NRI develops antenna that lets you watch TV channels wirelessly via Internet

NRI's device gets into legal fight with US TV giants, challenges decades old monopoly.

Published Date
21 - Jan - 2014
| Last Updated
21 - Jan - 2014
NRI develops antenna that lets you watch TV channels wirelessly v...

Chet Kanojia an Indian immigrant has built Aereo- a stamp size antenna that can grab over the air TV signals and stream them to subscribers on the Internet on any device, whether it's a smartphone, tablet or even your laptop. Users will be able to even record shows for later viewing with cloud-based DVR for a few bucks a month.

The new device has lead to a legal battle between the American Broadcasting Companies and. Aereo that will come up in the Supreme Court in April. A case of copyright infringement has been filed by 17 broadcasting giants ranging from Disney's ABC to Comcast NBC to 21st Century Fox against Aereo. The TV giants have stated that the device is a threat to their business model, and undermines the cable re-transmission fees. Broadcasters maintained that Aereo's transmissions constitute a "public performance" that requires Aereo to pay for retransmitting them.

However, the federal appeals court have ruled that Aereo's streams to subscribers were not "public performances," and therefore does not constitute copyright infringement. This has shook the TV giants and lead them to file a court in the Supreme court. Some of the channels are even considering taking themselves off the air and converting themselves to a cable-only channel.

Kanojia who won the case in lower courts and is confident that the Supreme Court will rule in his favor. “I can’t imagine they won’t be on the side of innovation,” he says, “cloud-based innovation, in particular, because it is so consumer-friendly. This is the first battleground for the next 50 years of how copyright is going to extend or apply to the Internet and the cloud,” he said in a recent interview.

Kanojia who has an engineering degree from the National Institute of Technology and has a mechanical degree from Northeastern University, US holds patents in more than 14 fields ranging from robotics to data. He sold his first company, Navic Networks, to Microsoft in 2008 for a reported $250 million.

Source : TOI