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Cloud Government Media Television The Courts Your Rights Online

Feds Now Oppose Aereo, Rejecting Cloud Apocalypse Argument 140

v3rgEz writes "TV streaming service Aereo expected broadcasters would put up a fight. The startup may not have seen the Justice Department as a threat, however. The Justice Department has now weighed in, saying in a filing that it's siding with major broadcasters who accuse Aereo of stealing TV content. In its filing, the Justice Department noted it doesn't believe a win for broadcasters would dismantle the precedent that created the cloud computing industry, as Aereo has previously claimed. The case is expected to go before the Supreme Court in late April."
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Feds Now Oppose Aereo, Rejecting Cloud Apocalypse Argument

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    My 6 year old is sad we can't record broadcast TV through aereo anymore (living in the Utah/Denver area where it got shut down). When you're paying for aereo, you are mainly paying for a tv guide service, $8/month. In our case we had already been watching only broadcast TV for a year and wanted a nice DVR service without paying for TiVO antenna DVR which was overpriced... $15/month for tv guide service.

    Anyone know how to build a small MythTV box? Main consideration is TV/Antenna card in a small form fact

    • by quitte ( 1098453 )

      You might want to look into vdr instead. It's not as flashy but it was very stable years ago. In my opinion it's as a DVR should be.

    • Re:Just Sad (Score:5, Informative)

      by unitron ( 5733 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @07:44PM (#46402985) Homepage Journal

      A Series 3 platform TiVo would let you record digital OTA for $12.95 per month maxium, but that figure is for the entire TiVo service which includes a license to use the software as well as the guide info, and they've always sold the hardware cheap with the idea of making up the loss on selling the service.

      In fact, you can probably pick up a used S3 or S3 HD or HD XL with Product Lifetime Service for $300 or less (check area Craigslists), then another $100 for a 2TB WD20EURS to slip into it and $10 -$15 for Low ESR 105 degree rated capacitors to replace the ones in the power supply pro-actively, and the only monthly cost will be the electricity.

      Lurk at for a while.

      You'll also find discussion of Myth and WMC there as well.

      When you're paying for Aereo, you're paying as much as anything to have somebody else worry about providing you with an outdoor antenna.

      • A Series 3 platform TiVo would let you record digital OTA for $12.95 per month maxium

        Why would anyone ever bother with Tivo?

        eMatic/iView/HomeWorx/ViewTV sell $30-60 "Digital converter boxes" with USB ports. Plug in a portable USB hard drive (most support up to 3TB) and you can record any TV shows you want in 1080i, time-shift the current program, watch any of the sub-channels on the channel you're recording, connect the drive to your computer and watch/edit/reencode them there, etc. Under $100 total for 1

        • by unitron ( 5733 )

          The antenna question and the some DVR other than a TiVo question are two separate issues.

          Although the TiVos I mentioned do offer the flexibility of OTA or cable or both, with the ability to record two programs simultaneously while watching a third while also copying a previously recorded show from another TiVo on the same account or from a PC.

    • Install a TV tuner card and record it yourself. Media Center is the main reason I have a Windows 7 machine in the house, for this very purpose. Set it to record whatever you want and it works.

      • Windows Media Center's primary benefit is a high Wife Acceptance Factor. It's polished well, and that goes a long way.

        If you want OTA and WMC, I suggest some Hauppauge cards -- enough to satisfy your need to record multiple channels at once during sweeps without conflicts. Perhaps: []

        • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

          High WAF with my MythTV solution yielded carte blanche on my computer purchases. She actually told me to "go get a Mac" to replace my original cobbled together frontend box.

          We were a Tivo household before that. So it's not like there were low expectations.

          However, the main challenge with OTA is the ANTENNA. That is the trickiest part by far and the one that frustrates so many people into using cable or Aereo.

      • Windows 7 Media Center rocks. Highly recommended. Plus it supports premium cable via cable card. Comcastic douche in my area even give a $2 refund for not using their crappy STB. The only thing I lose is VOD, but I don't give a shit since Netflix and Amazon Prime via Roku is 10 times better than their comcastic service
    • by msauve ( 701917 )
      Aereo simply picks up signals from the public airwaves. There's nothing that's more "public domain" than something so placed into, well, the public domain.

      ANYTHING which has ever been broadcast should have lost copyright - that the price for building your business on public resources.
  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @07:28PM (#46402835) Homepage Journal

    Get to make the rules. Yet another example.

    • The Golden Rule. Those with the gold get to make the rules.

  • In other news.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @07:31PM (#46402857)

    The same Justice Department officials will soon leave to work for the various broadcast networks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @07:32PM (#46402867)

    Thank goodness we've got the Obama administration to bring some common sense back to government and stand up for the little guy.

    • by fermion ( 181285 )
      This is my thought. Now that the Obama administration opposes Aereo, we can expect all the conservatives, tea party people, Ted Cruz, to support it. Those of us who like Aereo are all but guaranteed a win!
  • .... many networks will stream a good portion of the shows that they air, usually only a day or so after initial broadcast... and typically leave them available for about a week. There's commercials, of course, but it's really not that bad a way to watch television. I'm not sure what need Aero was really trying to fill.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      You obviously don't live in Manhattan (the first market they hit) where OTA coverage can be extremely spotty, don't want local programming while traveling for business, or to otherwise time/place shift your content. I doubt this is their endgame, but I get what they are trying to bring.
      • by alen ( 225700 )

        doesn't time warner provide you with a free or some low cost box to decrypt the newly encrypted local feed?
        used to be you could just plug the cable into your TV

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )
        Who said anything about watching OTA? I was talking about watching stuff streamed from the network website. In my experience, most of the popular shows seem to be available a day or so after airing, which isn't really *THAT* big a deal... you just shift your tv watching schedule by one day.
        • by hondo77 ( 324058 )

          With ABC, not so much []:

          Verify your TV provider to watch ABC programming at no additional cost.*

          * You must verify your participating TV provider account for access to certain WATCH ABC on demand features. It's included in your TV subscription services. Show and episode availability are subject to change.

    • That would have been a great service model, which is why it couldn't possibly last. Fox TV, and now ABC, limit the free recent episodes to viewvers who can "verify" their cable service. In both cases, you can only "verify" if you have an account with a tiny list of services that are mostly unknowns. I get these stations through one of the nation's largest cable providers, but it's never in the select list. Torrents, here I come.

      • by alen ( 225700 )

        this is why i can't wait for comcast to buy time warner cable
        comcast is always on the streaming list of providers

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )
        I dunno... seems to be fine for me for every network I watch. I don't have cable and watch all my TV streamed from the networks. The only restriction I'm finding is that I can't watch shows older than a week (I have to enter subscription info for that), so I have to watch them sooner than that. Several of the shows that I watch are on ABC.
    • by almitydave ( 2452422 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @07:51PM (#46403067)

      .... many networks will stream a good portion of the shows that they air, usually only a day or so after initial broadcast... and typically leave them available for about a week. There's commercials, of course, but it's really not that bad a way to watch television. I'm not sure what need Aero was really trying to fill.

      Probably the needs of those for whom those qualifiers are problematic.

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )
        So it's trying to fill the needs of people who have an overinflated sense of entitlement? Okay.... got it.
        • by lgw ( 121541 )

          Other than the commercials, what's overinflated? OTA broadcast should by rights mean "anyone anywhere can now watch this content (unaltered) in any way they choose". Their our airways, after all. The only thing lost if any program broadcast ever anywhere was available for streaming unaltered on the internet (legally) would be the ease of counting the audience size for pricing the commercials.

        • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

          > So it's trying to fill the needs of people who have an overinflated sense of entitlement? Okay.... got it.

          Yes. The "overinflated sense of entitlement" to something that is BROADCAST FOR FREE on the PUBLIC AIRWAVES for EVERYONE.

          Yeah. That's quite a "sense of entitlement": expecting to be able to receive a broadcast of a TV station in their broadcast area.

          What's next? Perhaps they will expect clean air and fresh water.

    • by jonwil ( 467024 )

      But what about all the stuff they dont put on the streaming sites.

      Plenty of sporting events aired on OTA TV but which you cant legally stream over the internet (or cant legally stream live or cant legally stream unless you have a specific ISP or provider).

      Or for that matter try finding a stream of something like the local news and weather forecast from he local network.
      Or even the national news programming (including things like the Today Show on NBC).

      Aereo will (if you are in their service area) give you a

  • Is anyone doing anything about that?


    Didn't think so.

    Look, in First World countries, you get high bandwidth internet that is 10-20 times faster than the US for $20 a month or less and you get fewer commercials and lower cable bills.

    We live in a Second World country.

    • by unitron ( 5733 )

      "Cable companies steal my free TV broadcasts

      Is anyone doing anything about that?"

      Actually, the OTA broadcasts that cable receives and "re-transmits" aren't being stolen because the cable companies have to pay those local broadcasters (which of course really means the cable subscribers do).

      And the viewers via cable are just as much a part of the ratings as the OTA viewers, so ad rates reflect that higher number.

  • Cord cutters might have actually watched their advertisements on occasion. Now... not a chance.

    They just marginalized themselves for nothing.

  • How is this different than leasing a very tiny apartment somewhere?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    must have cleared.

  • I don't understand the business model. Who is suing Aereo and why? I don't see how the TV broadcasting companies would be angry that someone has, for free, extended the range of their signal.

    Here is my understanding of the industry:
    Content providers make content.
    TV broadcasters pay content providers for content.
    TV broadcasters sell ads to companies.
    TV broadcasters distribute content + ads.

    So content providers profit from broadcasters. And broadcasters profit from advertisers. Aereo forwards the TV broad

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