(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Karl Bode


Filed Under:
internet video, over the top, tv

Companies:
aereo, tivo



TiVo Plans To Bring Aereo Back From The Dead

from the corpse-reanimation-never-works-well dept

Back in March, TiVo purchased Aereo's trademarks and customer rosters for around $1 million at auction, after Aereo's disruption efforts and clever legal arguments imploded spectacularly last November. Details are incredibly vague, but TiVo appears interested in resurrecting the Aereo service in some capacity, offering an improved -- and legal -- version of the controversial internet video service. Early details are spectacularly vague, but TiVo appears interested in marketing something to cable partners that will help them target cord cutters:
"It’s one helluva cheap way for cable operators to have an OTA/OTT device that says, ‘Satellite cord-cutter, I have a broadband package for you with a video component,'" (TiVo CEO Tom) Rogers said. "I think it allows them [the cable operator] to own the low-end and win over satellite subscribers."
The problem is that many cable operators don't want to make any truly disruptive over-the-top plays, since any value-oriented, disruptive internet video offering is going to cannibalize existing pay TV subscribers. That's why the cable and broadcast industry's Hulu has remained a dull, glorified ad for traditional cable TV. There has been some traction made on this front (Cablevision offering free antennas with broadband, for example), but by and large, cable execs remain terrified of upsetting the Apple cart. Rogers admits there's still a question as to how to make cable partnerships work:
"TiVo reasons that OTA, combined with broadband-fueled over-the-top services, presents an opportunity to help its cable partners target a small but growing number of cord cutters who are seeking less-expensive video and TV alternatives but who are also willing to create their own bundles. "The question is, how do you do that?” Tom Rogers, TiVo’s CEO and president, said during an interview last week at the INTX show in Chicago. “To us, the answer is pretty clear — it’s kind of the Aereo model, done legally and better."
The problem is, by the time TiVo's internet video offering arrives, it will be joining a crowded market saturated with services from the likes of Verizon, Dish (Sling TV), Sony and Apple. It's unclear how TiVo intends to truly differentiate itself from the pack, and the TiVo and Aereo brand may not be enough. Aereo's draw predominantly was its low $8 a month price tag, which was made possible because the company wasn't paying retransmission fees. Aereo's entire technical model of leasing customers micro-antennas and cloud DVR space was based on its legal efforts to tap dance around having to pay such fees. A legal version of Aereo couldn't offer the kind of disruption Aereo was capable of, because the courts have declared Aereo's particular brand of innovation to be illegal.

In other words, TiVo's version of Aereo will belatedly join a crowded field of over-the-top services, and while the brand name will provide some traction, the end product is likely to only share a passing resemblance to the Aereo people knew.

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  • icon
    Charles (profile), 18 May 2015 @ 9:16pm

    Aereo Bankruptcy Resolution

    This is a copy of a letter I received because I am a former Aereo customer:

    Hello:
    As a former Aereo customer we wanted to give you some great news. You can once again receive the broadcast networks with DVR service. You've experienced via Aereo firsthand the power and potential of over-the-air(OTA) television with digital recording capability -- without having to be a cable or satellite subscriber. Well, that experience is back in an even better way with an unprecedented offer on the TiVo Roamio™ OTA for just $49.99 and $14.99/mo. with a free TiVo® Stream1.

    Because of the Supreme Court's Aereo ruling last year, OTA television won't be able to be delivered in the exact way Aereo had pioneered. However, TiVo Inc. recently purchased a number of the Aereo assets because we share Aereo's disruptive spirit and are committed to viewers who want to save money, still get a great DVR service, and do so without having to pay a cable or satellite bill.

    Introducing TiVo Roamio OTA, a slick, intuitive device that combines the only well reviewed way to receive and record OTA signals while integrating the best streaming services like Netflix, HuluPlus and Amazon Prime2. This is a major improvement over the Aereo service which did not integrate the over the air and streaming service viewing experiences. This approach gives you an ability to easily find and watch your favorite shows no matter where they may be. For instance, with TiVo's industry leading OnePass, search for your favorite shows and find every episode regardless if they are from traditional networks or new streaming services. In addition, it makes binge-watching really easy. Roamio also has "casting" built in just like a Chromecast™. Simply fling a show from your mobile device up to your Roamio and you're watching on the best screen in the house.

    Now, for a limited time we are offering former Aereo customers an incredible deal. Get TiVo Roamio OTA and TiVo Stream for just $49.99 and $14.99/mo. with a 1-year commitment. That's just a tad more than the original Aereo, but with way more features -- like 75 hours of HD recording as well as recommendation functionality that would have made Aereo blush. I encourage you to visit tivo.com/aereo_ota_deal to learn more. Order now while supplies last. Use promo code: ZG0Y0F5XW7

    Roamio OTA has gotten raves across the internet. Endgadget called it "the best over-the-air DVR ever available". And consumers agree: Amazon and BestBuy customers both rate Roamio OTA at 4.5 stars!

    Roamio OTA is awesome on its own, but when combined with TiVo Stream, it allows you to access all your live and recorded programming from your iOS or Android mobile devices using the very well reviewed TiVo apps3. Even more, Roamio OTA delivers twice the number of simultaneous mobile streams you were able to get with Aereo. You can also download shows to your mobile devices to watch when you don't have internet connection — something Aereo could never do.

    Please visit tivo.com/aereo_ota_deal while supplies last.

    And thank you for helping us keep the Aereo dream alive.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      lazbo (profile), 18 May 2015 @ 10:46pm

      Re: Aereo Bankruptcy Resolution

      Looks like it only works with an existing HD antenna. That's of no help when there's no OTA signal to pick up.

      That was Aereo's saving grace; it picked up Over The Air, but then delivered Over The Internet.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      inteproreal793, 19 May 2015 @ 1:24am

      Re: Aereo Bankruptcy Resolution

      This email actually made me pretty angry, seems like they're counting on customers not to realize you need an antenna for the service to work... it's nowhere near same. I commented to the Tivo Facebook page... no reply yet

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        JBDragon (profile), 20 May 2015 @ 8:59am

        Re: Re: Aereo Bankruptcy Resolution

        So if you still need a Antenna, I don't see what any of this has to do with Aereo other then Tivo buying their Customer list?!?!?!

        I did just buy their Antenna only TIVO for $299 which includes Lifetime of service. So no monthly fee's The One Pass and searching for something though TV, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc in a single search is nice. Plex support is coming early next month. So it'll be almost a All in one solution for me. I have Amazon Prime, Netflix, and there's Youtube and Yahoo, and plus Opera with other Apps. Add a few Tivo Mini's for other rooms which can do everything also, and it should work great as a media center replacement. I hate monthly fee's so this TIVO deal came at the right time a couple weeks ago. I snagged one up.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Dan, 19 May 2015 @ 9:09am

      Re: Aereo Bankruptcy Resolution

      I got a different letter.. mine is $0 for the box, $19.99 per month and a 2-year agreement.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        JBDragon (profile), 20 May 2015 @ 9:05am

        Re: Re: Aereo Bankruptcy Resolution

        Tivo experiments with a number of differt offers. I just got a new Tivo Roamio Antenna only box a couple weeks ago for $299 including Lifetime. So ZERO $0 per month!!!

        So in 2 years time, I still would have only paid $299. In 2 years with that deal, it comes out to $479.76. If you continued on, will it would continue to go up. 4 years and you're up to $959.58. WOW!!! I think TIVO still has a deal going on for $49.95 for the TIVO and then $400 for Lifetime on top of that. So $449.95. But then there's no monthly fee's!!! You can see why when I saw the $299 Lifetime deal I jumped on it. I somehow got lucky and stumbled on it and it only lasted for a few days.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Charles (profile), 18 May 2015 @ 9:18pm

    Re: Aereo Bankruptcy Resolution

    Actually an email

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    eaving (profile), 19 May 2015 @ 12:09am

    If 'Apple cart' is now capitalized does that mean they've trademarked it finally?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Capt ICE Enforcer, 19 May 2015 @ 1:41am

    Yup

    Quack Quack.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Capt ICE Enforcer, 19 May 2015 @ 1:42am

    Hmm

    Run, Zombie Duck!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2015 @ 1:46am

    Spectacular.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2015 @ 5:57am

    As if Techdirt/Manick had always regarded Aereo as illegal!

    "courts have declared Aereo's particular brand of innovation to be illegal." -- LONG, LONG AGO! It's settled case law. You can't use "content" others make! As I and "antidirt" told you OFTEN!

    With pages disappearing down the memory hole, many attempts to define opposition out of existence, slavishly following the official stories given in the Establishment New York Times, and now this blatant change of position, you're fully Orwellian!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 19 May 2015 @ 8:14am

      Re: As if Techdirt/Manick had always regarded Aereo as illegal!

      He never said he didn't disagree with the Supreme Court, so he didn't change his position, in fact has argued that the Court's ruling was stupid. He is just stating the fact that the Supreme Court's decision is that that Aereos model is illegal. And that was not decided 'long long ago', because the courts agreed with aereo up until the supreme court decision less then a year ago. Mike should not have to restate his opinion on the Supreme court ruling everytime it comes up. Its well known and only detracts from the opinion.

      As well, are you claiming he is taking down Techdirt articles for some purpose?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    sorrykb (profile), 19 May 2015 @ 10:09am

    Good luck with that, TiVo

    Cut the cord years ago. Never coming back.

    (I have good OTA reception where I am, so I'm fortunate in that respect. But even without that, having lived happily without a cable bill for 10 years, I can't imagine ever choosing to give money to a cable company again.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JBDragon (profile), 20 May 2015 @ 9:28am

      Re: Good luck with that, TiVo

      I cut the cord 3 years ago, but to have Internet you still need a cord. So it's kind of confusing. I did just sign up with Comcast Cable, but for Internet Only.

      I had AT&T U-Verse 18Mbps Download speed service, though I really only got around 12Mbps, but at $35 a month, I was fine with that. The problem is, my 12 months was up once again and the priced jumped up to $62. That much for that kind of speed? I could get 50Mbps from Comcast for $66 at their NORMAL price!! Comcast was showing that for $44 for 12 months signing up, and I could only get AT&T to go down to $47.50 and I'd be stuck with them for 12 month. I mean really? Why pay more for around 1/4 the speed? I told them, I warned them I'd quite. I said when does my paid up to month end, they told me, I said, fine I'd cancel then after I got my Cable modem setup and working.

      About a week later I was under my House running a new Coax cable from outside to that connection to inside my Closet in the middle of my house where I keep a lot of that stuff. Plugged in my new Cable Modem from Costco. A White Motorola Cable modem. Look, the LINE was LINE and it connected. I called Comcast Up, told them what I wanted, they said for $5 more I could get their 105Mbps service. I said sure, what the hell. So for $50 a month for the next 12 month, seems good to me. Running a few speed tests. As first I was only getting around 20Mbps. Found out it was my Router setting slowing things down. After I fixed it and retested, I was getting 126Mbps Download and around 11Mbps Upload. My Upload speed is almost as fast as my download speed was with U-Verse. My upload speed with them was barely over 1Mbp.

      The Next day I called AT&T to Cancel. They tried their best to get me to stay. Offered me 25Mbps service. I told them I wasn't getting the 18 I was paying for. They're saying Up to 18. If I get the 25, they guarantee it would be at least 18 and above. Then they got into the whole sharing your cable line with everyone in the neighborhood crap with cable. I repeated I had warned them a week ago. I had now pulled their modem and I'm already signed up with Comcast.
      Yesterday I just got my final AT&T bill in the mail showing $0.

      I don't pay for TV service. I used to have a $170 Comcast bill at my old place and my Internet was a fraction of the speed I have now. I'm not going back to that. With Netflix and Amazon Prime which I already had when I used to pay for cable TV back then, I don't consider it a extra charge now as I didn't sign up after I cut the cord. I already had it. I have so much to watch as it is. I sure don't give a crap about sports. I get a most of my TV using my nice large Antenna I put up shortly after I got my house. I laugh every time I walk into Best Buy and the DirectTV guy comes up to me and starts his sales pitch, and I say NO,I don't want to pay for TV, I have a Antenna!!!

      You have to get Internet from someone, and Cable is about it. Unless you're one of the lucky few I guess with Google Fiber. Though I'm getting 126Mbps right now for $50 a month. That to me is great and really overkill. 50Mbps would be overkill for me. I try speedtest on my iPhone over Wifi, and I only get around 44Mbps. Yep, Wifi Limitations!!! Full speed, you need to be WIRED, Gigabit Network!!!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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