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Cord Cutter's Diary

An experiment in living without a cable TV subscription, by @zseward

Posts tagged aereo

Sep 21 '12
3 notes Tags: Aereo
Sep 17 '12
2 notes Tags: aereo
Aug 31 '12

Deciding on my network TV solution

Aereo, the service I use for free network TV over the Web, just sent me an email with good and bad news:

  • "In the next several weeks, we’ll be rolling out support for PC’s."
  • "Remember, your free trial ends in one week."

Aereo has been deliberately vague about the length of my free trial, so the word “remember” is, well, bullshit, but I guess it’s about time that I paid for it. But the company recently changed its pricing structure, so I have a choice.

I was signed up for the $12/month plan but definitely don’t need 40 hours of DVR space. (When I use Aereo, it’s almost always to watch live programming.) And the other options — $8/month or $80/year — are similar in assuming that I use Aereo regularly.

The reality is that I only use it when I really need access to something that’s airing live on network TV like the Olympics or the conventions. When Ann Curry gave her tearful goodbye on Today, it was great to be able to flip on my TV and watch, but I don’t need to watch that show every morning. Which is why I’m choosing Aereo’s most interesting pricing option: pay $1/day only on days when you want to watch. I think that will come to about three or four days a month, but if it’s more frequent, I should consider the other plans.

So after a long trial period and considering some other options, that’s how I’m solving my need for network TV. Not bad.

On another note, Aereo could really use some help in the marketing department. All of their communication, from customer emails to tweets, is so restrained and devoid of personality. For instance, here’s a very typical tweet they sent after the Olympics ended:

Aug 2 '12
Peter Kafka reports that Aereo, the service I use for network TV over the internet, has changed its pricing structure. Huh!
I signed up for Aereo in May but have yet to be charged for it. Still, the company has always maintained that, when they did get around to ending my free trial, Aereo would cost $12 a month, which has seemed steep to me. Now, I have a few more options.
I can still pay $12 a month for unlimited use and 40 hours of DVR space, but I could also pay just $8 a month, if I thought I only needed 20 hours of storage. From experience, that is more than enough; in fact, I’ve barely used the recording function on Aereo at all. Or if I were willing to pay $80 upfront for a year of service, I could reduce my equivalent monthly bill to $6.66 (and keep the larger DVR option). Not bad.
But the really interesting new options are the day passes and free trials. I can watch an hour of live network TV per day without paying a dime and/or pay $1 every time I want 24 hours of continuous access (plus a modicum of DVR storage). That last option, the day pass, sounds ideal to me, based on how I’ve been using Aereo so far. When I want to watch a baseball playoff game on Fox or the Oscars on ABC, I pay $1. And on most days, when I don’t have a need for network TV, I pay nothing.

Peter Kafka reports that Aereo, the service I use for network TV over the internet, has changed its pricing structure. Huh!

I signed up for Aereo in May but have yet to be charged for it. Still, the company has always maintained that, when they did get around to ending my free trial, Aereo would cost $12 a month, which has seemed steep to me. Now, I have a few more options.

I can still pay $12 a month for unlimited use and 40 hours of DVR space, but I could also pay just $8 a month, if I thought I only needed 20 hours of storage. From experience, that is more than enough; in fact, I’ve barely used the recording function on Aereo at all. Or if I were willing to pay $80 upfront for a year of service, I could reduce my equivalent monthly bill to $6.66 (and keep the larger DVR option). Not bad.

But the really interesting new options are the day passes and free trials. I can watch an hour of live network TV per day without paying a dime and/or pay $1 every time I want 24 hours of continuous access (plus a modicum of DVR storage). That last option, the day pass, sounds ideal to me, based on how I’ve been using Aereo so far. When I want to watch a baseball playoff game on Fox or the Oscars on ABC, I pay $1. And on most days, when I don’t have a need for network TV, I pay nothing.

Jul 30 '12

Monday night

I caught up on the new episode of Breaking Bad by purchasing it for $2.99 from Amazon and watching it on my television through my Roku box. On my iPad, I kept an eye on the Olympics by streaming NBC live with Aereo, which is still in a free trial but will eventually cost $12 a month. When the swimming was on, I switched it over to my big screen. I followed Twitter on my iPhone, and when someone mentioned that the Yankee game was close in the bottom of the ninth, I flipped on the local radio broadcast on MLB.tv, which cost me $14.99 for the season. The Yankees lost, but it was good night — better than usual, I’ll admit — for getting by without cable.

Jul 25 '12

The Olympics for cord cutters

I’ve already written about this, so just a quick review and update…

NBC Universal owns the rights to broadcast the Olympics in the U.S. Most of the good stuff will air on NBC, which you can access for free with a simple antenna. (I use Aereo for this.) Hooray!

The bad news is that lesser Olympic fare will be on NBCU’s cable channels like MSNBC and Bravo, which are out of my reach. And pretty much everything will be live streamed, but that also requires a cable subscription. (It looks like you can get an hour of viewing on the mobile and tablets apps before proving you’re a subscriber.)

As predicted, NBC no longer describes the process of authenticating your cable subscription as “painful.” That moment of candor has been replaced by cheerier instructions. But here are the old ones:

Jul 18 '12
Tags: aereo
Jul 14 '12
Jul 13 '12

Time Warner Cable sent me a customer survey today, and, of course, I chose to participate. The questions concerned internet, cable TV, and cellular services and my loyalty to current and former providers. Nothing in the survey was terribly surprising, but I figured I should share my answers to the above questions. I would have checked off “over the air TV programming through an antenna that you installed,” but that’s not technically correct. Time Warner’s customer surveys need to adapt to the age of Aereo!

Jul 12 '12

Here’s the ruling yesterday by U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan denying the request by broadcast networks to grant a preliminary injunction against Aereo and temporarily shut down the service.

Tags: aereo