Aereo To Launch In Austin On March 3

Aereo announced Monday that its mix of broadband TV and cloud DVR services will debut in the tech-savvy and speed-happy market of Austin, Texas, on March 3.

Time Warner Cable and AT&T are the market's primary wireline-based incumbent pay-TV providers. 

Aereo, which relies on thumb-sized antennas to capture free-over-the-air TV signals before transcoding them and relaying them to customers via the Internet, said the deployment in greater Austin will have a potential reach of 1.25 million consumers over a 12-county area -- Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Gillespie, Hays, Lee, Llano, Mason, Travis and Williamson.

The initial offering in Austin, a city that will also see the debut of Google Fiber by mid-year, there will provide access to 19 over-the-air channels, including KVUE (ABC), KXAN (NBC), KEYE (CBS), KTBC (Fox), KNVA (CW) and KLRU (PBS); special interest channels ThisTV, MOVIES!, GetTV, Create TV and AccuWeather; and Spanish-language channels UniMás, UniVision, Telemundo and Estrella TV. Aereo customers will also have the option to add Bloomberg Television. 

Aereo has also launched in San Antonio; Cincinnati; Boston; Atlanta; Miami; Salt Lake City; Houston; Dallas; Detroit; Denver; and Baltimore. Other markets targeted for future expansion include Chicago; Minneapolis; Madison, Wis.; Cleveland; Providence, R.I.; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pa.; Kansas City; Washington, D.C.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; and Birmingham, Ala.

Last week, Aereo suffered a legal setback in Utah when the district court granted Fox’s motion for a preliminary injunction against Aereo because the broadcaster was likely to prevail on its copyright claim. The decision effectively blocks Aereo from operating in Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Montana.

The U.S. Supreme Court is currently weighing whether to uphold a Second Circuit Court of Appeals decline not to enjoin Aereo.

Aereo’s service starts at $8 per month with 20 hours of DVR storage, and goes to $12 per month with 60 hours. The service currently supports iOS devices, Android phones and tablets, the Apple TV (via Airplay), Roku boxes, and on PCs that run Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer 9, Firefox Web browsers.