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Controversial TV-Over-Internet Service Plans Expansion

Aereo, the embattled internet service allowing consumers to watch TV over the internet without paying licensing fees, has announced it will be expanding its service to 22 cities.

“Consumers want and deserve choice,” said Aereo chief executive officer and founder Chet Kanojia. “Watching television should be simple, convenient and rationally priced. Aereo’s technology provides exactly that: choice, flexibility and a first-class experience that every consumer deserves.”

What makes Aereo both unique and a possible threat to local TV stations is the technology enables consumers to watch and record live broadcast television on computers, tablets or even smartphones without paying for the broadcast content.  Subscriber fees for the service start at $8 a day or $80 a year.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Aereo was able to avoid being shutdown because of its technology,

A federal judge in New York ruled in July that the service doesn’t appear to violate copyright law because individual subscribers are assigned their own, tiny antenna at Aereo’s Brooklyn data center, making it analogous to the free signal a consumer would get with a regular antenna at home. Aereo spent the subsequent months selecting markets for expansion and renting space for new equipment in those cities.

Attempts by broadcasters to stop the service failed in a New York court last year.  An appeal of the ruling is expected within the next month or two.  Despite the fight by broadcasters, Aereo plans to expand to 22 cities including Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. beginning in late Spring of 2013.

Below, you can watch a video TVNewser made last year explaining the service.

[The New York Times]

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