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.
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