“I think there is a good case to be made that Aereo, the Barry Diller-backed startup that lets people watch live broadcast TV channels (over-the-air or OTA) on internet-connected devices, is about to push Television Everywhere definitively towards ALL Television Everywhere (ATVE!)” Anthony Wing Kosner writes for Forbes. “To understand the potential magnitude of Aereo’s disruption, consider first, the twisted brilliance of what it is doing.”
“Here’s how it works. Consumers have the right to receive a broadcast TV signal on any device they choose (originally just a TV) and by extension, record programs for their own personal use. That is the intent and the purpose of the law. Broadcasters get to use the airwave spectrum (and make money off of advertising) in return for allowing people free access to these broadcasts — for their own personal use,” Kosner writes. “Individuals or unlicensed companies are not, however, allowed to re-broadcast OTA TV content, which has prevented live TV from being streamed online in any reliable and legal manner. Aereo has gotten around this problem by setting up antennae farms where its customers can license their ‘own’ individual antenna that is used to receive a signal through which they can receive OTA broadcasts (and record them on a cloud DVR) to watch on web-connected devices.”
Kosner writes, “Aereo is renting the antenna and the infrastructure to its customers just as cable companies rent to theirs. The consistency of this approach has so far held up in court… Broadcasters and other multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD) have a short window to protect their turf before is gets disrupted from beneath them. None of this is a foregone conclusion, but we are certainly in for a period of rapid innovation.”
Read more in the full article here.