So this website called Aereo got sued by every major broadcast network. Why? Because on watching the Internet just like the rest of us. If you are watching TV, it’slikely that you’re using a DVR to do it. Which is sort of what’s up with this whole Aereo deal.
All the way back in 2009 Vishesh Kumar and Sam Schechner totally sucking. When Cablevision plunked that one a whole bunch of networks sued them too. Cablevision hired a lawyer and totally won the case and, no spoilers, Aereo just hired the same dude so they’ll likely win also.
The original defense rested on the fact that each DVR+ member was basically doing the same thing TiVo lets you do: recording content that anybody with an antenna and a TV has free access to, and every recording was saved to an individual’s own/private Virtual DVR Storage. Very much like when Universal and Disney sued Sony because the Betamax (seriously) was an evil piracy device. Aereo’s set to use ‘The Cablevision Defense’ because their whole system works by allotting members their own/private pair of micro-antennae located on the company’s own Brooklyn rooftop aerie. So, in effect, you’re paying Aereo to hold on to your antenna for you.
Like millions and millions of my contemporaries, to me, the Internet = an Absolutely Everything Machine. If it’s not on the Internet: I don’t know about it. Even if it is on the Internet, but not in the cheap to free price range, I very actually do not want it. Aereo’s $12/month price is not bad. Even on top of Netflix and Hulu+ that’s way less than my grandfather pays for cable. After an extended Beta, Aereo launched for New York residents on March 14th. New users get a 90-day free trial. Which is excellent. The site looks nice and the video quality is just fine when you’re watching it live—that’s right: Live Streaming Video. How often do you see that phrase this e-side of the porn-belt?—sometimes the image is a little jiggly/pixelated, whatever. It works good, I’d say. Any issue I had was, oddly, emotional. More on that, now:
All this actually-on-the-air-right-now content reminded me of what a huge bummer it was back in the day when there was “just nothing on!” I Flipped ahead in the guide a bit, set it to record 30 Rock, did things, and came back at 9pm. Actually giddy! To think, my very own brand new episode of 30 Rock saved away snug within 40 hours of DVR Storage Space on the Aereo Cloud, and, WTF?! Under the Recordings tab, I found a friendly, devil-red, line of text which read: “Not recorded: System error”
I felt feelings then that I hand’t felt since I once forgot to put a new VHS in for the ST:TNG series finale. Good thing Hulu’s got my back. There’s bound to be issues at first. Seinfeld and an airing of The Addams Family recorded just fine later on. I’m into it.
Broadcasters need to check themselves on this one. Here are all these business models popping up that are showing us all that The Future is not allergic to revenue. But still these clunky old brands are so afraid of reality that they’ve become incapable of taking all this money I’ve got sitting around. So be it.
Services like Aereo could be a non-candy lifesaver for these guys. All the ingredients are there: TV, Internet, willing consumers, money. Also, think of how much more in touch networks would be with all the data available from a web audience. Instead of spending all this cash picking on the new kids, legacy media outfits might consider a few smart investments. Don’t be afraid of working together to make life easier for consumers. It definitely won’t piss us off.
How do you get your sitcoms? Think The Plaintiffs are right? Let us know in the comments!
— carib (@44carib) March 16, 2012
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[Author Edit of Article Written for and Published by NYPress.com]