We're still waiting for the Supreme Court to tell us whether Aereo can stay open for business. But Chromecast users won't have to wait any longer to access the over-the-air streaming TV service with Google's streaming stick.
On Thursday, Aereo announced support for Chromecast. Users will be able to stream live or recorded broadcast television directly from a supported device (like their computer, tablet, or smartphone) to a Chromecast-equipped TV set.
The arrival of Chromecast support comes a week after Aereo delayed the release from its original May 29 ship date. Aereo cited the need to "work out a few kinks" for the week-long delay, but you can be forgiven for assuming that other pressing legal matters may be on the company's mind.
That's because Aereo is awaiting a Supreme Court decision on its very business model. The company streams over-the-air TV broadcasts to its subscribers, using TV antenna-equipped data centers and leasing individual antennas out to subscribers. Broadcasters like ABC, CBS, and NBC don't care for that — they contend Aereo infringes on their copyrighted material without paying them any fees. Aereo counters that it's just supplying a high-tech version of a VCR — long ago OK'd by the Supreme Court in Sony v. Universal — and that ruling against it could hurt the cloud storage business. Aereo and the broadcasters made their arguments before the Supreme Court in April; a ruling could be handed down any day now.
So enjoy that Chromecast support now, Aereo subscribers. Depending on what a majority of justices think of Aereo's business plan, the clock may be ticking on just how long there's a service to support.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.