Tag Archives: OTA

Not So OTA – AEREO, A New Model

2 Jul

So if you’d like to cut the cord of your cable company and go Over The Air (OTA), there may soon be another option, beyond putting up rabbit ears.

Aereo is a new company who recently moved into Chicago after facing some legal battles against the national broadcast networks.

They have a very unique technology where they are able to transmit local broadcast signals over the internet. In Chicago (any local markets), they use individual antennas to pick up the OTA channels, and allow customers on the internet to select which antenna (local channel) they want to receive. The local programming is provided live, over the internet with the help of a specially designed antenna at the customer’s end. The only fee paid to watch the local channels is paid to Aereo.

“Aereo and Barry Diller, the billionaire investor who sits on Aereo’s board, say they’re taking the risks and going to all this trouble because they’re betting consumers are tired of paying $150 a month on cable bundles, especially when most people only watch a fraction of the channels.”

There may be some staying power for this technology, even in the event that the national networks stop broadcasting OTA signals. New networks could pick up the local transmitters and start their own broadcast networks, with the help of the Aereo technology.

It is not highly unlikely that you will be able to eliminate commercials from this new internet technology. For this reason, I do not see this technology ever losing in court. The broadcast networks actually have a case for their advertisers that they are reaching an even bigger audience, and an audience (unlike OTA viewers with computers) that cannot avoid the commercials.

Triple Play Service in the US

26 Jun

Comcast, Verizon Editorials Distort True Picture of U.S. Internet Service, Experts Say

The number of people in the US watching TV OTA (Over the Air) has grown over the last 3 years from 14% to over 19%. The main reason proposed, is the cost of cable. The discussion over cable rates these days cannot be stripped out of internet access rates, as the same company you choose for either, will be providing both.

Triple play (Internet, Cable, and phone) rates in the US are at record highs. The average US cost for these services is $160 per month, as compared to $38, for example, in France. Even though the US “invented” the internet, we now have some of the slowest services in the world. (29th and dropping)

Over the course of the last 20 years, nearly $500 billion has been collected by the telecom companies to (allegedly) bring America into the 21st century with an “Information Superhighway,” says Johnston. That works out ot $3,000 per household to have access to high-speed Internet.

And we hear from Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam in a New York Times Opinion that :

“…..the United States has gained a global leadership position in the marketplace for broadband”

What started when AT&T was busted up to “create competition and lower cost” has done everything but that. Comcast Chief Executive David Cohen says “consumer prices have remained relatively stable“. That is not a sign of a competitive environment.

In the UK, the government required that service providers that were building out their networks to share that build out with competitors for a reasonable price. This process is now being proposed for the entire EU per an article by Wired Magazine.

Pricing in the UK decreased as internet service was deployed, per ofCom (Independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries).

Over The Air TV Reception is Growing

24 Jun

A recent survey finds that over 19% of TV viewing households in the US get their TV Over-The-Air (OTA) for free. Three years ago, it was only 14%.

 

 

When the US went to Digital/ HD broadcasting in 1998, broadcast over the air programming remained. Analog transmission went silent in 2009, when all new TVs were required to have a digital tuner. The broadcast signals went Digital, so what you can get OTA is HD content and more. Broadcast on the basic frequency as PBS, for example, are the standard programs and 2 additional programming channels.

Selection of programming has expanded to fill a minority demand.

The majority of Latino households that primarily speak Spanish now use an antenna to get their TV programming, with only 49 percent of those households subscribing to a pay TV service. Also notable: 28 percent of all households with a head of household under the age of 35 use an antenna instead of a pay TV subscription.

The economy is said to be in recovery, but the growing household use of OTA programming would suggest otherwise. Likewise the push by Verizon and AT&T to increase their fees due to reduced subscribers suggests otherwise.

Within this Blog is an article on stripping commercials out of OTA television programming.

If you’d like to see the channels that are available to you by Zip, or street address, go to this link : ANTENNA WEB

 

 

Commercial Free TV

21 May

Some people don’t realize that OTA (Over The Air) broadcast TV that originated in 1927 is still around. As most everyone uses cable today, why is there any interest in OTA TV?

Well, for one, OTA TV is still free. In most parts of the country, and especially in the urban areas, stations like NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS, and ABC still broadcast.

For a second reason, these stations can be viewed commercial free using some special hardware, software, and a PC or MAC.

Hardware like an HDHomeRun, combined with a PC runnning BeyondTV. or similar software, can provide a wealth of entertainment value at a fraction of the cost of cable.

Lately there has been some stir about an upstart company called Aereo who is trying to get between OTA viewers and the cable companies. Aereo is basically monetizing that HDHomeRun/ BeyondTV solution, and as such has upset the network broadcasters. They do not plan on sharing their revenue with the service providers, and therefore, the advertising budgets used to produce commercial TV is at risk.

You are now starting to see more and more broadcasters going direct to the internet with programming. There is even an app for watching ESPN live on your smartphone, provided you currently are a customer of any one of several cable companies.

Let’s hope this is not the beginning of the end for OTA broadcast television.