Wall St. Journal Hails Diller's Aero Tv Service
Barry Diller's new Aereo service, which allows users to watch live or recorded broadcasts on some mobile devices, has received an enthusiastic thumbs up from Wall Street Journal technical writer Katherine Boehret. "It has a thoughtful, clean user interface that works well on the iPad, where I tested it most. And its video quality is startlingly good. On more than one occasion, I completely forgot I was streaming video rather than watching a file stored on my iPad," Boehret wrote in today's (Wednesday) edition. She noted that unlike most other video websites, Aereo requires no buffering or caching of content. Boehret also noted that the user interface offered a touch-screen program guide that was easier to use than standard cable guides. "I slid my finger along the top of the guide, instantly skipping ahead from Monday to Sunday, tapping on individual programs to see more details about them. Within each show description, a large, red Record dot appeared, and I could tap on this to record a show. If a show was live, I tapped a Watch button to immediately start watching it." Finally, she concluded, "If you're a fan of TV and want a better way to watch it on the go, Aereo is a pleasure." Meanwhile, Fitch Ratings said today that if Aereo ultimately prevails against the broadcasters, "We believe other pay TV providers could leverage the threat of offering a similar service to significantly lower their retransmission payments. A worst-case scenario for the broadcast networks would be cessation of retransmission payments altogether, with pay TV providers establishing models similar to Aereo." Should that occur, the broadcast networks still have another alternative, Fitch noted to cease free, over-the-air broadcasting entirely and convert to cable networks.