Aereo Is Amazing, But I'm Not Ready to Cut the Cable Cord.

Each passing day brings me closer to cutting the cord with Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA  ) . The latest straw? Aereo, the upstart live TV streaming service that just arrived in Denver. I've already used it to successfully record the latest episode of Once Upon a Time.

That's the good news. The bad? Aereo is far from complete. Here in Denver, we get the major networks, as well as the CW, Fox, PBS, and an assortment of smaller channels. Want The Walking Dead? You'll either need to buy episodes from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) or Amazon.com, or stick with a cable provider.

Chances are it'll be this way for a while. Aereo has spent much of its life battling lawsuits filed by the major broadcasters which insist the company is stealing their content. Recently, Disney, CBS, Comcast, and 21st Century Fox asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene on their behalf.

Will their plea work? I'm not a lawyer so I can't be sure, but I imagine Barry Diller, whose IAC/InterActiveCorp backs Aereo, smiling at the text of the filing. At one point, the broadcasters say Aereo's continued presence is "transforming the industry and threatening the very fundamentals of broadcast television."

My reaction: good. I love what Aereo represents as much as I love what Netflix represents. I'm also impressed with the product. Once Upon a Time streamed from my iPad Mini to our Apple TV and connected big screen as if it were broadcast live. Apple's remote also worked for controlling the replay as Aereo remained delightfully invisible.

Which, of course, begs the question of whether it's time to unplug.

I'm not ready for that. Why? First, because I'm not sure there's enough savings to be had. Buying five to 10 season passes for our favorite shows would add up quickly. And while HBO is testing a (mostly) stand-alone package offered via Comcast, most of the world still has to pay up for cable or satellite in order to get current seasons of Emmy contenders Game of Thrones and Homeland, among others.

A la carte offerings are also messy. Navigating from Netflix to YouTube on Apple TV isn't any easier than navigating between the DVR and live TV via most 1970s-era cable interfaces. Aereo, for its part, needs the added help of an external device such as an iPad.

So, while I love where Aereo, Netflix, YouTube, and the rest are taking us, I know it's going to be a while before content creators offer me what I want, when I want it, on my terms, and in a streamlined fashion. I'll suffer with cable till that day arrives.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you use Aereo? Have you cut the cord from your cable provider? Get more details on Aereo in the following video and then please leave a comment to let us know where you stand.

Aereo describing its disruptive Internet TV service. Sources: Aereo, YouTube.

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 05, 2013, at 11:08 PM, mitch079 wrote:

    I use Aereo along with Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video through Prime. They complement each other at the fraction of the cost of cable.

  • Report this Comment On November 06, 2013, at 2:58 PM, ahatfl wrote:

    Cutting the cord is easy. First get a good antenna. Mohu Leaf is the best. Second get a Roku 3. Add Playon and Plex to your plugins. Done deal and money saved. This article lacks depth and true earnest research.

  • Report this Comment On November 06, 2013, at 5:47 PM, doreenwings wrote:

    I have Time Warner Cable and would love to cut the cord but don't know how. Like you said, it's pretty complicated. I did use Aereo during the time Time Warner and CBS were feuding. It worked like a charm. I set it up on my iPad and was able to watch it on my TV through my Apple TV box. Very simple. And I didn't miss the shows I wanted to watch while these two bullies fought it out.

  • Report this Comment On November 10, 2013, at 12:52 AM, Gridlocked wrote:

    It's only a matter of time before there is an a la carte offering from someone like Aereo or Apple or Google or Verizon.

    Verizon seems closest to this though Cox may surprise when it rolls out Flare again.

    The biggest obstacle is not the content provider because why would they care where they get their money from? The end user would probably pay some small premium though not too much because it all has to add up. The biggest obstacle is data caps. 300GB isn't going to cut it. I happen to have a provider with no caps - 60mb speeds for $60/month.

    However a build over company would see the most restricted cap areas as an opportunity to dethrone the legacy cable provider.

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