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Aereo Shakes Up Pricing

Cloud-based service unveils two subscription plans

Aereo, the bête noir of broadcasters, is shaking up its pricing structure.

The cloud-based service allows people to stream broadcast channels on mobile devices, computers and tablets. It launched in 2012 in New York City, and has announced plans to expand to other cities like Boston, Chicago, Dallas and Washington D.C. throughout the year.

The new pricing plan streamlines things from five different options to two plans that cost $8 and $12. Users who sign up for the $8 per month plan will receive 20 hours of DVR storage, while those who opt for the $12 per month plan get 60 hours of DVR storage.

To lure in newcomers, people who sign up will receive their first month of membership for free, Aereo said. The new pricing plan will go into effect on May 15 the same day the service launches in Boston.

Aereo may be in expansion mode, but it remains controversial. The company has been enmeshed in a protracted legal fight with NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, PBS and Univision, who claim Aereo steals their signal illegally and is guilty of copyright violation.