A Supreme Court hearing less than two weeks away hasn’t stopped Aereo from pursuing its mission to send broadcast TV through the Internet sans a cable or satellite TV subscription. Starting in May, Google Chromecast will support an Aereo app which, when plugged into a TV, will stream live broadcast television stations, such as NBC, CBS, and Fox, through your set.
“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,” said Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia. “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.”
With the addition of Aereo’s roster of broadcast channels, Google’s streaming TV dongle is starting to look more like a viable alternative to a cable package, at least in the select cities where Aereo is offering its services. You still can’t access traditional stations, like AMC or HGTV, or all the live sports ESPN offers, via Chromecast, though you can access sports that air on broadcast networks. And, with the right combination of log-ins, Chromecast offers some of television’s best programming–like HBO Go shows, for example. It also puts streaming-only favorites, like House of Cards, on your big TV screen.
Google has already sold “millions” of sticks, according to Google Chrome and Android SVP Sundar Pichai. Many Chromecast buyers thus far are probably using it as a supplement to their cable or satellite TV package–especially because technically HBO Go is only meant for cable subscribers. But with live broadcast TV available on Chromecast, aspiring cord-cutters might consider ditching their cable subscriptions for a stick.
That prospect, of course, will only further anger the broadcast companies attempting to sue Aereo out of existence just in time for the Supreme Court’s hearings at the end of this month.