Supreme court to decide if company can stream OTA tv over the internet

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Nope. I am reporting the experience of living on a hillside in a pretty densely packed urban area. I use the antennas that stick to the windows on my TV's throughout the house. On the north side I can get *some* Baltimore stations, but none on the south side. On the south side I can get many Virginia stations I can't get on the north side. IOW, each TV's channel list is substantially different depending on which side of the house the aerial for that TV is located. Now, with all the Mediasonic boxes I just bought, I will be able to run that same test with identical tuners that have signal level meters built-in to eliminate any possible tuner sensitivity differences.
This is in a fairly residential area with out many tall buildings. The situation gets far worse if you're in a tall condo along Mass. Ave in DC where my friend lives. A trip to any of the TV newsgroups or forums will reveal just how many people are in the same boat with "rabbit ears" in urban areas. Aereo specifically targeted cities with known reception issues. Perhaps Aereo has done surveys to determine why people sign up - I haven't found any so far - but I steadfastly believe that many do sign up because their rabbit ears suck and they don't have access to a rooftop or community antenna.
I've seen enough pixelated displays to know that digital TV is in some ways worse than analog. An analog picture degrades in ways that are still viewable in many cases. You just have to put up with ghosts or snow. DTV? Pixelation is the step before dropouts. I live near an airport. I can track planes by the way DTV signal on channel 20 breaks up. With analog, a jet overhead would cause ghosting but the audio remained clear. Now the picture pixelates and then disappears entirely when the plane passes overhead. And the audio goes with it. Aereo would prevent that sort of stuff from happening for me and a lot of other users with set-top aerials.
FWIW, I'll bet that Aereo knows what devices it's streaming to - whether mobile or home.
--
Bobby G.



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On Sunday, April 27, 2014 6:18:59 PM UTC-4, Robert Green wrote:

I agree with you that ATSC isn't perfect. There are definitely people out there who for one reason or another, can't pick up OTA stations that they want to watch with a simple antenna. There was a lot of discussion about that, a lot of pissed off people when the transition to ATSC was made. I'm not saying that ATSC is inferior, just that with some transmitters located in different areas from the old transmitters, whatever, there were people who could not receive it. I'm not sure what part of Aero's market that is, but it's real. I'd also really wonder how well a cell phone with an ATSC tuner would work when you're moving around. One reason there may be no rush to offer the product is that the cell phone companies, carriers, etc don't want a bunch of pissed off customers. You're having problems receiving OTA in your house with a real antenna. Imagine what would happen with a tiny antenna built into a cell phone. I could see it working in one room, near a window, but not in another room. Or the signal coming and going as you walk around. If you have a happy customer base and folks aren't clammering for TV on their cell, if I were the cell phone companies, I'd insist that it be a really robust product. Why put something in a phone unless it really works well? Who needs tarnished reputations and bitching customers? In other words, I'd do a lot of testing to make sure it really works well. I wouldn't be surprised that the answer to that testing is one reason they might not be eager to roll it out.
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Robert Green wrote:

Don't you think Aereo needs more than just an individual antenna for each customer?
Wouldn't then need a dedicated tuner, video decoder, and a server that can "narrow-cast" (not multi-cast) a data stream to each customer?
In fact, there's no reason why Aereo would need an individual antenna for each customer.
What they would need is a single antenna feeding individual tuners/decoders/servers.
After all, usually, any given household has just a single antenna that connects to all the TV's in the house. That obviously is the model for legal consumer TV reception and viewing.
How Aereo goes about proving that has a dedicated tuner/decoder/server for each customer is the problem here.
They could simply have one tuner per channel, such that they decode a single feed for each available TV channel in a given locale and multi-cast that feed to everyone that has chosen to watch each channel at any given time.

That's too much of a reach.
The radio spectrum has been deemed a natural public resource, and a regulatory system has been established to control who can use that resource. You can't heap on top of that some notion that citizens have any particular right to receive licensed broadcasts such that the broadcaster must take special measures to insure reception.

Geographic IP location is tricky, and even moreso when you try to limit someone in Cleveland from being able to watch a TV channel being received in Cincinnatti.
Did the Supreme court ask, or hear arguments as to why the TV stations themselves don't offer a "watch live now" button on their website, thereby allowing anyone to watch their live broadcast over the internet - at any time of the day, any day of the week, regardless what TV show is airing?
How can the broadcasters or TV stations claim any sort of harm or interference by Aereo if they themselves don't even offer direct web-viewing of their live broadcasts?
Are ALL TV broadcasters of the same mind when it comes to Aereo? Or do some independants or small networks (ION, various Christian TV stations) welcome Aereo and actually desire to have someone like Aereo take on the infrastructure and bandwidth costs to distribute their OTA broadcasts over the internet?

What if I install residential TV antennas for a living, but instead of selling you the antenna and charging for installation, I install the antenna and charge you $10 a month for you to be able to watch OTA to the extent that your location allows for it. I even throw in a digital PVR for you to use. Should I be paying some sort of cut to the TV stations that my customers are watching?

That's a straw argument. Aereo is clearly not taking measures to ONLY serve people that they know live in a pocket that can't receive (some/many/most) OTA signals.

And the TV stations themselves could offer a direct "watch live" feature on their website (we know that all TV stations have a web-presence of one sort or another). Why isin't anyone asking why they don't do that? That would kill Aereo's reason for existance immediately.

I'm in Canada (Ontario) so our OTA landscape is somewhat different.
I can tell you that, for some reason, cities of 400k+ people in Canada is lucky to have their own local, independant TV station, let alone a station (not a re-transmitter) for each major network (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, WB, etc).
In the US you can have cities half that size that have a station for each network, one or two independents, with each of them broadcasting their own version of a morning show and 6 pm and 11 pm news. And you will probably have at least 1 station with it's own news helecopter. Outside of Toronto there probably isin't any Canadian TV station with a helicopter. I don't know what it is about the economics of network TV and local TV stations that leads to this disparity.
When it comes to reception of OTA in Canada, the main goal is to be able to receive US TV stations. In a city like Windsor (Ontario) that is extremely easy (I don't live in Windsor, but it was my home town until I went to university).

That is a logical argument, but it doesn't explain why TV stations don't allow people to "watch live" on their website.

Ok - If I put up an antenna, what addition features does the antenna give me beyond the local programming?

Ok, hold it right there.
Blame the consumer electronics industry in the US for not offering the equivalent of a digital (ATSC) vcr, because that's what people used (NTSC VCR) to use for time-shifting when they were served by OTA.
It's not the responsibility of the broadcaster to offer time-shifting - it's up to the consumer to obtain their own time-shifting hardware.

Placeshifting?
As in - I'm in New York, and I want to watch Los Angeles KCAL (CBS Channel 9) right now?
I thought that Aereo's model (as we understood it) did not allow for that.

The 800 lb gorilla in the room is asking:
- why don't consumers have the choice of a cell phone with ATSC tuner? - why don't consumers have the choice of a digital VCR with ATSC tuner? - why don't TV stations allow internet viewers to "watch live" ?
Did the supreme court ask any of those questions?
Aereo is a rube-goldberg way to address the STRATEGIC shortcoming of the consumer electronics market and the fact that tv stations themselves, for some reason, do not allow viewability of their live broadcast stream over the internet.
I think that the supreme court should side with Aereo, because clearly there is anti-competitive collusion going on in this marketplace and Aereo is one way to fight it.
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trader_4 wrote:

I thought that someone on Aereo's side (maybe Aereo itself) was arguing for both time-shifting AND place-shifting as something they allow that OTA consumers no longer have the ability to do.
Place-shifting to me means being able to watch distant OTA channels that I wouldn't normally be able to receive with an antenna.
I'm sure many people on vacation or while travelling would love to watch their local TV news from back home. And Aereo allows it to be PVR'd so they can watch it at their conveinence.
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On Tuesday, April 29, 2014 10:45:55 AM UTC-4, Home Guy wrote:

I believe that is correct, because that is what Aero is doing, so they better be arguing for it.

I'm pretty sure to Aero it means that you can place-shift only what you could receive OTA at your your traditional viewing location. If you live in the NYC area, you can watch that anywhere. But you can't watch LA. How they then handle people who have multiple homes, or say a business presence in another city, IDK. For example, if you live in NYC but are regularly in business in LA and your company has an office there, then what? That's why I was saying IDK how they can really control that.

If that kind of thing was available for free, I'd probably use it while on vacation once in awhile. But I wouldn't pay $8 a month to be able to do it the few times that I actually would. Actually, while on vacation, two things happen. One, I'm less interested in TV because there is a lot more to do. Second, if I'm in Europe, it's interesting to see the news that's there and available on the hotel TV for free to get a different perspective. And I have a Tivo, so any series I'm following is there when I get back.
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trader_4 wrote:

Place shifting apparently doesn't mean what we think.
Or, Aereo doesn't really claim anything other than prohibition of viewing when it comes to knowning where you are:
-------------- http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/05/21/aereo/
It works eerily well, though at the moment it's only up and running in the New York City DMA, or "designated market area." That's a funny story, too. Basically, Aereo uses FCC maps to determine the maximum perimeter around the New York City metropolitan area from which someone with a typical residential TV antenna on her roof would be able to pick up over-the-air signals from New York City.
If the customer ventures outside that range, her phone's GPS or wi-fi systems will eventually detect that fact, and Aereo will dutifully cut off reception. (So, for instance, some parts of the Hamptons get reception, some don't.) Since it's ordinarily not possible to receive New York's over-the-air signals with an antenna beyond a certain distance, Aereo imposes analogous, if artificial, limitations on its users. ----------------
Perhaps if you have an Aereo account, and if you are located in (or visit, travel to) ANY area (designated market area) that Aereo serves, you can watch the TV channels in that area, regardless the physical home address that Aereo has on file for you.
The dependency on GPS is interesting - and telling. It says that Aereo is targeting the cell phone as their primary display device - and they think it's a growth opportunity.

Well we now know that if you're paying Aereo $14 a month, you can't use it when you travel or visit most of planet earth outside of some very small geographical areas.
Apparently the Slingbox models currently being sold (350/500) DO NOT have antenna/cable inputs (ie - no tuner of any sort) but an older model (Slingbox HD) did.
And since we're talking about "placeshifting" ...
http://placeshiftingenthusiasts.com/
----------- ...Frustratingly, the rest of the world seems to have a lot more OTA DVR options than the US.
1/13/2011
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1305284/how-feasible-is-a-slingbox-hd-for-an-atsc-dvr -------------
http://slickdeals.net/f/6008474-sling-media-slingbox-pro-hd-1080i-atsc-tuner-on-screen-remote-control-refurb-120-shipped
Sling Media Slingbox PRO-HD, 1080i, ATSC Tuner, On-Screen Remote Control (Refurb.) $120 Shipped
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On Tuesday, April 29, 2014 9:10:45 PM UTC-4, Home Guy wrote:

How about if it's a PC with no GPS? Can they always tell where you are anyway? I would think there are services that you can pass through to make it look like your internet presence is somewhere other than where you are physically located.
(So, for instance, some parts of the Hamptons get

I don't see them saying they are dependent on GPS. They clearly say you can watch Aero on your PC.

Yes, I was wrong on that point. That would seem to greatly diminish it's usefullness. I'd be a lot more likely to use an Aero like service to watch home channels when out of the area. Even then, it wouldn't be something I'd pay for.

So then it sounds like Slingbox came to the same odd conclusion. Which doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. You can hook up a slingbox without a tuner at your home, use an external ATSC tuner, and watch that OTA from anywhere and it's OK. But if they put the tuner inside, then it's violating some law?
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So this is what I and Oren don't get.
The company (Aereo - aereo.com) dedicates a small antenna (and, I guess, tuner) to you that you can access over the internet for a small monthly charge. This lets you watch what-ever TV channel the antenna can pick up.
Now what I don't know is:
- is there really a market for watching TV on a cell phone or tablet?
- are you matched (geographically) to an antenna in your locale, so that you are only allowed to stream a TV transmission that would be equivalent to what you could receive OTA where you physically are at that moment?
But my biggest question is:
If people really do want to watch TV on their mobile devices, then why on earth hasn't the makers of these devices (phones, tablets) responded years ago by putting ATSC tuners in them SO YOU CAN WATCH LOCAL TV DIRECTLY OTA WITHOUT USING ANY INTERNET / DATA BANDWITDH ?
Does anyone have an explanation as to why the cell phone and tablet market isin't sufficiently competitive such that some maker would have raised the bar by including an ATSC tuner in at least some versions of their products?
How on earth can it make sense to stream live OTA tv to a portable device when the device could have it's own friggen TV tuner built in?
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On Wednesday, April 23, 2014 7:29:12 PM UTC-4, Home Guy wrote:

It's not just a cell phone or tablet. You can stream it to any PC and also to devices that are connected directly to your TV. I guess the question is how much and when the typical person would watch it. If people are traveling, they might want to watch the local news. Or if some big story breaks, I can see watching on a phone or tablet. But it wouldn't be my main way of viewing, that's for sure. You'd also have to be on wifi, or you'd run up mins real fast on the cell network.

AFAIK, you can only watch stations in your local, home area, but you can watch them from anywhere.

Seems like it would be a good idea.... for consumers. But for the cell phone carriers, not so much. Instead of paying for data service minutes to watch TV, you'd be watching it for free. That's probably why you don't see it.

See the above.

See the above.
Now let's get to what I don't understand. The networks have their shorts in a knot and brought this suit against Aero. What I don't get is what's the big threat? The networks are putting this out over the air for free and all you need is an antenna to receive it. They get paid for advertising based on the number of viewers. The more viewers, the more $$$. I guess what's threatened is that they are getting paid by cable companies who carry their broadcasts. Which seems kind of funny too, no? With an antenna you can get it for free, but to watch it on cable, you're paying the fees that the network collects from the cable companies.
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On 4/23/14 8:01 PM, trader_4 wrote:

Would it have anything to do with lack of Nielsen ratings over the web? Or is there some way to measure viewers?
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On Wednesday, April 23, 2014 10:14:36 PM UTC-4, Dean Hoffman wrote:

I don't see why they can't measure ratings for any media. Nilesen picks out names just like would be done for any survey. They send you a survey that asks you to keep track of what you watch for a week. No reason that couldn't include what you watch via streaming. If it's done for TV, cable, radio, etc, there isn't any reason they can't figure it out for streaming video.
But you already have two ways of distribution being treated totally different. If you receive via an antenna, it's free. If you receive via cable, the cable company is paying a huge amount to the broadcaster for the right to distribute what otherwise would be free and you in turn are paying for it in your cable bill. I think that revenue stream is what the broadcasters are trying to protect.
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Home Guy:
Samsung and Nokia are simply responding to market demand. You can buy video cards for desktop computers that include TV tuners so that you can watch TV on your computer monitor, but those video cards don't sell well. For some reason, the 16 to 24 age group would much prefer to play video games and tweet on their desktop computers than watch TV.
The answer really lies in the fact that people are social animals. We prefer to be with other people given the option, whether it be to work or to play, we prefer the social interaction of "company". And, a computer that allows you to tweet with others and respond to tweets or to friend other people on facebook and respond to their facebook page is infinately more to our liking than the non-participatory one way conversation that happens on TV. There simply isn't a demand for TV on our computers because we're not as drawn to TV as we are to venues that allow social interaction like Twitter and Facebook.
PS: This is definitely OT, but much of the reason why apes, dolphins and people have disproportionately larger brains than other members of the animal kingdom is that apes, dolphins and people have a social interaction with others of our own species. If you're an alligator lying in wait at a watering hole for a gazelle to come within striking range, you don't need a big brain. If that gazelle comes close enough for you to get your jaws around it, that's your meal and the thought of sharing it with other aligators doesn't even cross your mind. But, if you're not a big strong alligator, you may have to rely on the help of others to hunt down that gazelle. Some of you might chase the gazelle toward a narrow passage way where others of you may be lying in wait with a net or spears. In that case, the gazelle doesn't just go to the hunter that killed it, but to all who participated in capturing and killing it. And, it's that much more sophisticated social interaction associated with working together to hunt prey, and then sharing the fruits of the hunt with all of the other hunters that's required apes, dolphins and humans to develop a larger brain. So, social interaction is hard wired into our brains, and the one way conversation that TV can provide simply doesn't interest us as much as two or multiple way conversations with other people.
--
nestork


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On Wednesday, April 23, 2014 11:31:04 PM UTC-4, nestork wrote:

Maybe I missed something here, but what are Samsung and Nokia doing to respond to market demand? If anything, they aren't responding, because HG has a valid point, they could put an ATSC tuner into a smartphone so that you could watch broadcast TV directly.
You can buy

Which has nothing to do with the issue at hand.
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wrote:

This may be the big one. I have a friend who worked on getting Miami Vice ready for hime. Since this was a form of distribution not in the original agreements, they had a whole bunch of problems getting the rights for the songs used in the background. Because of all sorts of convoluted publishing agreements, it took them something like 3 years just to get the clearance for the rock music in the sound track.
--
"Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive,
but what they conceal is vital."
  Click to see the full signature.
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

A highpoint of the TV series 'Tour of Duty' was the soundtrack, starting with 'Paint it Black' over the opening credits. I didn't even put it on my queue when I realized the DVD release had all the original music replaced with elevator music. One of the extra material tracks on one DVD said it was cheaper to record original compositions in the style of the era the movie is set in than trying to secure rights.
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On 4/23/2014 6:29 PM, Home Guy wrote:

There apparently is, because this company has sold out all of its available antennas in some markets. The only time I'd be interested would be when I'm sitting in the basement with the power out during a storm, and I wanted to keep abreast of the tv broadcast weather reporting.

It's more than the tuner. You also need a decent antenna - and you're not going to be able to fit one inside a mobile device.
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On Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:53:37 AM UTC-4, Moe DeLoughan wrote:

Good point, perhaps you've hit on the reason. The Aero TV company uses a postage stamp size antenna, but presumably they are locating their facilities very close to the Xmitter.
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Really OTA is obsolete, its used by about 8% of the population many of which have cable or sat. at the time of digital conversion OTA should of been killed.
TV bandwidth is more useful for cell phones
Cable and sat would be happy to pick up more subscribers, at say 10 bucks a pop for lifeline service.
Ending OTA would save a lot of electricity...
tv stations could resell their bandwidth for cell.
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bob haller wrote: "Really OTA is obsolete, its used by about 8% of the population many of which have cable or sat. at the time of digital conversion OTA should of been killed.
TV bandwidth is more useful for cell phones
Cable and sat would be happy to pick up more subscribers, at say 10 bucks a pop for lifeline service.
Ending OTA would save a lot of electricity...
tv stations could resell their bandwidth for cell. "
Question: Do you work for Aereo?
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On Sunday, April 27, 2014 8:54:23 AM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

no just interested in the industry. I repair machines for a living
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