Even while it’s being sued by all the major broadcast networks, video-streaming service Aereo continues to expand into new markets with the announcement today of launch dates for customers in the Miami, Houston, and Dallas/Ft. Worth areas.
For those who don’t know about Aereo, it’s a service that uses arrays of tiny antennae, each dedicated to a single subscriber. The antenna receives over-the-air broadcast TV signals and streams them over the Internet to the end user, who pays a monthly subscription. The service also provides cloud-based DVR functionality so that customers.
The networks claim that, because Aereo is not paying retransmission fees, this streaming of their freely available over-the-air signal is violating their copyright. Aereo maintains that, since each end-user is connected to a single, dedicated antenna, it’s really just a higher-tech version of having a rooftop antenna.
The courts will ultimately decide on this matter, but some network execs have already threatened to pull their signals from the air and go cable-only if Aereo wins the legal battle.
Aereo first began offering service to subscribers in the New York City metro area and has expanded to Boston and Atlanta since. Launch dates of Aug. 19 and Sept. 13 have already been given for TV audiences in Utah and Chicago, respectively.
Service for the Miami area will launch Sept. 2 says Aereo. Users in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties will get access to WFOR (CBS), WPBT (PBS), WTVJ (NBC), WSVN (FOX), WPLG (ABC), Telemundo, Univision, EstrellaTV, The CW, AntennaTV, Qubo, ION, and others.
Residents in the Greater Houston area — Trinity, Polk, Walker, Grimes, Jacinto, Liberty, Montgomery, Washington, Austin, Waller, Colorado, Harris, Chambers, Galveston, Fort Bend, Wharton, Brazoria, Matagorda, Jackson, and Calhoun Counties — will be able to use Aereo starting Sept. 16. They will get access to KRIV DT (FOX), KPRC HD (NBC), KTRK HD (ABC), KUHT DT (PBS), KHOU DT (CBS), KIAH DT (CW), MundoFox, Telemundo, Antenna TV, ION, Qubo, COZI TV, Saigon TV and others.
Then on Sept. 23, the following counties in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area — Anderson, Bosque, Collin, Comanche, Cooke, Dallas, Delta, Denton, Ellis, Erath, Fannin, Freestone, Hamilton, Henderson, Hill, Hood, Hopkins, Hunt, Jack, Johnson, Kaufman, Lamar, Navarro, Palo Pinto, Parker, Rains, Rockwall, Somervell, Tarrant, Van Zandt, Wise — will get access to Aereo and these channels: KDFW (FOX), KXAS TV (NBC), WFAA (ABC), KTVT (CBS) and KERA TV (PBS), COZI TV, ME TV, UniMas, Telemundo, EstrellaTV, ION, The CW, AntennaTV, Qubo and others.
Channel lineups for Aereo in markets where it has already launched are available here.