The Supreme Court recently dealt a huge blow to on-demand TV viewing. It ruled that a company called Aereo is breaking copyright law by retransmitting over-the-air broadcasts.
If you haven’t heard of Aereo, it acts like a super digital video recorder. For a few dollars per month, you could watch any broadcast show in your area on your TV, computer or mobile gadget whenever you wanted. But now Aereo is no more.
This is just another in a long string of setbacks for TV consumers. Like you, I just want to watch what I want when I want, and I don’t want to juggle five services or mortgage my house to do it.
To get a better sense of the problem, let’s look at what’s currently available. We’ve got cable, satellite and over-the-air broadcasts. For online video streaming, there’s Apple’s iTunes Store, Google Play, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube and a dozen others.
To actually use a streaming service, you have your choice of Apple TV, Roku, Google’s Chromecast, Amazon’s FireTV, video game consoles and smart TVs. To make it worse, not every streaming service has every show and not every gadget supports every service.
Oh, and Google just announced Android TV software that’s going to power a bunch of upcoming smart TVs and set-top boxes. Given what happened to Google TV, I’m not holding my breath, but it’s another option you have to wade through.
So is it better to just avoid the whole thing and stick with cable? No. If you need to bring down your monthly bills, cable is probably one of your biggest expenses.
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SOURCE: USA Today