Android users, how would you like 30 live TV channels to be available on your phone or tablet at any given time or place? If that sounds like you, then happy Thursday.
Aereo, the company that streams live television and DVR service to iPhone, iPad and desktop users across the country, is today announcing that Android users will be able to join in on the fun starting on October 22.
Android users who are running Android 4.2 or higher on their phone, tablets, or “phablets” will soon be able to join the public beta, allowing them to surf between 30 channels and record the shows of their choosing from anywhere. And if that weren’t enough, Android users have the option to access Aereo through their Roku boxes to get a real life TV experience for a fraction of the cost of a cable bill.
See, Aereo works by streaming live OTA signals to your connected devices over the internet, using tiny antennas that function in the same manner as rabbit ears on a TV set. Since those signals are free (with a couple partnership exceptions), Aereo can charge a low rate of $8/month for 20 hours of DVR or $12/month for 60 hours of DVR storage to the end user.
Obviously, this displeases many broadcast networks, who are arguing that Aereo is illegally reproducing their content. However, Aereo argues that it’s using the same fundamental process of rabbit ears on a television, except users are individually renting them out from a remote location.
The legal battle has continued across the country, beginning in New York and most recently migrating to Utah. In each case, however, Aereo has been deemed legal and allowed to continue operating. So breathe easy, future Android Aereo users, your time will soon come.
Here’s what founder Chet Kanojia had to say in a prepared statement:
We know consumers have been waiting a long time for an Aereo Android app and today, we’re happy to announce its release later this month. At Aereo, we believe consumers should have more choice and control over how they watch television and a big part of that is expanding the universe of devices that they can use to access Aereo’s technology. This year, our focus has been on growing our footprint across the country. It’s been an exciting year for the Aereo team as we’ve expanded beyond the east coast and into the south and west. Our future is bright and we remain as committed and passionate as ever to creating innovative and simple to use technology for our consumers to access live TV online.
Aereo service is currently available in New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Miami, Houston and Dallas, with expansion continuing on throughout the year.