Aereo’s live TV coming to Chromecast in May

The company is releasing an app for Android that lets users watch and record over-the-air broadcast television.

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Google's Chromecast dongle. Sarah Tew/CNET

Aereo announced Thursday that it's bringing its online over-the-air broadcast TV steaming and recording to Google's Chromecast dongle on May 29. The feature will be available via an Aereo app for Android on Google Play.

This Aereo app brings back a novel idea: it means users can tune into television on their televisions -- rather than just on a laptop, smartphone, or tablet.

"The way people watch and experience television is changing and Google is a pioneer in providing consumers with more choice and flexibility in how they access and experience that media," Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia said in a statement. "Consumers deserve more options and alternatives in how they watch television and our team is committed to providing consumers with the best experience possible using Aereo's innovative cloud technology."

Kanojia announced the company was working on the Aereo app last December, saying Chromecast was one of the main goals of Aereo achieving Android support.

Aereo is already compatible with Roku boxes and Apple TV via AirPlay. Adding Chromecast and Android to the mix greatly increases the company's coverage.

The app will work only for users in areas where Aereo is available, which is currently in 11 cities, including New York, Miami, and Houston. Aereo's membership rates range from $8 to $12 per month. Google's Chromecast dongle costs $35.

Despite Aereo spreading its reach, not everyone has been happy with the service. The company has been the target of a slew of lawsuits from all of the broadcast network giants, including CBS (the parent of CNET). One of these suits was just brought to the US Supreme Court in January.

The broadcasters claim Aereo violates their copyrights by streaming their shows to its paying members without paying the networks a fee for the programming. Aereo argues that its technology doesn't infringe on any copyrights since anyone is allowed to watch broadcast TV for free with an antenna. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case on April 22.

 

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