I wanted Aereo the second I laid eyes on it. It recently launched in my area and I immediately activated my service (a few days earlier than others as I had been on the waiting list). For the uninitiated, Aereo is a service that pipes over-the-air TV to up to 5 of your devices. You rent a micro-antenna from the company and they give you access to the signal over the Internet. It’s great.
Aereo takes the pain out of watching over-the-air TV. There’s no such thing as bad reception. I don’t have to mess with moving a crappy antenna around to get a certain channel in. There’s an incredibly well done TV guide online that tells me what’s on right now and intuitive DVR controls. The search function works great. You can link your Aereo account to Roku. You can connect with Facebook to recommend shows to friends. Video quality can be set to low, medium, high or auto.
Over the years I have been a cable subscriber, a satellite subscriber (don’t do it) and a Netflix subscriber (I never could bring myself to get Hulu Plus… it never felt very compelling). What I have found is that my favorite shows are consistently produced by and aired on NBC, ABC, CBS and, occasionally, FOX. It’s been about a year since I cut the cord, so to speak. Right now I’ve got a couple Apple TV boxes setup in the house to stream Netflix and rent a la carte movies. Until I got Aereo I was watching episodes of my favorite TV shows as they become available online the next day. That is getting ridiculous, though, with all the commercials online now. Live sports had to be seen with the rabbit ears.
Everything is different now. Aereo has put be back in control of my entertainment. Frankly, the experience is superb. It couldn’t be easier to record a show. Watching a recording is just as delightful. If I bring a show up on an iPad or on my Mac it looks great on the big screen via Airplay. The next killer feature I hope Aereo is able to produce is a native app on for Apple TV. It’s a minor annoyance having to load all the content up on a separate device. Fast forwarding through ads on a laptop, rather than being able to use a remote, is a bit of a pain.
Aereo’s channel lineup is perhaps a bit more robust than you might initially have thought: Aside from the big 4 networks I mentioned above, there’s PBS, the CW, Bloomberg, ThisTV, GetTV, myTV, AntennaTV, BounceTV, Create and more.
Pricing starts at $8 per month, but I’d recommend making a jump to the $12 tier which allows simultaneous recording.