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Aereo Is Out of Capacity in New York City
by Karl Bode 10:04AM Friday Jan 31 2014
Last night I started tinkering with a new Roku 3 and Plex, a combination that's delivering a lot of surprisingly impressive (to me, anyway) functionality promised but not delivered by more expensive devices like Microsoft's Xbox One. I then decided I'd finally give Aereo a whirl, in the hopes of catching the Super Bowl or some Olympics coverage ahead of any potential Supreme Court imposed shutdown. I've been a cord cutter for five years, though live sports is about all I wind up missing.

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Unfortunately, upon trying to sign up for the compay's live TV service, I was greeted with a notice stating "Thanks for your interest in Aereo! We are currently sold out in New York."

"We're fortunate that Aereo continues to experience strong growth across all our markets," Aereo told me in response to an e-mail. "Our team has been working overtime to add more capacity in our existing markets. As soon as additional capacity is added, new consumers will be notified that they can sign up and create an Aereo account."

While broadcaster lawyers are seen as Aereo's biggest impedement to success, a report in the Wall Street Journal last fall claimed that Aereo's legal strategy, which involves leasing a tiny physical OTA antenna to each and every user in order to skirt broadcaster content licensing demands, is a significant power draw. Each small antenna uses five to six watts of power, the Journal positing that Aereo might find that footing the power bill troublesome as the operations scale.

That said, Aereo assures me that the problems in New York aren't power related and are "strictly a capacity issue." "We've had strong growth, so we're working to add more capacity to serve more consumers," company spokesperson Virginia Lam tells me. An ETA on resolution or more technical specifics on what kind of capacity the company is struggling with remains unclear.

Aereo is currently available in 11 markets: NYC, Cincinnati, Boston, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Denver and Baltimore.

Update: Aereo CEO Chaitanya Kanojia took to Twitter to confirm Aereo's New York capacity conundrum.

71 comments .. click to read

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Chelsea, MA

3 recommendations

reply to Karl Bode

Re: I just found out.

Karl, check out the a TERK powered antenna. I love it. I'm at the opposite end where most of the TV stations broadcast from (here in Boston, they all come from the CBS Transmission Site in Needham), but the City of Boston and all its tall buildings are in my way. Without a powered antenna its meh.. with its far better. Except our Fox Station, no idea why it doesn't come on. This is why I have Aereo.

Also, have you checked out good ol www.antennaweb.org to see where to point your antenna to get the most signal?

(gee I signed up to DSLR 5 days after Karl did.. I guess I am an old user on here..)


Superior, WI

2 recommendations

5 to 6 watts per antenna

bullshit. Antennas don't use ANY wattage. The equipment driving them does, and the cost of power per month is going to be tiny. 6w comes out to ~4300 watts per month if run 24/7, or 4.3kWh. At new yorks current rate of ~8.9 cents per kWh, thats just $0.38 per antenna, per month. Your subscription rate more than makes up for the cost of the power plus the DVR. They would not be doing this if they were losing money on power costs. They probably just ran out of antennas, and need to get more made.



6 recommendations


They should have never admitted that. They should rank and blame ISPs for their performance issues and then offer a solution to this "new" problem called OpenAereo where they shift their hosting, power, and network costs to ISPs by offering to install their "free" server in ISPs networks.

They can also claim ISPs are "suddenly charging" for something that they have always been paying for.

I think people will believe this.