Aereo prepares to launch its antenna and Internet-based TV service in Utah on August 19

Aereo prepares to launch its antenna and Internet-based TV service in Utah on August 19

Aereo is gearing up to launch its Internet-based television service in Utah on August 19, building on its recent expansions in Boston and Atlanta.

The controversial set-up uses a small army of tiny antennas, based relatively close to subscribers, to pick up a traditional TV broadcast signal and then pipe the content to each user over the Internet.

The service is already available in New York City and Aereo has previously announced plans to launch in Chicago on September 13.

Major TV networks such as KSTU-HD (FOX), KSL-DT (NBC), KUTV-HD (CBS), KTVX-HD (ABC) and KUED-HD (PBS), as well as a number of special interest and foreign language channels including BYU-TV, AntennaTV, ION, Qubo and Estrella TV will be available to users in Utah.

Due to the nature of the service, which leverages the over-the-air broadcasting signal in each state, content offerings vary for the user depending on where they live in the United States. Creating a warehouse and deploying antenna for each new area is no mean feat, which makes Aereo’s relatively rapid expansion so unique.

Subscribers have their own designated antenna and uses Aereo’s browser-based portal to record programming on a range of different platforms, rather like a DVR. It even supports iOS devices, Roku hardware and AppleTV, although the latter relies on Airplay for now.

Membership begins at $8 per month for access to Aereo and 20 hours of DVR storage. That can be ramped up to 60 hours of recording for an extra $4 per month, however.

Aereo said in January that it wants to offer its service in Miami, Austin, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Washington, DC, Baltimore, Detroit, Denver, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa, Cleveland, Kansas City, Raleigh-Durham, Salt Lake City, Birmingham, Providence and Madison before the end of 2013.

The company will need to accelerate its current pace to meet this lofty target, although taking a few months extra to complete a widespread roll-out arguably wouldn’t be the end of the world.

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