for those who can’t afford it, or don’t want to subsidize other programming, they should have an alternative. Today, consumers have no real choice or voice in this equation.
Second, the television technology available to consumers has not kept pace with other technology advances. Consumers today expect to access media from the “cloud” using Internet-connected devices such as smartphones, tablets and computers, and they expect ease and convenience. If consumers are confined to outdated technology, the right to access broadcast television that is the quid pro quo for the spectrum license granted to the broadcasters is utterly meaningless.
At Aereo, we had a simple idea: to modernize access to broadcast television. We set out to make it easy for consumers to use that same combination of home equipment – an antenna, a DVR and a media streamer – but do it remotely, in the cloud with no boxes or wires. Each consumer using Aereo can use their own Internet-enabled device – such as a tablet, smartphone, laptop, or Internet connected television – to access a remotely located individual antenna, DVR and media streamer, to record and watch broadcast television. It is simple and efficient and allows consumers to pick the device of their choice to access television.
Unfortunately, as with the Betamax in the 1980s and the Cablevision remote DVR earlier in this decade, the broadcasters have mounted a frontal attack on Aereo alleging copyright infringement. All of the major broadcasters sued Aereo in the federal district court in New York. They sought an injunction, but the trial judge denied it. Now, the broadcasters have appealed that decision to the federal appellate court in the Second Circuit and Aereo awaits that decision. It is telling that one of the major arguments that the broadcasters have advanced against Aereo is that it has somehow done something improper by intentionally designing its system to precisely follow existing copyright law. It is a sad and troubling state of affairs if a company could be penalized for simply following the law.
An Aereo win is a consumer win. The broadcasters should be held to their obligation to use the spectrum licensed to them by the public, to operate in the “public interest, convenience, and necessity.”
Are you sticking around NYC this Thanksgiving while your roommates and friends head home for the holidays? Fear not, there’s plenty that NYC has to offer you and your fellow transplants this weekend.
New Yorkers, whether born and bred or imported, know how to make Thanksgiving (and every other day), a fun and exciting day to spend in the city. Whether ordering in their favorite take out, or roasting a huge turkey in a tiny oven, young NYC dwellers have made the most of this opportunity to get together with friends, cram into a tiny apartment, and have a proper merry Thanksgiving feast.
We wanted to share a few ideas for an awesome, in-the-city New York transplant celebration:
- We found this great guide, complete with bars, restaurants, and other things to do in Brooklyn this Thanksgiving: “The Ultimate 2012 Brooklyn Thanksgiving Guide“. Pick a spot and Instagram your tasty meal.
- What’s better than potluck in a one-bedroom apartment! Get on Facebook and find your fellow transplants. You may just start a new tradition with a cherished group of friends.
- Want to deep fry a turkey? Don’t do it on your fire escape! But if you have the right set up and want to give it a try, here’s how to do it safely.
- Did you know many movie theaters are open on Thanksgiving? Catch the new Lincoln movie, or if it’s your cup of tea – Twilight.
- And of course if you choose to veg out with some TV, log in or sign up with Aereo. It’s that time of year for great sports and holiday programming! But really, you live in New York City, so…
- Go see the historic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade live! People travel from all over the world to come see the parade and it’s right in your own backyard.
Whatever you decide, have fun, be safe, and enjoy the day off!
In the words of Mayor Bloomberg, Hurricane Sandy was a “storm of historic intensity. But New Yorkers are resilient and we have seen an enormous outpouring of support from people eager to volunteer, donate and help out.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
It’s been a devastating week and a half for the Big Apple and tri-state area. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the severity of the devastation and destruction left in the storm’s wake has become all too clear. The team at Aereo continues to keep all those affected by Hurricane Sandy in our thoughts.
All last week, we expanded our Try for Free access so that folks in New York City could use our technology to keep up to date on the latest emergency storm news and information. It was small gesture that we hope brought some measure of comfort to those who were displaced or left in the dark.
We believe technology can play a significant role in helping people during emergencies. Thank you to those who tweeted or messaged us during the storm. We’re glad that we could help and be there for New York City. Supporting our local community is important to us.
And we want to do more.
To help in the recovery effort, Aereo’s Long Island City office will be collecting coats for New York Cares’ Annual Winter Coat Drive. The temperatures are dropping and coats are badly needed for families across our City. If you have a coat to donate, please bring it to our offices at 37-18 Northern Boulevard, Suite 512. All sizes are welcome.
There are other ways you can help in the Sandy relief and recovery efforts.
Google is compiling a map of Sandy volunteer and donation locations:
You can also pitch in through these organizations:
NYC Service – The City’s Official Volunteer Office
American Red Cross of Greater New York
Food Bank for New York City
At Aereo, we’re proud to do our part and we hope you’ll join us in helping our communities recover from Hurricane Sandy.
It’s finally (almost) here. Tuesday is Election Day and across the country, millions of Americans, including the team at Aereo, will get out and VOTE!
We’ve said it before; television plays a significant role in shaping elections. Preserving and providing access to broadcast television is important. From breaking news and weather alerts to election coverage – local broadcast television plays a critical role in keeping you informed and in touch with the world around you.
Tomorrow night, over-the-air broadcast news coverage will be in full swing, for what political pundits are predicting will be a nail biter. That’s why Aereo is once again expanding our Try for Free access, so that you can stay on top of election night news.
We’re kicking off expanded Try for Free tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. and for the following 12 hours, folks in New York City will be able to access to Aereo’s groundbreaking online television technology to watch election returns and see how the Electoral College map shakes out.
So tomorrow, remember to vote and afterwards, sit back and watch the night unfold with Aereo.
Getting started with Aereo Try for Free is simple. Visit aereo.com, create a login and password and, subject to capacity, consumers can begin using Try for Free immediately on compatible devices. There is no credit card to enter, but users must be located within New York City. Data charges may apply, please check with your provider. A full list of supported browsers and devices can be found here.
As Hurricane Sandy bears down on New York, the folks at Aereo want to make sure that New Yorkers stay informed and stay safe during the storm. That’s why Aereo is expanding its Try for Free access for 12 hours starting at 11:30am today. Remember to watch Mayor Bloomberg’s update on the storm at 11:30am and stay informed with local broadcast news for important updates, weather predictions, and evacuation and closure updates all day long with Aereo.
Simply visit aereo.com and create a login and password. Pending capacity, consumers can use Try for Free immediately on compatible devices. There is no credit card to enter, but users must be located within New York City. Data charges may apply, so please check with your provider. A full list of supported browsers and devices can be found here.
Stay warm, safe, and dry NYC!