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Old 04-07-2014, 07:45 PM   #31
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Well, that's the point. Apple isn't making a billion bucks off of AppleTV. They still call it a hobby and I don't believe they are making all that much off them. Roku has a better price point and supplies most of the same services. Amazon's service model for the kindle has been that they sale kindles in order to sale content. Unless this is a bridge product for some new service, it just seems like a me too product.
Do you have an ATV or Roku? If not, do you stream media? If so, how? Just curious.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:37 PM   #32
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I have an AppleTV, Tivo and PS/2. I used a Roku for a while just for Pandora (though I also used it for Netflix), but now my receiver does Pandora. The two I use the most are the Tivo [about 80%](in addition to recording programs, it searches Netflix, Amazon and youTube) and AppleTV[about 19%] (when I buy or rent, I tend to use iTunes, though I use Amazon occasionally). I also use AppleTV for WatchESPN.
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:20 PM   #33
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I can see your perspective. No doubt it's a me too product. Just as the Fire was. Of course there is a significant ecosystem that comes with that me too device and allowing usb and BT controllers and keyboards is different. It plays games better than anything costing less than $100. And it's from Amazon and Bezos always delivers more than he promises and takes care of his customers.

Mine should be here tomorrow.
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:28 PM   #34
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I can see your perspective. No doubt it's a me too product. Just as the Fire was. Of course there is a significant ecosystem that comes with that me too device and allowing usb and BT controllers and keyboards is different. It plays games better than anything costing less than $100. And it's from Amazon and Bezos always delivers more than he promises and takes care of his customers.

Mine should be here tomorrow.
"Hey, hey!" Give that man a "Hey, Hey!"

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Old 04-09-2014, 11:17 PM   #35
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I can see your perspective. No doubt it's a me too product. Just as the Fire was. Of course there is a significant ecosystem that comes with that me too device and allowing usb and BT controllers and keyboards is different. It plays games better than anything costing less than $100. And it's from Amazon and Bezos always delivers more than he promises and takes care of his customers.

Mine should be here tomorrow.
Do you currently have any streaming devices? If so, let us know how they compare.
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Old 04-10-2014, 01:33 AM   #36
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My first streamer was a lowly Insignia BD player. Besides playing blu-ray discs and doing a nice job up-converting standard DVDs, it streamed Netflix, Pandora, and CinemaNow AND played files off an attached usb disk. You could queue up files in a playlist. I was getting these as refurbs from Cowboom for ~$50. Still have three of these plus two I've loaned out. Mostly these were used for Netflix and Optical media.

I replaced these with Sony SMP-N200s. These were pretty amazing. Each had wired and wireless ethernet, composite/component/hdmi out, optical out, and usb in. Definitely the best usb player I've ever had as it would play do continuous unattended play of all the files in a folder without intervention -- so sw1, sw2, sw3, sw4, sw5, and sw6 would play one after another with no user intervention. These also streamed dozens of 'channels' including Amazon Prime, Netflix, CinemaNow, Crackle, Flixster, Hulu Plus, Pandora, and Vudu. These were also about $50 via ebay. I had four and all are out on loan. Mostly these were used for Netflix. I used the usb media player a lot.

I have a chromecast which is very cool, but I almost never use it.

Right now, we mostly use Rokus. I have three Roku LT and three Roku 2 XS streamers. I got my first Roku 2 XS as a $70 refurb. It streamed all of the channels the SMP-N200 streamed, but had less outputs. Notable among the new channels were 'cable news' apps, PlayOn and PlayLater. Less notable were hundreds of religious channels, dozens of crappy movie apps, and a bunch of really terrible games. The R2XS played files off the USB port continuously using an app called Nowhere TV. I got one LT with my PlayOn subscription and added two more for $37 each from Amazon and a couple more R2XS refurbs. This is really the only choice if you want to do Aereo, Simple (DVR), tablo, etc. I have five Simple DVRs.

I've used Apple TV (someone else's for one weekend). Noble Netflix streamer, but the owner really used it to play stuff located by an iPhone.

We also have a PS3, an Xbox 360, and a WII all of which stream. We switched to steam/PC gaming last year. My youngest and wife also play games on the Kindle Fire.

Until recently, the streamers were little used. We still rely primarily on broadcast television. When we are not watching live television, we are watching timeshifted television on DTVPal DVRs (which are awesome).

We cut the cable five years ago. In the last two years, other family members have discovered and embraced Netflix, PlayOn, and Plex. My wife also listens to music. I am very happy that the Roku 2 XS has analog out -- she was running a 50" plasma all day to listen to TuneIn!

I was very excited about Mohu Channels, but bailed on the Kickstarter project earlier today. I am still excited about the DVR+. What I like is 1) PSIP guides that require no internet access or service, and 2) mash up of OTA and OTT services in a single guide. You can do this with a Roku if you have a Simple DVR, but the Roku interface is so primitive, you would not want to.

I have a Fire TV coming tomorrow. I'm hoping Simple integrates nicely (and that Simple does not go out of business) and that Amazon does for streamers what they did for ereaders and tablets.

A lot of stuff, right? For this to be something other than a science fair project, I needed to insulate the less technical from all the technology. I do this by making all the TVs (we have nine) work the same -- same remotes doing the same things. I limit the channels to really compelling stuff and add them one at a time.
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Old 04-11-2014, 05:04 PM   #37
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The big thing that Amazon brought to the table with regards to eReaders is content. That's why I buy almost all of my eBooks from Amazon (the rest are from Baen, though I have bought around 200 ebooks from Sony way back when). If Amazon is able to up it's game with regard to streaming content then they certainly might jump to the top of the heap.

Apple is top of the heap in the tablet arena by a fairly wide margin according to most of the stats that I've seen.

I suspect that 90 percent of the streaming market is going to go with either the "easiest" option (i.e. what is provided by their cable provider) or the one that has the content at a price point people are willing to pay. Right now, content is still an issue. I don't see that changing in the near future.
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:02 PM   #38
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Apple owned the tablet market when Amazon entered the fray. By last Christmas, that market was pretty competitive with Apple taking about a third...


Apple shipped 26m iPads in 4q2013. The total of all dedicated streamers sold EVER is less than that...


While serious gamers invest in the top platforms (PC/Xbox/PSx/Wii), a LOT of people are playing games on a tablet instead or as well...


In fact, among young kids, games are the main use of a tablet. And, btw, consoles are a niche comparable to streamers...


One more graph: what people are streaming...


While none of this was carefully researched, it supports my premise, so I went with it. My premise is simply that a lot of people are doing the things that the Fire TV does, but a lot more people are not. While no one is going to trade in a PS4 or an Apple TV for a Fire TV, people looking for a new device or a streamer for their 'other' televisions may well find that FTV does what they want for a reasonable price. When parents are looking for a streamer for thier youngsters, they will find that FTV supports familiar games, familiar services, and familiar controllers. They will be comfortable with the seller (Amazon) and will like the parental controls and FreeTime -- even if they never get around to using it.

One more thing: anyone remember living books? Each came with a paperbook booklet. You could read that book, read the book on your PC, have the PC read the book to you (highlighting the text as it read), and even 'play' on each page of the interactive book. This would be a lot of fun on a 60" plasma.

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Old 04-12-2014, 06:15 PM   #39
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I have just a Samsung Smart Tv. Wouldn't it theoretically be the same / equal the afore mentioned devices?
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Old 04-12-2014, 06:31 PM   #40
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It might be for you. I always caution people not to get too excited about how many channels or games a streamer supports. All that matters is what you will use. As for updates, some people actually prefer the older Netflix implementations to the new.

If your smart tv is smart enough for you, then it's *practically* the same.

To date, I have not been able to play media off an attached disk. My sister's Samsung set will play movies off a usb disk. If she wanted to do that, her smart tv would *practically* be better than a streamer.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:06 PM   #41
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It might be for you. I

If your smart tv is smart enough for you, then it's *practically* the same.

To date, I have not been able to play media off an attached disk. My sister's Samsung set will play movies off a usb disk. If she wanted to do that, her smart tv would *practically* be better than a streamer.
So far the Samsung does play most formats. Very cool.

We through out the cable 2 years ago.

I came across an iView DRV converter box that actually recorded to a hdd drive or flash drive mts movies off of my over the air TV. I have two outside antennas. I was so excited. It worked great with the samsung tv, just had to put on a hdmi setting, other tv antenna also hooked up. Along with a separate DVD player.

But after a week it quit turning on to record. For a while it was wonderful.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:19 PM   #42
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I love the Channel Master DVR+ for OTA...

http://www.channelmasterstore.com/DV...m-7500gb16.htm
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