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TV streaming service Aereo delays Chicago launch due to beta site problems

Broadcast television-to-digital streaming service Aereo will not launch on time in Chicago due to issues with its beta site, meaning customers in the area, including iOS device owners, will have to wait a bit longer to sign up.

"Earlier this month," the company wrote on its site, "we embarked on our beta test in Chicago and encountered issues with our beta site. As a result, we have delayed our launch in Chicago."

Aereo's post did not specifically detail the issues delaying the launch of its Chicago service. Instead, the firm asks for prospective customers' patience "until we've found the right solution."

Founded in February of 2012, Aereo uses an array of micro-antennas to pipe content to a browser accessible Web portal and DVR system, with media available on personal devices like the iPad and iPhone. A subscription is required to use the service and streaming is currently limited to the Apple TV via AirPlay and certain Roku set-too boxes.

The company is almost more famous for its legal struggles than for its continually expanding service, however. While Aereo has expanded to Miami and Houston, and plans to be in 20 more cities by the end of 2013, it has also become the target of litigation from television broadcasters that allege the firm illegally retransmits protected content.

In April of this year, a New York federal appeals court denied a motion by broadcasters to shut down Aereo's television streaming service in that city. The court found the broadcasters' arguments insufficient for an injunction, but one dissenting judge decried Aereo's "Rube Goldberg-like contrivance... to avoid the reach of the Copyright Act."

Despite that ruling in Aereo's favor, the company's future remains uncertain as it embroiled in legal battles in multiple U.S. markets.