Aereo May Be Going Away, But You Can Still Get Something Aereo-Like At Home

While we join the hordes of cord-cutters around the country who are still reeling from the death notice nailed to the door of Aereo by the Supreme Court this morning, we would be remiss if we didn’t remind you can still receive and record over-the-air broadcast feeds on your computers and TVs in ways that SCOTUS hasn’t gutted like a Thanksgiving turkey.

As my colleague Kate Cox detailed in this post in May, it’s not that difficult to replicate much of the Aereo experience.

[NOTE: We have not tested, nor do we endorse, any of the products mentioned in this article; we are just mentioning them as examples.]

Of course, since all Aereo was doing was capturing over-the-air broadcasts on antennae, the most basic thing you can do is get a decent HD antenna for your TV. There are a number of DVRs that you can buy at retail from companies like TiVo that will record over-the-air broadcasts. Products like Slingbox or TiVo Stream will also transmit recorded content to you over the Internet.

If you want to get live TV on your computer or wireless devices, you basically have two options.

The first is the DIY approach, which generally involves getting a TV tuner card for your computer. The best of these will provide you a program guide, along with DVR functionality. You may need or want to buy a separate hard drive for storage as HD video can take up a lot of memory.

Then there are the off-the-shelf options, like Simple.TV, Nuvyyo Tablo, or the Channel Master DVR+. These generally run a few hundred dollars and sometimes cost charge a fee for program guides and other add-on services, but they will collect (via a separately purchased antenna) over-the-air broadcast feeds and stream them around your home network. Again, you’ll probably need to invest in an external hard drive for storage purposes.

So while Aereo may soon be fading into the annals of “It Was Worth A Shot” history, it does not mean consumers are beholden to cable operators to receive or record freely available network content.

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  1. SpeakBob says:

    I can’t do what Aereo was doing because I live on the outside range of many stations that the FCC considers “local” to me. This means that most of the time with even a good antenna I can only get 4 of the 10 stations (with several channels on each station) that the FCC says I should get from the major city. With Aereo in the major city I would have been able to actually get the signals that I am supposed to be able to get but are blocked by mountains or other natural or man made items.
    By the way, before the digital switch, I was able to get 8 of the 10 stations, not always clearly, but snowy channels were still watchable while digital snow means that the channel can’t even be found.