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Controversial TV service coming to Denver

9:36 PM, Oct 29, 2013   |    comments
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DENVER - A new web-based TV service is promising to slash your TV bill while allowing you to keep dozens of local channels. It's called Aereo. It provides mainly over-the-air channels like NBC.

Aereo says for a price of $8 a month, you'll get those channels in HD with full DVR services.

Broadcast companies aren't thrilled. In fact, they're hoping to bring the issue to the Supreme Court - claiming Aereo's service is illegal.

Starting on Nov. 4, Aereo will be available across 67 counties in Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming. That's around 3.4 million people.

"It's got a lot of attention, and a lot of investment," said Greg Avery, Technology Reporter for the Denver Business Journal.

It seems like a big number, but in reality, Avery said only a fraction of them will give it a shot in the beginning.

"I think there will be a number of people who are willing to give it a try and see how well it works," Avery said.

The problem is, Avery explained, the younger generations enjoy things like web-based services and the older, more traditional viewers still prefer broadcast TV. However, even traditional viewers are looking for other options. After all, a lot of people are paying tons of money on cable and satellite for thousands of channels when in reality they only watch 5 or 6 of them.

"I think in the long run people will be looking for alternatives as technology makes them available," Avery said.

Which brings us back to this Aereo service. It only costs $8 a month with DVR included and features about 40-over-the-air channels, including 9NEWS.

But the networks who run the channels aren't thrilled. Because Aereo just plans to pick up their signal for its own use without paying the networks.

"It mirrors the beginning of cable TV, which started off as a service with none of its own channels and just taking the over-the-air signals," Avery said.

The National Association of Broadcasters sued Aereo calling its operations "illegal," but courts have sided in Aereo's favor saying it hasn't violated any law.

"It's an antenna technology. Every American has a right to use an antenna and so we stand behind our technology," VP of Communications for Aereo Virginia Lam Abrams said.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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