Aereo-like programming service coming for Android devices

by: William Neilson JrAugust 29, 2014


Even though Aereo was killed off by the Supreme Court, a new Aereo-like company is moving forward with a cord-cutting TV service.

Tablet TV is a service that allows for customers to receive free over-the-air TV on their tablets, smartphones and computers. All the customer needs is an iPad/Android tablet and an antenna device costing less than $100. A customer does not need a Wi-Fi or cellular connection and there is no subscription fee.

At the moment, Tablet TV is being deployed in San Francisco although they expect to expand the service to other cities in the near future.

Of course, if this service becomes popular, there will likely be legal challenges.

If Tablet TV can prove that the technology is reliable, easy to use and cheaper than subscription TV, it could lead to “a little bit of a renaissance in over-the-air television,” said analyst Brett Sappington of the Dallas research firm Parks Associates. – SFGate

Tablet TV uses a device called a T-Pod, which is a palm-size digital TV antenna, tuner and digital recorder. The T-Pod will be rechargeable and have the ability to capture over-the-air digital TV signals and re-transmit them to tablets if within 100 feet of the tablet. The app includes a program guide and chat service, and users change channels with a simple swipe.

  • Chris Oh

    Sounds like more trouble than it’s worth… First, battery operated? How long does the battery last for all the broadcast/recording? Second, it doesn’t mention working with regular TV. So, that limits to just tablets? Mess around with two devices just to watch TV? Why would I do that instead of turning the TV on which has the antenna permanently attached? I have Netflix, Hulu, Playstore Movies, and not to mention apps like Plex for all other media than live broadcast TV. Even than, most of my favorite shows are on Hulu a day or two later. Live TV for say, a Thanksgiving Parade(for the wife), I would want to watch it on the big screen, with the family. I guess I’m not their target market…

  • DonSerrot

    An adapter is a god idea I’d like to see a tablet with it built in though. Maybe a Nexus tablet in the future could give it a try? lol

    • Mike Reid

      Nexus ? No way, LOL. It would compete with Youtube and other ways/video sites to put Google ads in front of your eyes.

      This is precisely the reason Google has steadfastly rejected FM tuners in Android devices, ever since the dawn of Android. Some people think it’s because FM is “ancient” but this is not the reason. The only Nexus to ever have an FM chip that wasn’t permanently hardware disabled was the original Nexus One (HTC Desire). And even that required a custom kernel at minimum to enable FM audio. Other than that original “mistake” (saved time and money) Google has ALWAYS told Nexus OEMs to unfixably disable FM.

      Same thing with SDCards. The new “emerging markets” Android One FM (and SDCard) is an interesting anomaly; they HAD to enable FM (or face failure in those markets) and I’d bet it will be very difficult to get Android One’s in North America or Europe.

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  • myuniqueusername

    A device that plugs into your home router and uses your wlan to send the signal to tv’s and other devices would be fantastic, if someone would just move forward with it. I believe the whole Aereo thing was about having a server farm full of antenna’s and “rebroadcasting” the signal over the internet. Have the antenna in the device plugged into the router and bingo, problem solved.

  • Chris Barrett

    Doesnt the SiliconDust HDHomeRun device already do this?

    • Mike Reid

      I caught that too; here’s what I think:

      You DO need WiFi to connect directly to the device. But you do NOT need a WiFi router or Internet connection on WiFi, nor Internet any other way such as cell.

      This seems to be pretty much a tuner device that you own; like a USB tuner but over WiFi direct. This is very different than Aereo which had centralized Internet connected antennas and tuners.

      BUT, it looks like they will be selling a service on top of the hardware. Possibly this service is mandatory or the hardware won’t work. Service will likely include program guide.

      AND, they may have their eyes on an Aereo like future, where instead of using your own device (which is clearly legal), you will be able to use their devices, scattered throughout the city. Heck, you could possibly use other people’s devices, and the terms of service (and technical roadblocks they add) require you to leave it powered at all times.

      This is even better if multiple people in one area could share a single unit, at least for a given channel (or set of channels if multi tuner). Device does a streaming WiFi direct broadcast to many receivers, but only the owner can change the channel.

      Beyond that, give “prizes” to people setting up multiple units. Since they are “owned” by the people, that lowers the likelihood of an Aereo like lawsuit unless they go after each individual.

      The above is Step 2 of course. And Step 3 is profit ! … ;)

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