After a grand-slam demonstration at the May 2012 edition of the NY Tech Meetup, an amazing startup named Aereo (http://aereo.com) has begun what might be considered a takeover bid for the single largest advertising space in the world: the television.
Using an incredibly small antenna as a remote source (these tiny marvels are physically located in Brooklyn), every Aereo member can watch live, HD-quality television in their browser on computers, tablets and smartphones. Since Aereo is browser-based, there is no download and no set-up; since it is entirely remote, there are no wires, no boxes and no clutter. Integral to the experience is a straightforward program guide and search tool, making your particular programs easier to find.
More than re-broadcast (like Hulu) or virtual rental (like Netflix), Aereo provides real, live broadcast television… all the major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, FOX, CW) and more than twenty other local channels. And unlike the mobile applications from cable and satellite providers, Aereo is completely mobile and free of the restriction to your own home network.
Through real-time Facebook and Twitter integration, Aereo brings a feeling of communal involvement to an inherently isolating experience. Just as tantalizing is the virtual DVR with 40 hours of cloud-based storage that comes with membership; enabling a user to record individual shows or set season recordings with the simple touch of a button from any device.
There are still a few caveats: the service is limited to residents of New York City (all five boroughs) with compatible iOS devices. But even with that substantial hurdle, the fully functioning service proves that television via mobile device is not only possible, but available now… if the broadcasters/networks/providers are willing.
I signed up immediately after the NY Tech Meetup and have been using it extensively since, both over 3G and WiFi, with near perfect success. Suddenly, my family has a TV in every room and (more importantly) I get to watch what I want, even if Spyro and his Skylanders have taken over the living room.