Online television service Aereo Inc. plans to expand to the Baltimore area starting Dec. 16, offering monthly subscriptions starting at $8 for viewing or recording live television on smart phones, tablets and laptops, the Long Island City-based company said Thursday.
The technology, which converts TV broadcast signals into computer data sent over the Internet, will be available to more than 2.7 million consumers in Baltimore city and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Harford, Howard, Kent, Queen Anne's and Talbot counties.
TV broadcasters and networks such as Fox, ABC, CBS and NBC are challenging Aereo's use of broadcasters' material in copyright infringement lawsuits.
Aereo says its antenna/DVR technology gives consumers access to signals broadcast over public airwaves. The company, which launched service February 2012 in New York and is backed by billionaire Barry Diller, is in the midst of a 22-city, first-phase expansion that has moved into metro areas of Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Salt Lake City, Houston, Dallas, Detroit and Denver.
In Baltimore, the basic subscription includes 17 over-the-air channels, such as ABC affiliate WMAR, NBC affiliate WBAL, CBS affiliate WJZ, PBS and others, plus 20 hours of DVR storage. A $12 subscription comes with increased DVR storage. The cloud-based technology uses tiny antennas in company data centers and allows consumers to pause, rewind or save programs.
An earlier version of this story contained an incorrect date for the service's launch in New York due to incorrect information provided to The Sun.