New service in NYC lets users stream broadcast tv

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New service in NYC lets users stream broadcast tv

Postby gonzotek » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:17 am

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2 ... ss&emc=rss
Aereo works by pulling broadcast signals out of the air and then streaming them to subscribers. In an undisclosed location in New York City the company has arrayed thousands of tiny TV antennas — each one roughly the size of a thumb — so that each subscriber has an individual antenna. That way, the company says, it complies with laws involving the exhibition of copyrighted content.

“Technically we’re actually providing a use license for the antenna and the cloud DVR,” Mr. Kanojia explained, using the acronym for a digital video recorder.

Once people sign up, stations that are broadcast in New York City are viewable on phones, tablets and television sets via Aereo.com, which resembles a TV grid to subscribers. The site is built in HTML5 so it looks and feels like an app.

“Nobody wants to buy a box,” Mr. Kanojia said. Clutching his white iPhone, he said, “this is what people want to buy. Make this into the box.”

In a demonstration on Monday, he seamlessly passed a station signal from his iPhone to a flat-screen TV using the Apple TV box. The Roku box will also be supported.
...
The station owners have known that the service is coming because it has been written about for some time now. Representatives of WABC, WCBS, WNYW, and WNBC, the four biggest stations in New York City, did not have an immediate comment about it on Tuesday morning.

Aereo is bracing for possible legal challenges. “We understand that when you try to take something meaningful on, you have to be prepared for challenges,” Mr. Kanojia said. Mr. Diller declined to comment on potential challenges.

Aereo cites as precedent a 2008 ruling by the second circuit court of appeals that upheld the right of Cablevision, a cable distributor, to deploy thousands of DVRs at a remote location. Cablevision then essentially rented one DVR to each subscriber who wanted one.
Sounds familiar :)
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Re: New service in NYC lets users stream broadcast tv

Postby j653 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:41 am

This service will be restricted to NYC for now, but perhaps it will make the networks reconsider keeping shows off Hulu.
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Re: New service in NYC lets users stream broadcast tv

Postby mikebdoss » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:43 am

j653 wrote:This service will be restricted to NYC for now, but perhaps it will make the networks reconsider keeping shows off Hulu.


Networks are not the last word when it comes to deciding whether a show is, or isn't, on Hulu. All rights holders are involved.
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Re: New service in NYC lets users stream broadcast tv

Postby stratcat96 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:47 am

Aereo cites as precedent a 2008 ruling by the second circuit court of appeals that upheld the right of Cablevision, a cable distributor, to deploy thousands of DVRs at a remote location. Cablevision then essentially rented one DVR to each subscriber who wanted one.


what Aereo doesn't take into consideration is that Cablevision was a licensed distributor, i.e. paid for the "right" to do what they did. They can rationalize that they are just providing a "use license" but they are trying to profit from distributing content they didn't pay for. This service will be short-lived
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Re: New service in NYC lets users stream broadcast tv

Postby mkiker2089 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:49 am

Right now there a lot of vague things that need to shake down since the legal system is behind the curve. For one the individual antenna per person. That is silly but it's the way the law is often interpreted. Many people could tap into an antenna however so in a way the law needs to reflect modern technology changes. If I owned a building and allowed all my tenants to tap into my giant antenna no one could say a word.

Mostly from what I've seen (but I'm no expert) the courts allow restreaming as long as the content isn't changed. Fair use doctrine is usually applied if there is a way the person could have gotten the channels directly. Paying someone is ok, that someone putting in advertisements or modifying the signal (DVR counts as modifying) isn't ok. This company has learned from others mistakes and is doing things very carefully. Strat, I think they've got this one nailed down. If the courts throw this one out it's a major step back for the legal system. Free to air needs to be FREE. If they start limiting how someone can get it then the system is damaged.

I hope it makes them reconsider Hulu because with Hulu they have control, without it they don't. I'm not sure how that will work however.

edit, let me add that another issue has been "where does the viewing take place?" The other companies tried to send the video long distance. Since the courts have said viewing takes place where the TV is that was considered illegal. In this case viewing takes place where the signal could be seen anyway so that probably won't be an issue.
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Re: New service in NYC lets users stream broadcast tv

Postby stratcat96 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:01 am

In this case viewing takes place where the signal could be seen anyway so that probably won't be an issue.


Where does it say that, is there information about that elsewhere? The snippet posted says "stations that are broadcast in New York city will be viewable by....". It doesn't say anything about only being able to be viewed if you're in the city. If it is truly only available while in the city or thereabouts I'm guessing that would severely limit the "payoff" for the company doing it and monetarily for them not worth the trouble. This sounds the same as all the other schemes so far.
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Re: New service in NYC lets users stream broadcast tv

Postby robertm » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:21 pm

Heh. I like this one. It is a clever way to create a loophole. So basically you are renting an antenna in NY. Obviously if you rented space there you'd be entitled to the content.

I doubt it will work but it is clever.
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Re: New service in NYC lets users stream broadcast tv

Postby kc8pql » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:19 pm

Sounds like a "go live and see if we can make some money before they shut us down" business plan.
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Re: New service in NYC lets users stream broadcast tv

Postby Heyitsrick » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:44 am

This company used to be called "Bamboom". Their website (original) is still up:

http://bamboom.com/introducing-bamboom/
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Re: New service in NYC lets users stream broadcast tv

Postby knuckle » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:14 pm

I saw some bambooms at the zoo once--nasty monkeys what yawn a lot and throw poo
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Re: New service in NYC lets users stream broadcast tv

Postby gonzotek » Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:40 am

And there it is:
http://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.c ... firm_aereo
Broadcasters sue Aereo, citing copyright violation concerns.
The firm is due to launch an Internet TV service starting in New York. The service allows customers to view broadcast TV over the Internet from anywhere they have access.

The broadcasters claim that, "Aereo will infringe their copyrights by making available technology which enables consumers to access broadcast television via a remote antenna and DVR," the Internet TV firm wrote.

"Aereo does not believe that the broadcasters' position has any merit and it very much looks forward to a full and fair airing of the issues."
They haven't even launched yet :)

Here's their blogged response: http://blog.aereo.com/2012/03/our-response/
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Re: New service in NYC lets users stream broadcast tv

Postby Heyitsrick » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:36 pm

Some legal types seem to think the company stands a reasonable chance of prevailing in court:

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news ... tartup.ars
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Re: New service in NYC lets users stream broadcast tv

Postby destruk » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:46 pm

And other legal types think they will not prevail in court. That is why we have courts to decide these things. :)
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Re: New service in NYC lets users stream broadcast tv

Postby Heyitsrick » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:54 pm

destruk wrote:And other legal types think they will not prevail in court. That is why we have courts to decide these things. :)


As a famous person once said, "You have an excellent command of the obvious". :) Seriously, though...the point is, this is no slam-dunk for the broadcasters, as the successful Cablevision "Remote DVR" case set precedent, and courts love to look at precedent as a guidepost for present decisions.
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Re: New service in NYC lets users stream broadcast tv

Postby mkiker2089 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:29 pm

I just had to toss in this GIANT I told you so with

Grimmelmann wrote:He also suggested that Aereo's plan to limit the initial service to New York residents will strengthen the company's case. The company can argue that its customers are getting access to content they would already have access to on their TV if not for signal-strength problems.


As long as they only offer the video to people who could get it for free and don't change it in any way then they are pretty much free and clear. The courts precedent in other cases usually say that viewing takes place where the TV is. Hence you can't rent a DVD player and have a movie streamed because you can't really rent a DVD that way, it's digital streaming not physical. Cablevision however admitted to digital streaming and rented a digital box hence they are OK. Aero is renting an antenna and material that would be streamed via the air and simply converting it to be streamed via 1's and 0's. It's a little complicated but I'd bet good money that if they stick to their guns and have their research down that they will prevail. The hinge point as I see it is DVD = physical so no remote access DVR = digital so remote is ok. What will radio waves be?

edit--Let me word that more clearly. In short viewing is where the TV is. Since the TV could get the signal with the right antenna it doesn't matter how you get access to said antenna. Does that make more sense?

This case is more important than people may realize. Hollywood has too much power. Did you know that legally you can own a digital compy of all DVDs and Blu Rays yet it's illegal to make that copy under any circumstances? Hollywood lobbied a new law into existence to circumvent one they couldn't get rid of (congress is easier to buy than the Supreme Court.) Then there is the Mickey Mouse law that basically ended public domain content.
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