Aereo unveils new pricing plans, offers free hour of streaming per day

Aereo's streaming over-the-air TV service is now available for $8 per month, if you can live with less DVR space.

Aereo user interface
Aereo's new "Try For Free" option allows one hour of free TV streaming per day. Matthew Moskovciak/CNET

Aereo survived its early legal battles and now it's taking on the arguably tougher challenge: building its subscriber base.

The company announced a new pricing structure for its streaming over-the-air TV service, adding more subscription options to the original $12/month plan. There's now an $8/month option, which offers all of the same Aereo functionality, except you only get 20 hours of DVR storage, rather than the standard 40 hours. Aereo is also offering a discounted annual option for $80/year, which works out to $6.67/month for full Aereo functionality.

Aereo price structure
Click to enlarge Aereo

Even more interestingly, Aereo is introducing a new "Try For Free" option, which allows users to stream one hour of live TV per day, without requiring any credit card information. The free option lacks the advanced DVR options available to paying subscribers, but it should make it much easier for prospective subscribers to check out the service. There's also a "Day Pass" option for $1, which offers three hours of DVR space. Aereo's service is still currently limited to New York City residents.

While new pricing options make it easier to give Aereo a try, they don't address any of the criticisms I had in my initial hands-on . As promising as the service is, my experience was mixed, with lackluster video quality and the near-requirement of an iPad if you want to Aereo on your TV. (Although the new AirPlay mirroring functionality in the Mountain Lion operating system should make this easier.) Aereo remains a tantalizing option for cord-cutters , so we're still hoping the company can make it easier to watch over-the-air TV on your TV.

 

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