Today Aereo, the live TV streaming/DVR service that brings content directly to any of your devices, at any time, has today announced its plans to launch service in Utah on August 19. Shortly after, the company has plans to launch service in Chicago on September 13.
Back in January, Aereo raised a $38 million Series B round and announced plans to expand beyond NYC into 22 new cities. So far, the company has successfully invaded Atlanta and Boston, and is moving westward with haste.
Here’s official word from CEO and founder Chet Kanojia from the release:
We’re excited to be launching our technology in Utah, or what is fast becoming known as the Silicon Slopes. Utahns are connected, tech-savvy and interested in innovations that can add value to their lives. When it comes to how you watch television, Aereo’s technology will bring more choice and flexibility to Utahns across the state, whether you live in Salt Lake City, St. George or Ogden. We believe consumers want and deserve a better television experience and our work is focused on delivering the best customer experience with the highest quality technology.
Utahns who pre-register for Aereo will receive priority access to the service starting August 19.
For those of you who don’t know how Aereo works, here’s a quick recap:
Aereo has built a special technology that shrinks down a TV antenna to the size of your fingertip. Because of this, Aereo can “rent out” antennas to users which they can use remotely to access live TV from 30 major broadcast channels. Users can also record shows and watch them later, on any device.
Obviously, this is not so pleasing to many of the major broadcast networks, as Aereo pays no fees whatsoever to these companies. After all, it’s the same process as buying a set of rabbit ears and hooking them up to your TV. The OTA signals are free, the hardware isn’t. So Aereo has provided the hardware, albeit remotely.
That said, Aereo is in a tussle with a handful of broadcast networks, including Fox, ABC, and NBC, who are looking to have the service banned in New York. But fortunately for Aereo, the court seems to be ruling in favor of the startup, based on a Cablevision precedent set a few years ago.
But that likely won’t stop the networks from attempting to battle the startup in other jurisdictions, like Boston.
Only time will tell if Aereo can stave off the attacks and continue to grow, though these rapid expansions point toward a worry-free startup with the world at its feet.