Aereo, the service that lets people watch TV on their Apple devices, appears intent on thumbing its nose at the broadcasters that are trying to sue it out of existence. Last week, Aereo announced an aggressive new pricing strategy and, today, it told some subscribers they will be able to record twice as much TV.
In an email, Aereo said “we are permanently expanding your DVR storage to 80 hours – at no additional cost.” The company also promised subscribers that it would soon add additional features to make it easier to manage their virtual DVRs. The storage announcement comes after Aereo last week announced a $1/day pricing option and free one-hour trials.
[Clarification: an Aereo spokesperson wrote to clarify that the offer was not an across the board offer but “a special thank you to that select group of members that joined in our earliest days.”]
Aereo uses tiny antennas to capture over-the-air signals and transmit them to subscribers’ Apple devices (like the iPad and the iPhone) for around $12/month. Reports say Aereo will become available on other platforms like Android and Chrome in coming weeks.
The service, which amounts to a portable TV and DVR unit, is for now available only in New York City. But company executives say they plan to roll it out in other cities.
The upstart company, backed by media mogul Barry Diller, is locked in a fierce battle with Fox, ABC and other broadcasters who say it is illegally rebroadcasting their signals. Aereo argues that its one antenna to one subscriber ratio means it is not broadcasting to the public and therefore not violating copyright law. (see here for the legal details).
Aereo won the first round in the skirmish after a federal judge refused last month to grant the broadcasters a temporary injunction.