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.
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