Why you should try Aereo right now
The days of subscribing to cable TV (as we know it) may be
coming to an end. And good riddance, if you ask me. I'm tired of
paying $60 per month just for local stations and the smattering of
cable channels I watch.
Indeed, there's a growing movement of "cord cutters" who would
like nothing better than to ditch their monthly TV bill and rely
solely on Internet-powered viewing options.
Just one wrinkle: to watch local channels, you need an antenna.
Even then you're not guaranteed a perfect picture. And if you want
to record shows to watch later? There's no easy way.
new service that's available now in about nine major cities and
coming soon to over a dozen more. I've been test-driving it for
about a month, and although I was skeptical at first, I must admit
I'm a convert.
Aereo is the missing link for cord cutters, a way to not only
watch local TV, but also record it. Using your Internet connection,
the service streams your city's stations live, meaning you can
check out local news, sporting events, daytime shows, and, of
course, all the major networks.
What's more, Aereo gives you a "cloud DVR" for recording up to
20 hours' worth of shows. I've used that for everything from a
saving college football game to stockpiling reruns of "Modern
Perhaps best of all, you're not limited to watching Aereo on a
PC--though that's certainly an option. You can also view your live
and recorded shows using an Android or iOS mobile device, with
Kindle Fire support coming soon. And if you own an Apple TV or Roku
box, now you've got a remote-controlled option for viewing on your
Aereo costs $8 monthly, same as Netflix. The latter definitely
gives you more bang for the buck, but Aereo offers a different kind
of value--and I think that's a very reasonable rate. And if you
want more space for recorded shows, there's a $12/month plan that
bumps you to 60 hours.
There's just one thing that bugs me about Aereo: to watch TV,
you must be within your "home area." That football game I mentioned
before? I was hoping to stream it live to my iPhone, but at the
time I was about 60 miles away from home, and it didn't work. Aereo
is, sadly, no substitute for a Slingbox
However, it's definitely a good alternative to your pricey cable
or satellite TV bill, especially if you're clinging to one of those
services just so you can watch local channels. If Aereo is
available in your city, I highly recommend giving it a try, which
you can do free for one month. If not, well, hopefully you won't
have to wait for long.Veteran technology writer Rick Broida
is the author of numerous books, blogs, and features. He lends his
money-saving expertise to CNET and Savings.com, and also writes for PC
World and Wired.