US start-up Aereo (formerly Bamboom Labs) has broken cover with its Internet-based, $12/month subscription television service, allowing consumers to view live or recorded local TV over the Internet on their HDTV, iPad, iPhone, tablet, Mac, PC, or with Internet TV solutions such as AppleTV and Roku. Aereo’s members will have access to all of the major networks including CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, CW and PBS, as well as other local channels and will have the ability to store up to 40 hours of programming through their Remote DVR.
However, the Barry Diller-backed service could face legal challenges as it has not paid retransmission consent fees to any broadcasters, a loophole the venture believes it can exploit by deploying a tiny antenna for each individual sub rather than the traditional one-to-many transmission.
Aereo members are assigned a miniaturised, private, remote antenna and DVR. Aereo offers technology to give consumers access to their antenna and DVR via a web browser and supported Internet-enabled device.
“Aereo is the first potentially transformative technology that has the chance to give people access to broadcast television delivered over the Internet to any device, large or small, they desire. No wires, no new boxes or remotes, portable everywhere there’s an Internet connection in the world – truly a revolutionary product,” claimed Diller, IAC Chairman and Aereo Board Member.
Aereo will first launch to New York City residents beginning March 14, 2012 with a membership fee of $12 per month. An initial 30-day free-trial period will be offered.
Aereo also revealed $20.5 million in Series A financing led by IAC. Previous investors, including FirstMark Capital, First Round Capital, High Line Venture Partners, Highland Capital Partners and select individuals, participated in the round, bringing Aereo’s total funding to approximately $25 million.