How I Watched the Texans Game Live on my iPad
Say what you want about how the Texans are playing, but you can’t say they aren’t entertaining. I still have marks on my arm from where my girlfriend was squeezing me as Foster muscled his way into overtime with a two-point conversion.
It’s damn good television and perfect for a Sunday afternoon on the couch. But, because the TV signal in my area is garbage and I refuse to pay cable companies a huge chunk of my paycheck, watching local football games is a difficult proposition for me.
This year, I bought a copy of Madden 25 on Amazon that came with an exclusive Sunday ticket offer to let me stream every out-of-market football game on Sundays, even without a cable subscription. It’s pretty awesome when it works, but due to demand, the servers get locked up from time to time. Either way, I still can’t watch the Texans play if they are broadcast in my area unless I go to my brother’s house or the closet fan filled wing place.
Sometimes though, you just want to lie on your own damn couch and watch the game in your underwear with a beer… or seven.
Then, I got a much-anticipated email from Aereo.com. After being in New York for a year, the live TV streaming company is coming to Houston, and they’ve allowed me early access and a free month of service.
*cue chorus of angels singing*
Aereo works by leasing each subscriber a small, individual antenna in a remote location and streaming the signal over the internet to your computer, iOS device or Roku. $8 per month gives you access to live TV from broadcasting networks on up to 5 devices and 20 hours of DVR recording for time shifted viewing. Using this set up, Aereo circumvents paying re-transmission fees to the networks, and has been sued many times because of it. But, luckily for me, they keep winning their cases.
So, after being exasperated by weak TV signal I was eager to give Aereo a try. After a quick account set up on my iPad, I was dropped into the home screen showing a list of channels and what was on them, similar to what cable menus look like. I selected NFL football and after a few seconds of buffering, I was watching the game live.
After switching from low to medium resolution, it would frustratingly quit playback abruptly, but I’m not sure if that was because of Aereo or because I dropped my iPad a few months ago and the Wi-Fi on it has been struggling ever since. More testing is required before I can make any judgments. Of note though, when a show is scheduled to end, the recording and live playback stop. As I was watching to see if the Houston Texans’ kick would win the game or send us into overtime, the playback cut off and I had to select the channel again.
It may take me some time to learn all the nuances of the service, but I am excited by the prospect of what it has to offer. Aereo is a blessing for people in my (admittedly rare) situation. The cheap DVR will let me watch shows that I wouldn’t be able to without illegally downloading them, and let me tune into high demand, live events and the accompanying commercials. It’s a win-win for broadcasters and consumers, and this fall’s line up is already looking pretty decent.