Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo - InformationWeek
Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo
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D. Henschen
D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
6/25/2014 | 4:08:30 PM
You Don't Need Aereo To Cut The Cord
Wake up people. Cable, satellite and other broadband providers have hoodwinked people into thinking that they are the only route to TV. They did that by twisting the facts around the transition to digital TV a few years ago. Guess what? All those ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS stations and affiliates and many independent stations are still BROADCASTERS. They still have great big powerful antennas and are beaming their signals out from cities large and small FOR FREE. With the move to digital, most stations switched to the UHF band, and in the bargin, they also added extra channels offering weather, old movies and other secondary content.

ALL YOU NEED IS AN ANTENNA. That's all Aereo used to capture these signals and resell them. But if you have an antenna, you can get them for free. Check out for a selection of antennas. Some are as simple as rabbit ears (though they are a bit different and generally smaller). I installed the small DB2 antenna in my attic because I'm 30 miles from NYC and needed something stronger than a desktop antenna. The picture IS BETTER than what you get from cable, sattelite or FIOS because the feed isn't compressed, which those guys have to do to fit all those worthless extra channels on the same pipe.

No, you won't get HBO, CNN, Bravo, ESPN or any other cable-only premium channel, but you can get some of that content through sports apps, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and so on. The combination sure beats paying $50-$80 per month for "57 channels and nothing on."

User Rank: Ninja
6/26/2014 | 10:03:19 AM
Re: You Don't Need Aereo To Cut The Cord
Perhaps a minor technicality but if the picture is better, it's because it is less compressed.  Correct me if I'm wrong but OTA digital TV is still using some flavor of MPEG compression to send the video to your TV.

Regarding reselling content, that's specifically what Aereo claims it did not do.  It claimed to sell access (i.e. rented access) to equipment that you can legally own in your home that does the same thing.  It's unfortunate the court ruled that approach illegal because of a "looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it must be a duck" judicial methodology.

Although in Scalia's dissent he still agreed with the feeling of the court that what Aereo is doing "ought not be allowed", he blasted the majority saying that they "invented" a result-driven ruling rather than considering Aereo might have found a loop hole.

While I can appreciate a ruling for Aereo would have completely disrupted broadcaster's retransmission fees paid by CATV as they possibly duplicated Aereo's solution, I don't really care.  The fact that they are allowed to use public airwaves to offer content for free but if CATV includes it along with a lot of other pay content, they get to charge... is madness.

I think Congress should fix this mess and force cable companies to unbundle OTA from other pay content so we at least have a choice to pay for OTA or use our own antenna.  The law should also require CATV boxes to provide external antenna inputs and seemless channel selection.  (Dish used to do this in their receivers before they added capacity and included OTA streams in their packages.)

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