Internet television streaming service Aereo has finally landed on Google’s Chromecast. The app, which received an update Thursday enabling Chromecast support, allows users to stream live television broadcasts through Google’s $35 HDMI dongle without having to pay a cable or satellite provider. (Aereo service starts at $8 per month.) Aereo was already available on Roku streaming boxes.
With Chromecast, users can cast to their TVs any Aereo shows they are watching on an Android device, a PC or a Mac.
Aereo is a service that pulls in broadcast television signals using large antenna farms and sends them out over the Internet to subscribers. To sign up, customers must select one of two service plans. An $8-per-month option includes 20 hours of DVR space at Aereo's center; a $12-per-month option includes 60 hours of DVR space and the ability to record two shows at the same time.
Though the idea of streaming and recording live television broadcasts without having to pay a cable or satellite provider may sound wonderful for consumers, TV broadcasters couldn’t despise it more. In fact, broadcasters including ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX have waged a legal battle with Aereo all the way to the Supreme Court.
The broadcasters argue that Aereo has no right to pull in the signals and turn a profit from them, without paying a licensing fee as cable- and satellite-TV providers do. They claim that Aereo’s service is a "public performance," which means the company should have to pay for the right to sell the television broadcasts. Aereo, though, says that its use of large antenna farms to capture the TV signals for users is a private performance, and akin to each customer having his or her own antenna.
So far, lower courts have sided with Aereo, though a Utah court recently issued a temporary shut down order for the service. The Supreme Court is expected to make a decision by July. Until then, at least, you can now enjoy Aereo on Chromecast.