Left2MyOwnDevices Blog

Left2MyOwnDevices

The new stories of social computing are shared here. We're exploring mobile devices, embedded computing, wireless sensor networks, and social business from the perspectives of technology, business, and societal changes.

About Don Dingee

An experienced strategic marketer and editorial professional, and an engineer by education, Don is currently a blogger, speaker, and author on social computing topics, and a marketing strategy consultant. He's had previous gigs at Embedded Computing Design magazine, Motorola, and General Dynamics.

Previous in Blog: Digital Music Formats: Tragic, Compressed, and Encumbered   Next in Blog: Multicore Benchmarks Look Inside New Phones
Close
Close
Close
6 comments

Really, Really Small Antennas May Save Local TV

Posted February 17, 2012 8:30 AM by dondingee

Local TV is under assault from the Internet in a big way, but Aereo might have come up with an answer.

Backed by Barry Diller (creator of the Fox network) and IAC with financing of $20M, Aereo is launching in New York City on March 14th. Diller says he's looking to break local broadcast TV out of the hands of the cable guys, and put it in the hands of the casual viewer with a tablet, smartphone, or PC.
Aereo's operation is simple.

  • ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, PBS, and others broadcast HD normally over the air.
  • Aereo's tiny antenna, positioned somewhere in a data center, receives the signal.
  • It's connected to a virtual DVR which streams the programming in real-time over IP to your connected mobile device, and you can record shows for watching them later.

I know, I have that memorized too. "Any rebroadcast, retransmission, or other use of the pictures or descriptions of this game without the express written consent of …".
But here's the hook and why I think it'll not only withstand legal challenge, but the TV stations will embrace it: you are leasing an antenna that is dedicated to you, for a monthly fee of $12. From the broadcaster perspective, it's no different than you setting up an HD antenna and tuner in your house and receiving their program. From your perspective, there's no equipment in your house to set up. No tethering to your TV, but if you have AppleTV (er, iTV …) or Roku you can connect to the programming with those.

There's also no messing with antennas; the same picture quality is available anywhere in the Tri-State, regardless of buildings, trees, weather, and distance. I remember as a kid we got the Mets feed from WTEN Albany. I'd go to my grandmother's house next door because my dad wouldn't let me mess with his antenna, and try desperately to pull Yankees games on WPIX, sometimes with success. Unfortunately, in most local markets baseball is gone from OTA today, but the idea is the same - local TV can build a following if the content is good and it's receivable on the device of choice.

Read the Whole Article

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Commentator

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 75
Good Answers: 5
#1

Re: Really, Really Small Antennas May Save Local TV

02/18/2012 5:26 PM

You may find that there is no breach of copyright as the retransmission is a simulcast in the same market area.

Reply
Commentator

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Chandler, AZ
Posts: 66
Good Answers: 2
#3
In reply to #1

Re: Really, Really Small Antennas May Save Local TV

02/19/2012 10:00 AM

Simulcast or not, the challenge is usually they don't want anyone monetizing their content that is received for free, without paying some kind of fee back to the station.

There were direct legal challenges previously to a service that took an OTA broadcast and retransmitted it via web streaming. The difference in the Aereo approach is it's 1:1. There's an antenna/receiver for every subscriber, instead of using one receiver and retransmitting it to N places.

Aereo may still get challenged since they are monetizing the feeds, but I think the trackable feature is big and might satisfy stations who are looking for demographics.

From the NY Times article I cited in the post:

Nonetheless, the company is bracing for possible legal challenges from TV stations. "We understand that when you try to take something meaningful on, you have to be prepared for challenges," Mr. Kanojia said.

The major stations in New York declined to comment.

Last year, a service called Ivi TV tried to redistribute broadcast television signals on the Internet, but it was stopped by a federal judge in New York after broadcasters and content providers sued, saying the company was effectively stealing their signals and work. The service is appealing that ruling. Aereo says that by setting up antenna arrays, it is wholly different.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Etherville
Posts: 12334
Good Answers: 115
#2

Re: Really, Really Small Antennas May Save Local TV

02/19/2012 6:19 AM

Mobile gadgets drive me nuts. The latest thing (now active in the UK) is payment via mobile phone. Where will this end. I can live with a phone that does just that, and possibly a 'smart card', but mixing all this stuff up sounds like a security blah blah nightmare. I've witnessed plenty of times where local cell network has crashed. Tweeting and all that blathering nionsense is flooding capacity. It's inevitable we go this way, but one more step toward setting ourselves up for a crash. Cyberwar will leave us in the ditch long before any bomb. Just my Sunday 2 cents.

__________________
For sale - Signature space. Apply on self addressed postcard..
Reply
Commentator

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Chandler, AZ
Posts: 66
Good Answers: 2
#4
In reply to #2

Re: Really, Really Small Antennas May Save Local TV

02/19/2012 10:16 AM

We're retrained an entire generation to be mobile/digital/social. There's no "there" to go back to. Wired landline phones are disappearing fast. Postal services are under fire big time. Libraries are struggling.

There's also the angle of BYOD and enterprise security. It's successful under controlled conditions with certain types of workflow. In other areas, there are huge security concerns.

We're also retraining people on a whole new approach to social and connected TV, which is what this post is about. Again, the old model is under fire and people can't make money the way they used to. Exactly why the Aereo idea is of interest - it's a new biz model that can directly reinforce the existing one.

I do agree, if all this blindly goes online without the right security measures, it's a wide open game. I do a lot of work with the smart grid and mHealth guys, it's priority 1 in those fields. I'm not sure other industries have the same view of things yet.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Etherville
Posts: 12334
Good Answers: 115
#5
In reply to #4

Re: Really, Really Small Antennas May Save Local TV

02/19/2012 10:38 AM

That first paragraph (especially, the rest are good too) is so true. I agree that there is no 'going back', this will all come to be. All points mentioned are happening in Blighty.

I'm not overly nostalgic, but something about it all makes me wonder. Ask a youngster to sort a problem and they are IT savvy enough to do it. Confound them with researching in a library, or handwriting a letter, and they are lost. The concept of manual labour is disappering. When the internet goes pear-shaped, where shall we be? I'm no ludite, but wonder where are we headed. Basic skills are being lost.

A most thought provoking post, dondingee. It's weekend, so I won't dwell to much on it. All same, a very interesting topic to consider.

__________________
For sale - Signature space. Apply on self addressed postcard..
Reply
Active Contributor

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 12
Good Answers: 1
#6

Re: Really, Really Small Antennas will add MORE EM SMOG

02/29/2012 2:16 AM

As someone who's been building, stringing and mounting antennas as high as I could for many decades to receive a decent signal, I wonder what the ambient field strength has to be to allow such an inefficient antenna to do it's job. It seems like smoking-- those old enough will recall the advertisements depicting a 'doctor' with the caption: DOCTORS SMOKE COOLS telling us that it WAS safe to inhale nicotine and 10,000 other trace chemicals.

Maybe in the future, enough information will be available to convince us that any exposure to the electromagnetic spectrum energy will at some level be harmfull, the question is: at what level?

There are current federal parameters but set at levels that will cause excess heating of a body like in a microwave cooker! How about the much lower levels??

Reply
Reply to Blog Entry 6 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

cristle (1); dondingee (2); Kris (2); ROAR (1)

Previous in Blog: Digital Music Formats: Tragic, Compressed, and Encumbered   Next in Blog: Multicore Benchmarks Look Inside New Phones

Advertisement