Amidst what could be a historic legal battle between Aereo and national TV broadcasters, the Internet television startup announced that it is bringing its TV-streaming services to Google's Chromecast.
Aereo has just made its updated app live on the Google Play Store, which promises users to stream free-to-air television to their smartphones, tablets and PCs, while the $35 Chromecast dongle wirelessly beams this content to a television. For those who have Chromecast, they simply need to download the app from the Play Store and connect the dongle to the TV and select the Cast icon.
"It used to be that watching over-the-air television required a giant rooftop antenna or awkward rabbit ears connected to your TV. Aereo changes all that. With Aereo for Android, simply launch the app, sign in to your Aereo account, and use your remote antenna and DVR to watch real TV on your Android phone or tablet," says Aereo on its Android app page.
With Aereo for Chromecast now available, users can now stream their TV shows from major broadcasters and local channels directly to their living room TVs. The app also allows users to pause live TV and record and save their shows for viewing later, similar to a standard DVR. The major difference, however, is that shows are not saved on a hardware users have to buy; they are stored in Aereo's DVR cloud, which comes with the package.
Aereo's subscriptions start at $8 a month for 20 hours of recorded shows and $12 for those who want to save 60 hours of TV programming. Aereo has made its Chromecast app available for residents in select cities, including Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Miami and New York. The startup also plans of expanding its Chromecast app to reach other locations in the future.
However, users should be aware that signing up with Aereo isn't exactly free of catches. Last month, Aereo went up against national broadcast networks in court after major broadcasters the likes of NBC, ABC, Fox and CBC who are petitioning the Supreme Court to take down Aereo, which the broadcasters claim, is clearly breaching retransmission laws and infringing upon the networks' copyrights.
"Aereo's technology is sort of changing the way that we look at the law," says Gina McCreadie, intellectual property and copyright expert and Nixon Peabody partner. "Just from discussions inside our office as well as reading other scholars, academics, lawyers - everyone is pretty equally split on this."
In a recent interview Aereo chief executive Chet Kanojia warned that a court ruling against Aereo could possibly harm the entire cloud computing industry, where companies such as Google, Amazon and Dropbox have made significant investments.