On Thursday, the Supreme Court is expected to make a ruling that will determine the fate of Aereo, a startup that lets you watch live network TV over the internet through your smartphone, tablet, or PC.
The case could have lasting implications for the way we watch TV in the future, especially when it comes to content delivered over the internet.
Here’s a look at what’s at stake.
What Is Aereo And How Does It Work?
Aereo is a service that lets you watch live network TV over the internet for $8 per month. The company assigns each subscriber an antenna that can access network TV over the air. The signal is then transmitted over the internet to your PC, tablet, smartphone, and some internet set-top boxes boxes like Roku. Aereo also doubles as a virtual DVR, meaning you can record shows on the company’s servers and stream them later to your device.
Aereo is only available in a handful of U.S. cities, but the company will likely ramp up expansion if it wins the Supreme Court case.
Aereo has received $100 million in funding so far. Its CEO is Chet Kanojia. Before Aereo, Kanojia was founder and CEO of Navic Networks, which was a TV advertising company Microsoft bought in 2008. InterActiveCorp (IAC), the big collection of digital companies, owns a 10% stake in Aereo.
What Does Barry Diller Have To Do With All Of This? (And, Who Is Barry Diller?)
Barry Diller has had a long, successful career in the media industry. He worked at ABC, Paramount, Fox, and USA Networks before he founded IAC. IAC has made Diller a billionaire, and he’s become the face of Aereo in its fight because he’s a well-known media figure.
Wait, How Does Aereo Get All That Content For Free?
It might seem strange in the cable/satellite TV era, but a lot of programming is, and has always been, available for free over the air if you have an antenna. Think back to the days when everyone had “rabbit ear” antennas. You can still do that today and get networks like NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox for free.
Aereo’s workaround was to invent a tiny HD antenna that can access over-the-air networks, just like those rabbit ear antennas once did. The antenna itself is pretty impressive. It’s about the size of your thumbnail, so Aereo can — For more information read the original article here.