Internet TV streaming service Aereo has announced that the platform will officially launch in Boston on May 15th. The Boston launch marks its first new market outside of New York City designated market area (DMA). Boston is the second city to launch as part of Aereo’s 22-city expansion announced in January.
Beginning May 15, consumers who have pre-registered with Aereo will receive a special invitation to join and be one of the first to experience Aereo’s technology. After May 30, Aereo will make membership available to all eligible consumers across the Boston DMA, which includes more than 4.5 million consumers in 16 counties in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.
“Aereo is simply the easiest, most convenient way for consumers to access broadcast television online using an antenna,” said Aereo CEO and Founder Chet Kanojia. “Consumers deserve more choice and flexibility in how they experience television and Aereo provides them a high-quality, rationally-priced alternative. This is an exciting step forward for the company. Today’s announcement is even more meaningful and special for our more than 60 employees who call the Boston area home, including me. I’m proud of our team and what we’ve accomplished in such a short period of time.”
Aereo says that its remote (cloud-based) antenna/DVR technology makes watching television simple and user-friendly. Using Aereo’s technology, consumers can pause, rewind and fast-forward any programme that they are watching live, or save a programme for future viewing. In Boston, broadcast channels accessible through Aereo’s antenna/DVR technology, include major networks such as WGBH (PBS), WBZ-TV (CBS), WCVB (ABC), WHDH (NBC), WLVI (CW) and WFXT (Fox); special interest channels such as The Country Network, PBS Kids, Ion and Qubo; and Spanish-language broadcast channels such as Univision and Telemundo. In addition, consumers can also add Bloomberg Television, for a total of 29 channels.
Aereo works on ‘smart’ devices from tablets to phones to laptop computers. Aereo is currently supported on iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Chrome, Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, Safari, Opera, AppleTV (via airplay) and Roku devices.
Aereo is currently in the midst of a legal battle with Fox and other broadcasters, who have filed with a New York appeals court to reconsider the California court decision to give a green light to Aereo’s operation. In the new court filing, the broadcasters claim the decision “threatens to cause massive disruption to the television industry” and “will wreak commercial havoc,” and request a full panel of the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals to revisit the ruling.