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Aereo TV Technology Lives On

8 Jun, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

To most observers, defunct Aereo TV’s misguided attempted to offer a subscription streaming service featuring live and on-demand local TV broadcasts on portable devices via micro antennae without paying for the content, was a longshot.

The latter legal detail landed Aereo in no-win litigation against deep-pocketed media companies. When the service filed for bankruptcy in 2014, it reportedly had spent $35 million creating over-the-top video and streaming technology.

Enter WISI Communications GmbH, a German broadband networks provider. The company earlier this year acquired Aereo’s authentication, packaging, DVR, provisioning and infrastructure software. TiVo acquired other assets.

WISI did not acquire the controversial micro antennae technology, which Aereo claimed — unsuccessfully — allowed it to capture over-the-air digital signals for free.

Media companies, spearheaded by major broadcasters, characterized Aereo as little more than a content pirate.

At the AngaCom 2016 Exhibition in Cologne, Germany, WISI June 8 announced further expansion of its multiscreen and OTT portfolio featuring Aereo technology and now known as Project Katamaran. The platform targets independent distributors looking to enter the OTT video market with anywhere from a few thousand to a few hundred thousand subscribers.

Unlike Aereo, WISI says its customers are licensed operators and have existing content relationships allowing them to leverage the technology.

“Our long term vision is that streaming infrastructure will be as important to video delivery tomorrow as QAM is today and has been for the past decade.” said Axel Sihn, managing director of WISI.

QAM, or quadrature amplitude modulation, is the format by which digital cable channels are encoded and transmitted via cable television providers.

"We asked ourselves how these products could be done better, in a cost effective and proven way. To meet [the OTT video] demand, we acquired these assets, giving us a huge advantage over the rest of the market,” John Pomeroy, VP of multiscreen infrastructure at WISI, told LightReading.com.


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