TV Answer Man
What Is Rabbit TV? Should I Get It?
Washington, D.C. (March 27, 2013) -
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Q. I've heard
of this new product called Rabbit TV that says you can get
thousands of TV stations for free by just putting a USB cord in
your computer. Is this for real? -- Tony, Brooklyn, New York.
The Rabbit TV web site says you can access more than 5,000 TV
stations for free from the Internet by inserting a USB stick
into a laptop or desktop computer. (No Smart TVs yet, the
company says on its web site.)
Rabbit TV, which charges $10 a year for the service, lists such
channels as ESPN, ABC, CBS, Cartoon Network, Discovery
Channel...well, pretty much every top-rated cable and broadcast
network you can think of.
Sounds good, huh? Well, here's the problem.
When you dig into the fine print at RabbitTV.com, you discover
that the service actually offers links to free episodes
from those cable and broadcast networks. Yes, the kind of links
that are available for free to anyone who would like to list
them. The service does not provide live streaming of channels
like ESPN, only the link to the ESPN site which might have a
certain video available. When you click on the link, the episode
appears on your screen.
So If you would like a service that compiles a lot of links to
free episodes -- and provides a convenient one-stop place to
watch them -- you would like Rabbit TV, particularly when you
consider it's just $10 a year. The company does aggregate a lot
of programming in one place.
But you're not going to be able to get rid of your cable or
satellite service because Rabbit TV does not offer live streams
of your favorite channels.
The San Francisco Chronicle points out that Rabbit TV does offer
live streaming of some small local and religious stations, but
the newspaper also calls Rabbit TV a "big-time scam" for
allegedly suggesting you'll get 5,000 free stations. I won't say that,
but the company's site and advertising campaigns may leave the impression with some that
you are going to get 5,000 live TV channels. For free.
And you don't.
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