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Aereo Lowers its Antennae while the Courts Decide the Next Steps

Aereo was an alternative to watching live broadcasts on your TV, instead it offered a virtual remote Antennae and DVR service for its subscribers.  For a small fee, subscribers to the Aereo service could watch live television where and when they wanted using mobile apps for Android, iOS and more.

Based in Brooklyn, Aereo houses a large antennae farm stating they have one antennae for each customer,  Which makes each signal they receive a single signal for each subscriber.  This was their attempt to overcome the limitations of hosting a public performance, which requires licensing.

The U.S Supreme Courts disagree with this philosophy and finally issued an injunction against them on Wednesday this week.  This is not the final say in the matter, it’s the U.S. District Court in New York that must issue the preliminary injunction stopping the service.

Aereo decided to preempt the next step and temporarily halt its operations while it works out its next steps.

Chet Kanojia posted the following statement on the Aereo site.

A little over three years ago, our team embarked on a journey to improve the consumer television experience, using technology to create a smart, cloud-based television antenna consumers could use to access live over the air broadcast television.

On Wednesday, June 25, the United States Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision in favor of Aereo, dealing a massive setback to consumers.

As a result of that decision, our case has been returned to the lower Court. We have decided to pause our operations temporarily as we consult with the court and map out our next steps. All of our users will be refunded their last paid month. If you have questions about your account, please email support@aereo.com or tweet us@AereoSupport.

The spectrum that the broadcasters use to transmit over the air programming belongs to the American public and we believe you should have a right to access that live programming whether your antenna sits on the roof of your home, on top of your television or in the cloud.

On behalf of the entire team at Aereo, thank you for the outpouring of support. It has been staggering and we are so grateful for your emails, Tweets and Facebook posts. Keep your voices loud and sign up for updates at ProtectMyAntenna.org — our journey is far from done.

Yours truly,

Chet Kanojia

So now they go back to the lower courts and try to work out a solution or close all together.

I’d never used their service but it sounded like a good idea, and if anyone can pickup the service with an Antennae on their house, why is it such a problem.

After the network broadcasters filed complaint after complaint to the courts, the U.S. Supreme Court have stated that it could be considered a public broadcast and requires licensing.

If you want to read the complete ruling, you can find the PDF on the Supreme Court Website.

Time will tell for the small N.Y based operation.  Lets keep our fingers crossed, but it’s not looking good.

About Simon Walker

I was an IT consultant for 20 years and ran my own web design and development company for an additional 3 years. I have been involved with technology from birth. OK, that maybe an exaggeration, but it sure is a long time. I'm also an avid Home Theater geek and self appointed installer for friends and relatives. My first serious modding of Smart-Phones started with my T-Mobile WING and now Android devices. I'm also a bit of a photographer, although Android has kind of taken over my life and photography has taken a back seat.