Schweber admits he didn't understand the user end of the system, and here he shows he doesn't understand the server end either.
1. Aereo isn't addressing a non-problem; it's certainly a problem for some people that they can't receive their hometown TV broadcasts while traveling or after moving.
2. It isn't particularly complicated, unless a network of TV receivers is "complicated."
3. It doesn't necessarily consume any wireless data capacity at all! Aereo's own infrastructure certainly doesn't use any. End users may have wireless Internet connections or use Wi-Fi access points at home, but Aereo doesn't influence that significantly.
4. Aereo doesn't have transmitters at the receive end. In spite of what Schweber says, the Wall Street Journal article doesn't say anything about transmitters, so apparently Schweber has a reading comprehension problem.
5. Aereo's infrastructure doesn't scale linearly with the number of customers. Like any other multi-subscriber system, Aereo benefits from statistical multiplexing. Only some fraction of their subscribers are using the system at any given moment, and as Aereo's customer base expands, that fraction actually declines because its later customers are likely to be less avid users of the system.
The WSJ article has some problems of its own. Six watts per user is about fifty cents per month of electricity, which is a very small part of the $8/month of Aereo's per-user revenue. If that power figure is actually only for logged-in, active users, then Aereo is paying much less than fifty cents per month per subscriber.
The WSJ story flings around this $2 million per year figure as if it means something, but Aereo's annual revenue for 350,000 subscribers would be $33.6 million. Clearly power is the least of their worries.
I also don't understand why Aereo would be talking about going off-grid and using fuel cells. That would dramatically increase the company's power costs. No kind of power is as cheap as utility power.
So anyway, I think Schweber wasted a bunch of time with this post. Not his own, I suppose, assuming he gets paid for it, but that of his readers.
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