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Roku CEO speculates Apple loses money on $99 Apple TV, analyst says it's break-even - Page 3

post #81 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Oh I misinterpreted slightly. Those are dumb comments though, and as before I wish CEOs would talk about their own products. Otherwise it's insulting to the people who actually create them.

QFT. I fully agree. Also, it comes across as a personal viewpoint. And a CEO ought to be a spokesman for the whole company, and somehow I don't think the employees share this viewpoint.
post #82 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by THT View Post

Maybe we are just talking past each other.

I'm only talking about the black puck version. There are three versions of that model:

The first version has an A4. This version is branded at Apple TV version 2 or Take 2.

The 2nd version of the of the black puck model, has a dual core with the one core fused off. This is refered to as the third version of "Apple TV" if you include the Intel models with a HDD.

The 3rd version of the black puck model, has a single core only A5. This version is refered to as "Apple TV" version 3a if you include the Intel models with the HDD.

Clear enough?

"Take 2" was actually the second version of the AppleTV software for the original AppleTV. Which is why the first smaller black puck was AppleTV Gen2 because it was the second generation of hardware. So the AppleTV life cycle so far is as follows:

AppleTV Gen1 (Mac Mini like running a modified version of OSX 10.4 & FrontRow)
AppleTV Gen1 w/ Take 2 software update (Removed the requirement of syncing to a computer)
AppleTV Gen2 & iOS based software (first version if the black puck, used A4 SoC)
AppleTV Gen3 revA (used dual core A5 with one core fused off)
AppleTV Gen3 revB (uses new smaller single core A5)

So you are spot on with your argument but just a little off on the naming of things. This might be where some of the confusion was? The third version of the black puck (Gen3 revB) uses a new single core A5 that "physically removes the unused core", meaning it's an A5 designed as a single core part. It never had a second core that was disabled/fused off which is what I think Sol doesn't fully grasp.

Here is a link to the part of the "Take 2" keynote
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vzIr8vCQDwk

-PopinFRESH
post #83 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by PopinFRESH View Post

...the black puck (Gen3 revB) uses a new single core A5 that "physically removes the unused core", meaning it's an A5 designed as a single core part. It never had a second core that was disabled/fused off which is what I think Sol doesn't fully grasp.

How do you physically remove something if, as you claim, it never existed in the first place? You could state that Apple designed a new, single-core A5 but that is not how Anand worded it.

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post #84 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

How do you physically remove something if, as you claim, it never existed in the first place? You could state that Apple designed a new, single-core A5 but that is not how Anand worded it.

RevA had an A5 that was a dual core part with one core fused off so it ran as a single core. RevB is a new single core design physically removing the unused core from the previous design. It's clearly stated as such in the quote from Anandtech in your post.

"The old A5 package measured roughly 14mm x 13mm, while the new package is approximately 12mm x 12mm. Chipworks removed and de-lidded the new chip, determining that it’s truly a new piece of silicon with a single core ARM Cortex A9 and a dual-core GPU. The previous part was a die harvested A5 with one CPU core fused off (S5L8942), but this new chip physically removes the unused core (S5L8947). The GPU seems to be untouched. There are other changes however, resulting in a 37.8mm^2 die down from 69mm^2 in the previous A5 design."

Anand does state that it's a truly new piece of silicon with a single core CPU. The "physically removes the unused core" is clearly in reference to the previous design with a fused off core, in the beginning of the same sentence. That whole paragraph is comparing this new single core chip to the old dual core chip that had a core fused off. The A5 chip in RevB never contained a second core as it was removed from the design compared to the chip in RevA. A second core existed on RevA, a second core never existed on RevB.

Clear enough yet? When reading the quote of Anand that you underlined in your post, it seems pretty clear to me.

-PopinFRESH
post #85 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by PopinFRESH View Post

RevA had an A5 that was a dual core part with one core fused off so it ran as a single core. RevB is a new single core design physically removing the unused core from the previous design. It's clearly stated as such in the quote from Anandtech in your post.

"The old A5 package measured roughly 14mm x 13mm, while the new package is approximately 12mm x 12mm. Chipworks removed and de-lidded the new chip, determining that it’s truly a new piece of silicon with a single core ARM Cortex A9 and a dual-core GPU. The previous part was a die harvested A5 with one CPU core fused off (S5L8942), but this new chip physically removes the unused core (S5L8947). The GPU seems to be untouched. There are other changes however, resulting in a 37.8mm^2 die down from 69mm^2 in the previous A5 design."

Anand does state that it's a truly new piece of silicon with a single core CPU. The "physically removes the unused core" is clearly in reference to the previous design with a fused off core, in the beginning of the same sentence. That whole paragraph is comparing this new single core chip to the old dual core chip that had a core fused off. The A5 chip in RevB never contained a second core as it was removed from the design compared to the chip in RevA. A second core existed on RevA, a second core never existed on RevB.

Clear enough yet? When reading the quote of Anand that you underlined in your post, it seems pretty clear to me.

-PopinFRESH

Again, there is nothing clear about "but this new chip physically removes the unused core" to instead mean "but this new chip is designed from the ground up to only be single-core." Think that about that logically; if it was a new design there would be no need to physically remove anything from the chip, not to mention the sentence in no way states it's a new design. That doesn't come until the very end. That said, I'll concede that is mostly the case as it's likely the simplest solution.

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post #86 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Again, there is nothing clear about "but this new chip physically removes the unused core" to instead mean "but this new chip is designed from the ground up to only be single-core." Think that about that logically; if it was a new design there would be no need to physically remove anything from the chip, not to mention the sentence in no way states it's a new design. That doesn't come until the very end. That said, I'll concede that is mostly the case as it's likely the simplest solution.

 

You are right, when you only take half a sentence then there is nothing indicating what the unused core is. However if you actually read the whole sentence it's pretty clear.

 

"The previous part was a die harvested A5 with one CPU core fused off (S5L8942), but this new chip physically removes the unused core (S5L8947)."

 

Also the second sentence in the paragraph explicitly states its new silicon as discovered by Chipworks. Life would be rather confusing if you only had the capacity to deal with one, or partial, sentences at a time. Thankfully our brains have the capacity to handle context.

 

-PopinFRESH

post #87 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by PopinFRESH View Post

AppleTV Gen1 (Mac Mini like running a modified version of OSX 10.4 & FrontRow)
AppleTV Gen1 w/ Take 2 software update (Removed the requirement of syncing to a computer)
AppleTV Gen2 & iOS based software (first version if the black puck, used A4 SoC)
AppleTV Gen3 revA (used dual core A5 with one core fused off)
AppleTV Gen3 revB (uses new smaller single core A5)

 

This is a lot clearer than what I said. Should of went back and looked at the official branding, but didn't have time. I likely conflated Take 2 with Apple TV (2nd generation).

post #88 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by PopinFRESH View Post

You are right, when you only take half a sentence then there is nothing indicating what the unused core is. However if you actually read the whole sentence it's pretty clear.

"The previous part was a die harvested A5 with one CPU core fused off (S5L8942), but this new chip physically removes the unused core (S5L8947)."

Also the second sentence in the paragraph explicitly states its new silicon as discovered by Chipworks. Life would be rather confusing if you only had the capacity to deal with one, or partial, sentences at a time. Thankfully our brains have the capacity to handle context.


-PopinFRESH

1) I originally quoted the entire sentence and noted that the word design didn't come until the very last word of the very last sentence and in no way is conclusive.

2) Even in your previous post you claim that they physically removed the core which makes me wonder if you yet understand why that is a very, very poor choice of words if, indeed, that is not what they actually did, as you claim.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #89 of 111

 

Can’t design your own product? Can’t create your own services? Steal the leader’s and then insult their hardware!

 

That’s the Roku Way™!

Originally posted by Relic

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post #90 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

What's the angle?

There was an article suggesting Roku may be planning to go public:

http://siliconangle.com/blog/2014/02/21/breaking-news-roku-preparing-to-go-public/

"Roku has raised a total of $127 million in funding from investors."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-21/roku-said-to-be-weighing-initial-public-offering-in-u-s-in-2014.html

"Netflix planned to release its own box until CEO Reed Hastings decided to stay out of the hardware business. Wood created a separate company (Roku) that Netflix backed with $6 million.

In May 2013, Roku received $60 million in new funding from Hearst Corp. and an unidentified institutional investor. They joined Menlo Ventures, News Corp., British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (BSY) and others backers who previously financed the company.

Wood said in an interview at the time that the company had sufficient cash and that going public was “not a priority for us right now.”"

The fact they need funding from investors suggests they can't grow the business on their own as they aren't profitable enough. If they were planning to take the company public, they'd probably try to justify to potential investors how valuable an investment the company would be relative to the biggest competitors. Suggesting that the Apple TV isn't worth their biggest competitor even selling is one way to do that.

Looking at Roku and the Apple TV as competitors doesn't tell the whole story either. The chips Apple uses in the Apple TV are designed by Apple and the costs for those are supported by their iPhone and iPad business. They are dual-core parts with one core disabled. Roku instead buys media processors from Broadcom, the latest chip being the Broadcom BCM11130. Roku has no other part of their business to share costs with.

If investors are throwing money in to keep Roku afloat and there's no return, they'll eventually stop doing that. Apple can keep the Apple TV alive for as long as they want.
post #91 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


QFT. I fully agree. Also, it comes across as a personal viewpoint. And a CEO ought to be a spokesman for the whole company, and somehow I don't think the employees share this viewpoint.

 

I don't always mind that. I mean CEOs can have their own opinions, but he's too focused on something else. His team arguably deserves better than that. Apple isn't entirely immune to that sort of thing either. You may recall the I'm a mac ads. I'm glad they went away from that direction. It's unimaginative.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Can’t design your own product? Can’t create your own services? Steal the leader’s and then insult their hardware!

 

That’s the Roku Way™!

Why do you say that? Roku has been around longer than their set top box. Granted it did start out with an ugly design

 

 

when it was a project tied to netflix. I suspect most of the efforts up to that point were in engineering. It was supposedly part of Netflix and later transferred to Roku. I don't know where you get the idea that they can't create their own services. Netflix wanted to propagate their streaming content, as the dvd by mail portion was less successful. That strategy predates the Apple TV. The box itself came out soon after, presumably due to a need to release something at that point rather than watch their most successful business model evaporate.

post #92 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by THT View Post

Should of went back and looked at the official branding, but didn't have time.

Some use this little handy tool for quick lookups like that:
http://www.mactracker.ca

post #93 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Can’t design your own product? Can’t create your own services? Steal the leader’s and then insult their hardware!

 

That’s the Roku Way™!

They do have a second class look and feel to their product. I have had every Apple TV that has been offered, and I think even the first Apple TV was still better than any Roku. In fact it was a very capable box.

When Apple released their 2nd gen Apple TV I bought both it and roku's latest offering. That Roku was so clunky I took it back within a few days, and it was such a turn off that I won't try them again. I can't stand the clunky feel, it's similar to the Android system. Clunky.

Apple's products and interface are everything that all other manufacturers aspire to be, so why not just get the best there is?

post #94 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Looking at Roku and the Apple TV as competitors doesn't tell the whole story either. The chips Apple uses in the Apple TV are designed by Apple and the costs for those are supported by their iPhone and iPad business. They are dual-core parts with one core disabled. Roku instead buys media processors from Broadcom, the latest chip being the Broadcom BCM11130. Roku has no other part of their business to share costs with.

 

The Roku CEO said a rather odd thing about Apple losing money on Apple TV devices. That's like admitting that Roku loses money on every device it sells, which is what you were kind of intimating with the reluctance to take Roku public. Maybe the CEO was just saying things without thinking it through, being emotional about it, but if Apple sells Apple TV devices at a loss, than Roku sells their devices at a loss too.

 

We had a long sub-conversation to establish that Apple spun an Apple TV specific SoC for the 2013 Apple TV. There's no cost sharing or cherry picking from SoCs that were meant for iPod touch, iPhone 4S, iPad mini, iPad 2 devices there. It's a unique SoC for the 2013 model, and they've sold about 5 to 6 million of these units. Apple did a custom SoC while Roku buys something off-the-shelf. Don't think there will be much difference in the cost, especially at $100 prices for the whole device. So, I think the BOM of the hardware between Roku and Apple TV devices are pretty close to each other, $40 to $50, and Roku sells there Roku 3 streamer for $100. It's not like Apple is undercutting them. Apple doesn't undercut anyone. And I may be overestimating the BOM at those levels if the Raspberry Pi is any indicator.

 

Maybe Roku is suffering on the content deal end, and the retail cut they have have to give retailers? Hard to believe they are selling the hardware itself at a loss.

post #95 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApplePieGuy View Post
 

They do have a second class look and feel to their product. I have had every Apple TV that has been offered, and I think even the first Apple TV was still better than any Roku. In fact it was a very capable box

Roku worked with more streaming sources, but Apple had imo a prettier ui. I would like to know your reasoning for this.

post #96 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApplePieGuy View Post

They do have a second class look and feel to their product. I have had every Apple TV that has been offered, and I think even the first Apple TV was still better than any Roku. In fact it was a very capable box.
When Apple released their 2nd gen Apple TV I bought both it and roku's latest offering. That Roku was so clunky I took it back within a few days, and it was such a turn off that I won't try them again. I can't stand the clunky feel, it's similar to the Android system. Clunky.
Apple's products and interface are everything that all other manufacturers aspire to be, so why not just get the best there is?

I would agree except for Take 2. I felt that interface was a huge downgrade in usability.



PS: I miss that nifty animation when it booted up, even though it's a waste since it's an always-on device.

Original:


Take 2:

Edited by SolipsismX - 3/30/14 at 7:11pm

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #97 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Amazon says they have no plans for a streaming set-top box.

In the weasel-word world of PR, that doesn't mean they aren't seriously considering it, or even developing one. I'd be surprised if they haven't been working on one, whether they decide to do it or not, I don't know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Curtis View Post

Has this Guy every heard of Media Content.
You sell the razors cheap and charge more for the blades
Apple Just Buy Roku already!

I don't see any need for Apple to buy Roku.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Can’t design your own product? Can’t create your own services? Steal the leader’s and then insult their hardware!

I read the article here, and the source article at Cnet. I guess I'm lost on the insult, or what they stole.

I guess losing money is insulting, but for the consumer, it might mean they're getting a better device than they're paying for.

But I just don't buy it. I'd be very, very surprised if Apple is breaking even or even losing money on them. Economies of scale go up a lot when you're making a few million units a year. For example, Blu-Ray players sell for less and they're far more complicated and parts-intensive devices.
post #98 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

In the weasel-word world of PR, that doesn't mean they aren't seriously considering it, or even developing one. I'd be surprised if they haven't been working on one, whether they decide to do it or not, I don't know.

True. A dongle isn't a set-top box anyway. 1wink.gif
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post #99 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiefthinker View Post

I think Apple is going to surprise everyone with their next version of ATV by including their 64bit A7 chip and a SSD thereby instantly becoming the best and most affordable DVR available anywhere. 

My only beef with ATV is the lag when rewinding a Netflix or Airplay streamed video. I see no reason the ATV cannot become the PREMIER DVR in the market....
Seems like a no brainer to me....or am I missing something?
..
For small players it is worthwhile to have Apple as an expensive pimp, but bigger players know that long term selling their body that way, content creation stalls through that major added cost.

Platforms are simply the middleman, and as such the commission charged has to reflect the real world.
I would not be surprised if the major studios are not working together to create their own cheap content delivery system. There is no reason why they cannot emulate that $15 Now TV box that sells in the UK.


Even $15 would buys a heck of a lot of ARM based chippery so costs are very very low.
post #100 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


There was an article suggesting Roku may be planning to go public:

http://siliconangle.com/blog/2014/02/21/breaking-news-roku-preparing-to-go-public/

"Roku has raised a total of $127 million in funding from investors."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-21/roku-said-to-be-weighing-initial-public-offering-in-u-s-in-2014.html

"Netflix planned to release its own box until CEO Reed Hastings decided to stay out of the hardware business. Wood created a separate company (Roku) that Netflix backed with $6 million.

In May 2013, Roku received $60 million in new funding from Hearst Corp. and an unidentified institutional investor. They joined Menlo Ventures, News Corp., British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (BSY) and others backers who previously financed the company.

Wood said in an interview at the time that the company had sufficient cash and that going public was “not a priority for us right now.”"

The fact they need funding from investors suggests they can't grow the business on their own as they aren't profitable enough. If they were planning to take the company public, they'd probably try to justify to potential investors how valuable an investment the company would be relative to the biggest competitors. Suggesting that the Apple TV isn't worth their biggest competitor even selling is one way to do that.

Looking at Roku and the Apple TV as competitors doesn't tell the whole story either. The chips Apple uses in the Apple TV are designed by Apple and the costs for those are supported by their iPhone and iPad business. They are dual-core parts with one core disabled. Roku instead buys media processors from Broadcom, the latest chip being the Broadcom BCM11130. Roku has no other part of their business to share costs with.

If investors are throwing money in to keep Roku afloat and there's no return, they'll eventually stop doing that. Apple can keep the Apple TV alive for as long as they want.

Sorry- I had a long work week last week with travel, so my brain might not be working at full capacity yet.

 

So I might be missing it- but how does it benefit Roku to say that the Apple TV isn't making any money.  Let's pretend that's true- What does Roku benefit by that statement?

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post #101 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

how does it benefit Roku to say that the Apple TV isn't making any money.  Let's pretend that's true- What does Roku benefit by that statement?

Negative marketing against a competitor is usually beneficial. In this case, if the same statements about not making money apply to Roku and people figure that out then it adversely affects them but not if people don't figure that out. The suggestion seems to be that Roku's biggest competitor will give up due to lack of profits and leave Roku to corner the market. If they plan to go public in order to raise capital, this could persuade investors to invest on the assumption that the company will be able to hold up and grow compared to their much larger competitors. It doesn't matter to them if it's a lie as long as they get their funding.
post #102 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


The suggestion seems to be that Roku's biggest competitor will give up due to lack of profits and leave Roku to corner the market. If they plan to go public in order to raise capital, this could persuade investors to invest on the assumption that the company will be able to hold up and grow compared to their much larger competitors. It doesn't matter to them if it's a lie as long as they get their funding.

Gotcha.  So its a bluff to potential investors "Hey- Apple is about to be out of the picture, because they are in business to make large margins, which they aren't doing with the Apple TV- so they'll be gone soon and we can make more $".

What an idiot.  Any investor worth a damn would know Apple doesn't get into a market unless it can make money.  They don't do things for fun.  That's Google's job.

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post #103 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

They don't do things for fun.

Then why call it a 'hobby'? Historically hobbies aren't purposely used for financial gain by the hobbyist.
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post #104 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Then why call it a 'hobby'? Historically hobbies aren't purposely used for financial gain by the hobbyist.

I think they called it a hobby because of the poor sales -when compared to any of their other products- and tried to make it sound that they're interested 'in the living room' but as yet haven't released anything more than a 'streaming box'.
post #105 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Then why call it a 'hobby'? Historically hobbies aren't purposely used for financial gain by the hobbyist.

I'm sure Steve and now Tim have plenty of "hobby" projects.  Their true "hobbies", we never get to see.  Didn't I read that Steve had some crazy iMac or TV or something they designed there?

 

If it wasn't making money, whether directly or indirectly, they wouldn't have it in the line up.

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post #106 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Negative marketing against a competitor is usually beneficial. In this case, if the same statements about not making money apply to Roku and people figure that out then it adversely affects them but not if people don't figure that out. The suggestion seems to be that Roku's biggest competitor will give up due to lack of profits and leave Roku to corner the market. If they plan to go public in order to raise capital, this could persuade investors to invest on the assumption that the company will be able to hold up and grow compared to their much larger competitors. It doesn't matter to them if it's a lie as long as they get their funding.

A different school of thought is "don't give publicity to your competitors". But in this case, if he didn't mention Apple, we wouldn't have heard about this interview.

Yeah, the guy's reasoning falls apart pretty quickly, it's hard to think of a charitable way to spin it.

I don't see any reason to believe that Roku is necessarily losing money either. An off-the-shelf ARM with good graphics built-in is pretty inexpensive these days. There are plenty of $40 MK808 type HDMI dongles that have dual core ARM chips in them, there are several hobbyist ARM circuits with graphics output in that price range too. If Roku can't make a profit at $99 then the probably screwed up.
Edited by JeffDM - 3/31/14 at 10:56am
post #107 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

In the weasel-word world of PR, that doesn't mean they aren't seriously considering it, or even developing one. I'd be surprised if they haven't been working on one, whether they decide to do it or not, I don't know..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

True. A dongle isn't a set-top box anyway. 1wink.gif

So this is what an Amazon denial of set-top box plans really looks like
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CX5P8FC
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post #108 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


So this is what an Amazon denial of set-top box plans really looks like
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CX5P8FC

...? Introduced today, so it's not an April Fool's joke.

When did they say they had no plans to offer one?
post #109 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

...? Introduced today, so it's not an April Fool's joke.

When did they say they had no plans to offer one?

Thanks for asking the question Jeff. When I went looking for that mention I found I had misread it and that Amazon's denial was for a free streaming service. Technically that would be correct then, no free streaming. Mea culpa.
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post #110 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Thanks for asking the question Jeff. When I went looking for that mention I found I had misread it and that Amazon's denial was for a free streaming service. Technically that would be correct then, no free streaming. Mea culpa.

OK, not a big deal. It still accepts Prime.

I can't say I find a need or want for it though. A PS3 handles most things I need for my TV, and Amazon is offered on that.
Edited by JeffDM - 4/2/14 at 10:29am
post #111 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

OK, not a big deal. It still accepts Prime.

I can't say I find a need or want for it though. A PS3 handles most things I need for my TV, and Amazon is offered on that.

No HBO Go on the PS3 kills me.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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