TiVo Plans to Launch a Legal Version of Aereo

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tivo_logo.jpgMultichannel News is reporting that TiVo, which acquired Aereo's trademark, customer list, and other assets in a recent bankruptcy auction, plans to introduce a legal version of the Aereo service, which allowed people to access and record streamed versions of over-the-air broadcasts. The Supreme Court ruled that the Aereo service was in violation of broadcasters' copyrights, which essentially put the company out of business. The exact details of TiVo's legal approach have yet to be announced.

From Multichannel News
Though it was short on specifics, TiVo confirmed that it is working on a legal version of Aereo, the failed service that sold access to a cloud DVR paired with a system that captured over-the-air TV signals and redistributed them to subscribers over the Internet.

TiVo reasons that OTA, combined with broadband-fueled over-the-top services, presents an opportunity to help its cable partners target a small but growing number of cord cutters who are seeking less-expensive video and TV alternatives but who are also willing to create their own bundles.

"The question is, how do you do that?" Tom Rogers, TiVo's CEO and president, said during an interview last week at the INTX show in Chicago. "To us, the answer is pretty clear -- it's kind of the Aereo model, done legally and better."

What's not as clear is how TiVo intends to pull it off. Aereo used an array of tiny thumb-sized digital antennas to capture digital broadcast signals before processing them into a format it could then distribute to paying customers for viewing on connected TVs, tablets, smartphones and Web browsers.

TiVo promised to share more about its strategy this summer. "Yes, they are currently developing a product and although they are not releasing any details, they plan to hold a significant event in San Jose in late July to discuss it," a TiVo spokesperson said when asked to clarify TiVo's plans.

TiVo acquired Aereo's trademarks and customer lists for about $1 million in March following a bankruptcy auction. Other parties came away with Aereo's patents and some of the startup's equipment. Aereo filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy last November after shutting down the service last June, soon after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Aereo's delivery of TV station signals to subscribers without paying a copyright fee violated the law.

While it's not clear if TiVo plans to recreate the Aereo system and agree to pay retransmission fees, TiVo has been developing and testing a cloud DVR platform.

To read the complete Multichannel News story, click here.

Additional Resources
TiVo Buys Aereo Trademark and Customer List at HomeTheaterReview.com.
Aereo Files for Chapter 11 at HomeTheaterReview.com.

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