Broadcaster launches…wait for it…Aereo-like programming service for tablets
Fresh off the broadcast industry's vanquishing of Aereo in the federal court system, one station group is trying to seize upon the streaming service's core consumer appeal--making broadcast TV video available on tablets.
Teaming up with a London-based technology company Motive Television, New York's Granite Broadcasting Corp., operator of 14 stations across the U.S., is launching a new device and service that enables iOS and Android tablet users to watch broadcast TV without any kind of Internet connection whatsoever.
Tablet TV relies on a "palm-size digital TV antenna, tuner and digital recorder" that retails for less than $100. Placed within 100 feet of the user's tablet, the T-Pod receives local over-the-air broadcast signals and converts them into Wi-Fi signals that are sent to the tablet. Users operating the service with an Internet connection can use the Tablet TV app to enable social-media integration, as well as access program guides.
Other broadcasters are approaching the mobile problem by attaching antennas to smart phones and tablets. Several other station groups partnered to launch Dyle last year, for example.
Tablet TV is currently in the process of beta-testing its product in San Francisco, where it operates KOFY-TV.
In developing their business model, Tablet TV's founders enlisted research company Frank N. Magid Associates, which found that 33 percent of tablet owners surveyed would be interested in the device and service.
"The data from Magid Associates confirms our belief that there is a strong appeal to have a simple TV destination on tablets that makes it easy to watch and record live, free, HD broadcast TV without needing an internet connection, video-on-demand movies and programs, integrated social networking, and access to everything available on the internet," said Leonard M. Fertig, CEO of Motive Television. "Providing a low-cost way for tablet viewers to watch the most popular programs with measurable viewing information for the industry on the fastest growing screens in America is our goal."
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