NPR meets Aereo.

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

So … did you catch NPR’s “Morning Edition” this week? Judging by the silence I hear after posing that question, my guess is you didn’t (silly blogs and their unresponsive nature!). Well, if you didn’t happen to hear it, that’s a shame, because the wonderful Steve Inskeep brought Rich Jaroslovsky on to talk about … as though the headline didn’t already give it away … Aereo, the getting-buzzier-by-the-minute product aimed at revolutionizing Internet television.

Yes. Maybe that whole “Aereo: The most important development in cord-cutting yet” headline I wrote on February 14 — of last year, mind you — has a bit of credence. Now, as I excuse myself momentarily from this conversation to keep humble-bragging to myself, check out these passages from a Bloomberg piece Jaroslovsky wrote Wednesday …

“I found it both powerful and easy to use, turning my tablet and smartphone into go-anywhere TVs, complete with DVR features to record shows for later viewing — and, of course, skip over the commercials,” he wrote“The quality on both live and DVR’d content was remarkably good over both Wi-Fi and 4G LTE, with little of the buffering and stuttering that can sometimes make video over a wireless connection a painful experience.”

Blah, blah, blah, right? Yet another tech writer going to bat for this somewhat controversial Web TV product that I coined “The most important development in cord-cutting yet” more than a year ago (it’s raining humble-brags!). What’s the big deal, the disembodied voice asks, patronizingly.

Well, a two things, actually (three if you count the simple fact that NPR dedicated an entire segment to this thing as one). In his piece, Jaroslovsky noted a couple tidbits that I — who, if you remember, coined the product “The most important development in cord-cutting yet” light-years ago (it’s a humble-br … OK, this is getting obnoxious) — hadn’t previously known. Those two things?

1) While you can beam CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, PBS and a handful of other channels to your device … you can’t access a feed from ESPN. This is interesting if only for how ingrained the World Wide Leader is in our mainstream culture. And I won’t even make this a male/female thing, either. Let’s be honest: To those with normal cable television, ask yourself this — how many times a day do you accidentally leave the television tuned to ESPN while cleaning, talking to others or doing productive things? If you actually took note of it, you may be surprised at how often you lean on Mickey’s athletic uncle for mindless noise. Now, why is this particular network absent from the offering? What say you, Mr. Jaroslovsky …

“Almost all the big cable networks were missing,” he wrote. “No ESPN, no CNN, no Fox News, no HBO or Showtime. Many of their corporate parents, including Walt Disney Co., Comcast Corp., News Corp. and CBS Corp., are among those driving so-far unsuccessful legal efforts to shut the service down.”

Bad news for those who enjoy watching people play dominoes at 4:30 in the morning.

Let’s move to thing No. 2, which also happens to be a bit more juicy. Back to Dr. J for this finely tuned sentence …

“CBS — whose Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves last year said Aereo was ‘not something I lose sleep over’ — has since gone to the extraordinary length of barring CNET, the technology-news website it owns, from reviewing the service.”

Ha! Can you believe that?! Who could have thunk that something as reputable as CNET would be dis-allowed to write about this, the very product I once coined, “The most im …” OK, nevermind. That’s very, very interesting. If a product such as this is the future of television consumption (and, by the way, it is), how could such a valued name in tech reporting be banned from covering its very existence?

Penny wise. Pound foolish.

Remember: Aereo will be unleashed in the D.C. area in the spring.

Remember: We are the D.C. area.

Remember: March is a week away.

Expect more on Easy A as the launch date grows nearer. Who knows? At a mere 8 bucks a month, maybe even a first-hand account of how the thing works could be in this blog’s future. Can you say, “expense accounts,” FNP Gods?

For those interested in listening to Jaroslovsky’s NPR Morning Edition segment, click here.


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