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Court ruling casts cloudy future for Aereo: CNET Update

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CNET Update: Court ruling casts cloudy future for Aereo

2:54 /

The US Supreme Court rules the broadcast-TV streaming service is illegal, but Aereo could evolve to continue in a new form. Meanwhile, cord-cutters get new digital antenna options with Mohu Channels, and Apple cuts the price of the iPod Touch.

It's the end of Aereo as we know it. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET update. [MUSIC] This week, while google is showing off shiny new smart watches at it's conference in San Fransisco, the television start up Aereo is dealing with a death sentence. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled two year old service violates copyright laws. It was a convenient way for cable cord cutters to watch live local TV. Instead of installing an antenna in your home to get free over the air broadcast channels, you could just pay $10 a month for Aereo to handle everything for you. Your tiny antenna was in a room with other customer antennas, and the company sent that TV signal to you over the internet. Aereo did this without paying for any broadcaster retransmission fees because of the antenna loophole. It was argued that it was like an equipment rental company, but the court shut that loophole down, and ruled that Aereo is no different from a cable company with fancier technology since it was broadcasting copyrighted works to the public. By all accounts, it looks like this is the end of Aereo. And if their is a way it can continue, it would have to evolve to offer a different type of service. And if you want to watch broadcast TV without paying for cable, you'll have to stick with subscription services like Amazon, Netflix, or Hulu. But new episodes sometimes are delayed by as much as a week. There's also the option of a digital antennae. There are a few companies out there that are trying to make the rabbit ear experience a bit more snazzy. Take for example a product called Mohu Channels. The antennae and box combo offers a channel guide. It matches up the free broadcast stations. With Apps and a web browser. They'll go on sale soon for $150. In other news, Apple's iPod Touch line got a bit of a reboot. The iPod Touches, which are basically iPhones without the phone. They all dropped in price. And the cheapest model with only 16 gigs of memory now comes in all the bright colors. And Apple added a camera to the back. Before, only the two higher memory models got the back camera with all six color options. So that means now that the cheapest iPod Touch is $200. It doesn't make much sense to buy an iPod Touch if you already have a smartphone. But, if you wish your iPod was an iPhone, you can use a mobile hotspot to give it wireless access wherever you go, so you can stay in touch with messaging Apps or with Skype. Freedom Pop is one that makes a hotspot case that fits your iPod Touch. Now, the covers may not be perfect in your area. But you do get 500 megabytes of 4G data for free every month. That's your tech news update. You can get more details on these stories at cnet.com and you can stay updated by following along on Twitter. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey. [MUSIC]

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