Today (Valentine’s Day 2012) a company called Aereo announced (Barry Diller of IAC did the announcing) in the NY Times Media Decoder blog from Brian Stelter http://nyti.ms/y5uJfZ it will begin offering a new television service that will stream local television stations to internet users. It will cost $12/month. Many people already have ditched their cable television service so it’s not exactly ground-breaking. In fact what I found most interesting were the comments from readers.
Here are samples of a few and I found them to be extremely interesting and indicative of an audience that has a both a good understanding of the landscape as well as some interesting alternative solutions.:
“This could work in Manhattan. Antenna’s do not pull in hardly any channels for many of us in the city. I would happily pay $12/month for network television only.”
“I own a television machine, but I haven’t used it in years (I do dust it occasionally). But I do have basic cable through Time Warner only because I need to have that in order to get my high speed Internet service (talk about lousy deals).“
“On those very rare occasions I might feel compelled to watch a broadcast, I have Windows Media Center on my computer, which is hooked up to a $5 antenna (I bought that at the dollar store in my neighborhood and it works quite well). I pick up all the broadcast networks, their sub-networks, and several radio stations. Seems like a much better deal than yet another service like Aereo.”
“I use Remote Potato (an iOS app) with Windows Media Center to do this and it cost me the price of an antenna, digital tuner, and the app.”
“This is going to completely change the way cable service providers do business. NYC today, nationwide tomorrow. It will be interesting to watch how cable companies change the way they engage with their existing/ new customer base in order to remain relevant.”
“TWC doesn’t advertise it, or make it easy to use, but if you ask they will sell you basic broadcast channels only for around $18 a month. I’ve been using it for a few years, connected to a dedicated computer which I use as a DVR, netflix streaming box and blu-ray player. I tried an antenna but it didn’t work for me because I’m on the wrong side of the building. My total cable/internet bill is $53 a month. “
“TV service for $12 a month? That will soon double. Still, every cable TV outfit around will try to destroy these guys immediately. And I wonder how they plan to keep it only in NYC. Of course they will feature the same low quality programming and the same “all or nothing” menu that is the norm today. Let’s see what happens!?
“I don’t understand – they’re “offering” to make me pay for channels I can get over the air for free?”
“Bravo. Living in an area without cable. Satellite is the only available service. The monthly cost is too high for a very light TV user. This service is an answer to my prayers. “
“Add this to the list of streaming services that choke my cable broadband connection. Let’s take OTA HD programming (which is free and which already has its own spectrum) and stream it needlessly over the internet, doubling the overall bandwidth that it takes to watch TV and increasing the costs. Great idea!”
I actually learned a few things just from reading the comments and that’s the most interesting thing about the article itself. A $5 antenna? And who refers to their set as a ‘television machine’? Reader comments are not always that interesting but often are don’t you think?
Like Yogi Berra says – you can observe a lot by watching.