If the idea of Live TV beamed to your laptop or iPhone intrigues you, then you may not have to wait much longer to test out such a service. That's because as of Wednesday evening, Aereo, a tech start-up that has gained notoriety for taking free over the air broadcast TV signals in New York and reselling them as streams over the internet, is touting it's plans to expand to Chicago.
While they haven't given an exact date for expansion, they are currently taking pre-registrations via their homepage at https://aereo.com/home. For those who give their email addresses, the company promises to give updates regarding when the service will be up and running in Chicago, along with 22 other cities that they plan to move into during 2013.
Since early 2012, Aereo has operated solely in the New York Metro area, selling re-broadcasts of network television signals for a $1 per day of TV viewing via a web browser or iOS devices such as an iPhone or iPad. They also provide one hour of free streaming per day, allowing users to try the service.
While this arrangement has received a lot of positive press and reviews, it has also been met with controversy and litigation. No fewer than 17 broadcasters have sued Aereo because they do not pay for their usage of the over the air broadcasts, unlike cable companies who have to pay for the ability to display the same programming. The networks are saying that the internet media start-up is stealing the programming that they pay a lot of money to create. Aereo on the other hand, says that since they use thousands of very small "micro-antennas" to create one to one connections to users, they do not have to pay "performance fees" for the content, and so far the courts have agreed with them.
The court decisions in Aereo's favor caused at least one network broadcaster to threaten a move towards becoming a "cable-only" entity, abandoning over the air broadcasts altogether.