Paul Calnan
Published September 22, 2013

I cancelled my cable television subscription a few months ago. I don't watch enough television to justify what my cable company was charging me monthly for a service I didn't use.

I'm a football fan, though, and couldn't imagine going the whole season without watching the Patriots play. Luckily, around the time I cancelled my cable, Aereo came to Boston. If you're not familiar with their service, Aereo allows you to watch broadcast television over the Internet. It's only broadcast, so I can't watch the Red Sox (as they're on a cable-only network), but local NFL games are carried on broadcast stations.

Aereo also works like an online DVR. You tell it which shows to record and you can stream those shows whenever you want.

In my previous post I explained how I use Keybord Maestro to get HTML5 video. That trick works with Aereo as well, which usually requires Flash to view video on the desktop. Log in to Aereo from desktop Safari and it says you need to have Flash installed to watch video. Change to the Mobile Safari for iPad user agent string and you can watch video.

When using a DVR, I find it essential to be able to skip back and forth by several seconds, mainly to skip commercials. This is impossible to do using the HTML5 video player. I'm not sure if you can do the same in the Flash player, but I'd rather not have to use Flash in order to watch video.

The Media Center Safari Extension adds a context-menu when you right-click on an HTML5 video with the option to open the video in QuickTime Player. I wrote an AppleScript that can tell QuickTime Player to jump forwards or backwards an arbitrary number of seconds. I activate those scripts via Keyboard Maestro macros to allow me to fast forward or rewind 5, 15, 30, 60, 120, or 300 seconds. I have those bound to the following keys:

Action Key
Rewind 5 minutes [
Rewind 2 minutes [
Rewind 1 minute [
Rewind 30 seconds ,
Rewind 15 seconds ,
Rewind 5 seconds ,
Fast forward 5 seconds .
Fast forward 15 seconds .
Fast forward 30 seconds .
Fast forward 1 minute ]
Fast forward 2 minutes ]
Fast forward 5 minutes ]

That's a lot of shortcuts. I just remember that square brackets ([ and ]) jump by minutes and angle brackets (< and >) jump by seconds. Shift (⇧) jumps by more and alt (⌥) shifts by less.

Combined with AirPlay Mirroring to my Apple TV, I have a decent DVR system controlled by my MacBook Air that allows me to watch NFL football without having to see any commercials.

The Keyboard Maestro macros are available on Github.