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We are a group of active cell phone enthusiasts who have set up this site as a place to talk about Lightyear Wireless and all things cell phone related. In the Lightyear Wireless cell phone forum you can ask/answer questions, discover how to save big money on your cell phone service, get tips and tricks, post cool apps, share or learn about rumors, phone accessories, customizing your phone, data, games, music, videos, cell phone trends, wireless technologies and new technologies, mobile developments, OS systems, likes/ dislikes about phone, carrier, etc… and even an unrelated forum area. To visit the Rant and Rave Cell Phone Forum click here.

 

Additionally, while you’re here be sure to check out our highly recommended wholesale cell phone service provider Lightyear Wireless. They offer “true” unlimited talk, text, and web (with no data cap or slow down) prepaid service for only $59.99 per month. No contract or credit check required! They don’t add the 28% in fee’s you typically see on your phone bill either. The only other fee Lightyear Wireless will charge you is state sales tax. For example in Rhode Island the whole bill is $64.17 and your bill will stay the same every month. In Florida there is no state sales tax so you only pay $59.99. Incredibly, they even offer customers a way to earn FREE unlimited service with their refer 5 plan. For all the details about Lightyear Wireless click here.

 

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FCC, in ‘Net Neutrality’ Turnaround, Plans to Allow Fast Lane – New York Times


Times of India

FCC, in 'Net Neutrality' Turnaround, Plans to Allow Fast Lane
New York Times
The proposed rules, drafted by Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, and his staff, would allow Internet service providers to charge companies different rates for faster connection speeds. Credit Daniel Rosenbaum for The ...
FCC to Propose New 'Net Neutrality' RulesWall Street Journal
Competition is "watchword" for US wireless industry -FCC chiefReuters
NET BRUTALITY FCC Reverses Course on Net NeutralityDaily Beast
PCWorld -CNET -PC Magazine
all 82 news articles »
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First Take: For Apple, what comes next is what matters

NEW YORK —Short of something completely out of left field, it almost didn't matter what kind of second quarter earnings Apple CEO Tim Cook would report today—and in case you missed it, Apple earned $10.2 billion in net profits on sales of $45.6 billion in its latest quarter, besting analyst estimates overall. With sales of 44 million iPhones, Apple's iconic smartphone crushed expectations; sales of the iPad in turn came up short.

But what matters most, to consumers, to investors, to competitors—and to a loyal fan base that in some circles is growing impatient, is what comes next, and how whatever that is drives earnings in the next quarter, or more likely the quarter after that?

In an appearance earlier today on CNBC's Squawk on the Street one-time Apple CEO John Sculley begged the question many people have been asking of Cook: "Can he do the creative leaps" that was the hallmark of Apple when Steve Jobs ran the place and that have dried up of late?

So what does emerge from the creative pipeline? People pining for the next big Apple chart-topper are putting their faith in the long awaited iWatch. True believers in such a techie timepiece are dismissing the fact that most other early smartwatches have been disappointing, and are claiming that Apple's will be the product that finally makes the nascent wearable computing category explode, possibly in connection with an equally speculated on Healthbook app.

Apple move into television, at least in a grander fashion, has also been long rumored, and seems inevitable. The most likely outcome is a souped-up Apple TV box perhaps with iOS-based games and other apps. Apple has to notice that Amazon recently got into the set-top box business with Fire TV, joining a competitive space that includes the current Apple TV, Roku and Google's Chromecast. Expect Google push Android TV into the living room. (I'm not betting on a full-fledged Apple-branded television).

Count me among those who would be disappointed if Apple fails to bring out a larger screen iPhone 6 (or whatever it's called) to match the larger smartphone displays on rival phones.

It's also worth watching to see how Apple addresses the mobile payments space in the coming months, maybe as it expands upon what for now is apparently the seldom used Passbook app.

Apple is not scheduled to take the public stage again until June, at its annual Apple Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco. Even at that folks may have to wait until later in the year before some or all these speculated on new products make any kind of mark--and for some that won't be soon enough.

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Apple sales knocked the quarter ‘out of the park’

Apple and Facebook had surprisingly good news Wednesday after the two tech giants reported their quarterly earnings. Both companies topped estimates in the latest reports. VPC

Don't start planning that funeral for the iPhone. Not yet anyway.

Apple, the maker of the popular smartphone, reported strong sales for a quarter in which analysts had expected iPhone sales to hit a slump.

Despite fears of recent softness, Apple knocked the quarter "out of the park, with iPhone sales and gross margin upticking nicely," said Brian Marshall, an analyst with International Strategy & Investment Group.

The iPhone business is healthier "than we and the Street previously expected," said Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, in a note to investors.

Apple on Wednesday announced quarterly sales of $45.6 billion and net profit of $10.2 billion, beating analysts' projections of $43.5 billion in revenue. The company also upped its stock-buyback program, splitting the stock 7 for 1.

"We believe our current stock price does not reflect the size of the company," CEO Tim Cook said on a conference call with analysts. The buyback shows "our strong confidence in the future of Apple."

The stock split takes place in June. On June 2, each shareholder will get six additional shares for each share held, "to make stock more accessible to investors," says Cook. The split will take effect on June 9.

Shares jumped more than 7% to $566.07 in after-hours trading. In regular trading, shares fell $6.95 to close at $524.75

FIRST TAKE: For Apple, what comes next is what matters

INTO THE FUTURE: Tech is going mobile — in a big way

The results for the fiscal 2014 second quarter are slightly up from the year-ago quarter of $43.6 billion and net profit of $9.5 billion.

"We're very proud of our quarterly results, especially our strong iPhone sales and record revenue from services," said Cook. "We're eagerly looking forward to introducing more new products and services that only Apple could bring to market."

Apple said it sold 43.7 million iPhones, 16 million iPads and 4 million Apple Macintosh computers in the quarter.

The 43.7 million iPhones beat Wall Street estimates of 38.5 million, notes Munster.

The company has been under pressure to compete with splashy rivals like those from South Korea's Samsung. The last new iPhone went on sale in September and sports a 4-inch screen, considerably smaller than newer models such as Samsung's Galaxy S5, released this month, with a 5.1-inch screen.

Consumers know that Apple historically releases new iPhones and iPads in the fall, and they tend to hold back on purchases to wait for the new stuff. But they didn't stay away in the quarter, continuing to buy the new iPhone 5s and 5c phones introduced in September.

EARNINGS: Facebook rides mobile ad sales to $885M profit

FIRST TAKE: Facebook takes on another transition as results surge

Meanwhile, Apple is also on the losing end of a battle with Google's Android platform for the hearts and minds of mobile consumers. While the iPhone remains a huge hit and cash cow for the company, Android phones are outselling it. According to researcher eMarketer, Apple's smartphone market share in the U.S. will rise to 40.5% in 2014, up from 40% in 2013, but Android will beat it at 50%, up from 49.5% in 2013.

Apple hasn't held a public event since last fall's launch of two new iPad models. In June it will stage its annual Worldwide Developer's Conference in San Francisco. The conference historically touts new updates to the iOS mobile operating system for iPhone and iPad, and the OS X operating system for Apple computers. However, the company could shift gears and release, or spotlight, new iPhones.

Michael Walkley, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity, believes larger iPhones "will create a stronger than normal upgrade cycle among Apple's loyal and growing customer base."

Meanwhile, on the earnings call, Cook revealed sales numbers for the $99 Apple TV streaming media box for the first time, saying some 20 million boxes have been sold to date, bringing in $1 billion in revenue for both box sales, and the movies and TV shows it sells from the box for viewing. Rival Roku has sold 8 million streaming boxes to date.

Follow Jefferson Graham on Twitter

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Apple beats estimates with earnings

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LOS ANGELES — Apple on Wednesday announced quarterly sales of $45.6 billion and net profit of $10.2 billion, beating analysts projections of $43.5 billion in revenue.

The results for the fiscal 2014 second quarter are slightly up from the year-ago quarter of $43.6 billion and net profit of $9.5 billion.

"We're very proud of our quarterly results, especially our strong iPhone sales and record revenue from services," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. "We're eagerly looking forward to introducing more new products and services that only Apple could bring to market."

Apple said it sold 43 million iPhones, 16 million iPads and 4 million Apple Macintosh computers in the quarter.

"Despite fears of recent softness, Apple knocked the March-14 quarter out of the park with iPhone sales and gross margin upticking nicely," said Brian Marshall, an analyst with International Strategy & Investment Group. The company, maker of the iconic iPhone, iPad tablet and computers, has been under pressure to compete with splashy rivals like those from South Korea's Samsung. The last new iPhone went on sale in September, and sports a 4-inch screen, considerably smaller than newer models such as Samsung's Galaxy S5, released this month, with a 5.1-inch screen.

Consumers know that Apple historically releases new iPhones and iPads in the fall, and in this quarter holds back on purchases, to wait for the new stuff.

Meanwhile, Apple is also on the losing end of a battle with Google's Android platform for the hearts and minds of mobile consumers. While the iPhone remains a huge hit and cash cow for the company, Android phones are out-selling the iPhone. According to researcher eMarketer, Apple's smartphone market share in the U.S. will rise to 40.5% in 2014, up from 40% in 2013, but Android will beat it at 50%, up from 49.5% in 2013.

Apple hasn't held a public event since last fall's launch of two new iPad models October 22, but will stage it's annual Worldwide Developer's Conference in San Francisco June 2nd. The conference historically touts new updates to the IOS mobile operating system for iPhone and iPad, and the OSX operating system for Apple computers. However, due to the pressure from investors, Apple could release, or spotlight, new iPhones.

Michael Walkley, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity, believes larger iPhones "will create a stronger than normal upgrade cycle among Apple's loyal and growing customer base."

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Zynga revenue tops forecasts amid more exec shifts

Zynga reported first quarter revenue that topped Wall Street forecasts on Wednesday, as CEO Don Mattrick navigates the social games company's transition to mobile.

The company raked in $168 million in the first quarter, with a loss of one cent per share. Zynga was expected to generate $164 million in revenue and post a loss of one center, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Shares of Zynga jumped 3.6% in after-hours trading.

On mobile, Zynga says its mobile monthly active users grew 11% quarter over quarter, while its mobile daily active user base increased 10%. When including figures from NaturalMotion, the mobile games maker acquired by Zynga earlier this year for $527 million, its mobile monthly audience grew 45% compared to the previous quarter.

Overall, Zynga's monthly active users increased from 112 million during the fourth quarter to 123 million.

"We have established a strong base for 2014 and believe we are pacing well for a year of growth," said Zynga CEO Don Mattrick in a statement.

The mobile games space is a key focal point for Mattrick, as he employs his strategy for returning Zynga back to prominence. Mattrick says his goal is to generate more than half of Zynga's revenue from mobile by the end of the year.

Last week, the company launched FarmVille 2: Country Escape, built specifically for mobile users. The free game available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices has topped 4 million installs since launch and received "great feedback from our players," says Mattrick.

Meanwhile, Zynga founder Mark Pincus will step down from his role as chief product officer, but will stay on as chairman, the company announced. Last summer, Pincus hired Mattrick as CEO following a round of layoffs to help turn around the company's business. Zynga's first quarter revenue of $168 million is down from $264 million earned during the same time last year.

"It is truly a privilege to lead Zynga and I was honored when Mark asked me to join the company as CEO and guide its next chapter of growth," said Mattrick in an email to employees announcing the move. "Mark's mission to connect the world through games and his unwavering passion for social was a big reason why I joined Zynga."

The move is one of several new changes at Zynga. Xbox veteran Alex Garden will become President of Zynga Studios. Garden served as general manager of the Xbox Live online service. The company also hired Henry LaBounta as Chief Visual Officer, and will "work closely with Zynga's creative teams in developing emotive, high-quality experiences with visual
appeal that strike a chord with consumers," says Mattrick.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @bam923.

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AT&T now getting more growth from mobile than Apple

John Shinal, Special for USA TODAY 1:30 p.m. EDT April 23, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO -- The handheld vision Steve Jobs sold to AT&T in 2007 has come to pass.

The problem for Apple investors is that the booming market the company created with the iPhone seven years ago – and then boosted with the iPad three years later -- is now producing more growth for the wireless phone giant than it is for Apple itself.

AT&T reported Tuesday its strongest growth in long-term wireless subscribers in five years, "with smartphones and tablets leading the way," as AT&T Chief Financial Officer John Stephens told analysts and investors on a conference call to discuss first-quarter results.

Just as important, a surging number of AT&T customers are switching to so-called usage-based pricing – paying based on how much wireless data they download from the Web -- rather than paying for the devices up front with the help of subsidies.

While the transition is putting a short-term hit on AT&T's balance sheet (as it has to write down the full price of such device sales immediately), the popularity of those plans also helped generate the company's strongest cash flow from operations in seven years.

"The move away from device subsidies accelerated in Q1," Stephens said, as the number of new and existing customers choosing so-called mobile share data plans tripled from a year earlier.

The Dallas-based company said that drove wireless revenue up 7% from a year earlier to $18 billion, also the strongest growth in years.

That year-over-year growth rate is now higher, in fact, than what Wall Street is expecting from Apple both for its most-recent quarter and for the company's full fiscal year.

Apple, which will report fiscal second-quarter results after the close of markets Wednesday, is expected to post flat sales for the period of $45.3 billion.

For the year ending in September, analysts expect Apple sales to rise 5.2%, to $180 billion.

That's down from 9.2% growth a year earlier, as iPhones and iPads face increasing price pressure from Android-powered devices made by Samsung Electronics and others.

Apple's growth is slowing even as "the smartphone (has become) the remote control of our lives," as Stephens said late Tuesday.

That sounds like the vision Jobs pitched to AT&T in late 2006 and early 2007, when he convinced the company to become the first U.S. wireless operator to sell and support the original iPhone.

Jobs also convinced AT&T (and later Verizon and others) to contribute massive subsidies to offset the high cost of the device, so more wireless consumers could afford such an advanced product.

Without those subsidies, which were as high as $400, the first iPhone would have been a niche device in terms of market share: awesome in power but out of the reach of the majority of phone buyers.

The only way for wireless carriers to make money from such an arrangement was if consumers started using their devices a lot more and agreed to pay for them based on a usage model -- rather than signing up for subsidized, unlimited data plans.

The handheld market Jobs foresaw is now here: a category of high-priced devices that consumers use for ever-more minutes every day, to download ever-greater amounts of text, photo and video files from the Internet.

Half of AT&T mobile shared accounts are now on plans of 10-gigabytes-per-month or higher, Stephens said Tuesday.

"The transition of our customer base can clearly be seen this quarter," he said, adding that the shift away from subsidized data plans to shared data plans "will have a positive long-term impact" on AT&T's business.

Whether the shift will produce the same benefits for Apple in the future remains to be seen.

John Shinal has covered tech and financial markets for 15 years at Bloomberg, BusinessWeek, the San Francisco Chronicle, Dow Jones MarketWatch, Wall Street Journal Digital Network and others. Follow him on Twitter: @johnshinal.

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AT&T stock falls after earnings report despite beating expectations, adding more than 1 million wireless subscribers – @TheStreet

AT&T stock falls after earnings report despite beating expectations, adding more than 1 million wireless subscribers - @TheStreet Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Netflix stock rises on news of price increase, higher profits – Columbus Dispatch


Chron.com

Netflix stock rises on news of price increase, higher profits
Columbus Dispatch
The Dispatch app features breaking news, sports, weather, videos, movie times, traffic updates, a flight tracker and much more. Download apps for your: * iPhone & iPod Touch · * Android · * Blackberry. Tuesday April 22, 2014 7:55 AM. Comments: 0.
Netflix to hike prices for first time in three years to help pays for shows like ...Florida Times-Union
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Telegraph.co.uk -NBCNews.com (blog) -Austin 360
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‘CHILL’ ON SPEECH? Ill. mayor ordering raid on Twitter sparks controversy

FILE: May 7, 2013: Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis at a City Council meeting in Peoria, Ill.AP

A police raid to learn who was behind a Twitter account that mocked an Illinois mayor has so far resulted in one arrest, but officials said Monday the investigation continues, as free speech advocates express concern.

The account -- @Peoriamayor -- was created about nine weeks ago and had about 50 parody tweets, mostly about Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis supposedly using illegal drugs and associating with prostitutes, before Twitter suspended it in mid-March.

The account, which had only about 50 followers, was marked as a parody roughly a week before being suspended. But Peoria police took matters a step further on April 15 by executing a search warrant at the home of a suspect, whom they believed was unlawfully trying to impersonate a public official.

The Star Journal of Peoria reports the warrant and raid were ordered by Ardis, who is now facing a public backlash, largely on social media and in editorial pages where he is being accused of trying to step on First Amendment rights.

A resident of the home told the newspaper that police seized computers and smart phones in the raid, in an apparent attempt to learn who was behind the Twitter account.

The crime is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum $2,500 fine and one year in jail.

Three people at the home during the raid were taken to a police station for questioning. Two other occupants were visited at their workplace, then taken in for questioning.

A Peoria Police Department spokesman confirmed to FoxNews.com that one resident was charged in connection with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. However, the investigation is ongoing, which prevents officials from discussing whether police will make additional arrests, he said.

“I find it very troubling,” said Angela Campbell, a professor at Georgetown University Law School. “It chills people’s First Amendment rights to criticize officials … whether it’s through parody or just  calling somebody a jerk.”

Campbell, a First Amendment specialist, also questioned whether the charge of unlawfully impersonating a public official applies, since its intent is stop somebody from, for example,  posing as a police officer to extract money or sex in exchange for ignoring a traffic violation.

Aaron Caplan, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, raised similar concernsabout free speech and the impersonation issue.

“This absolutely raises concerns for me,” he said. “Under the Constitution, you can criticize people in power. It’s how you can tell the difference between a democracy and a police state. And you can do it through humor.”

However, he also has concerns about First Amendment retaliation and Fourth Amendment issues regarding the search warrant.

Caplan says executing a search warrant is unusual in the case of a misdemeanor, although he is not an expert on Illinois state law.

“I need more facts, but it smells a little like retaliation,” he said.

Peoria Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard told the newspaper the intent of the account, which also included tweets about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, was not clearly identified as satire.

“In fact it appears that someone went to great lengths to make it appear it was actually from the mayor,” he said.

FOX NEWS FIRST NEWSLETTER

Daily must-read stories from the biggest name in politics

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Aereo review: Paying for free TV?

Ben Keough, Reviewed.com 10:40 a.m. EDT April 22, 2014

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Can this controversial startup convince you to pay for over-the-air television?

More than 5 million Americans have already cut the cord on cable, and continued improvements in video streaming tech have made the prospect of permanently ditching an expensive cable subscription more enticing than ever.

Many cord-cutters watch live TV via old-fashioned, over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts from local stations—and these days they're even in HD. Aereo wants to bring that OTA content into the streaming fold. Its concept is genius, ridiculous, and/or patently illegal, depending on whom you ask: The company uses huge arrays of tiny digital antennas to record the local broadcasts, then charges a fee to stream that content directly to your PC, iPhone, iPad, Android device (4.1+), or Roku box.

MORE REVIEWS: Tips on the latest TVs, set-top boxes, streaming services

If you're like us, you might have a hard time getting over the psychological barrier of paying for free content ($8 or $12, depending on the plan). But really, that's a straw-man dilemma. With Aereo, you're not paying for the content; you're really paying for a DVR and mobile access to that content.

For the moment, the service is only available in 11 markets: New York City, Boston, Detroit, Baltimore, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and Miami. (The company lists another 16 cities as "coming soon.")

When Aereo flipped the switch in Beantown last June, we signed up for a trial account to see what all the fuss was about.

A SEAMLESS EXPERIENCE

Aereo's web-based interface is simple and easy to use. Signup is a familiar three-step process—choose your plan, choose your username, provide payment info. The programming guide is just like what you're used to from recent cable and satellite boxes, but vastly improved due to its mouse and touch-driven interface.

Jumping into a live broadcast from the guide is quick—on our speedy broadband connection it took about 10 seconds on average—and you get HD (720p) video right away. You can manually choose between three quality levels or leave it to Aereo to figure out what your connection can handle.

The video itself is perfectly acceptable, though a little less smooth and slightly mushier than an identical cable broadcast. The only time we noticed any significant pixilation was when there were a ton of details on screen—explosions, fast-moving action sequences, and the like. Sound quality is similarly solid, though those with expensive surround-sound setups might be disappointed that it's limited to stereo output.

We tested the service on a Windows desktop PC, Apple MacBook Pro, iPhone 5, and Roku 2 XS. Basic video playback worked splendidly on each and every one of them.

INTUITIVE DVR OPTIONS

The baseline entry fee of $8 per month gets you 20 hours of DVR space, though you can record only one show at a time and can't watch one show while recording another.

If you need a bit more room, you can opt for a $12 per month plan that gets you 60 hours of storage and the ability to record two shows at once. With this plan, you can also watch and record different shows at the same time.

Aereo's DVR implementation has a lot in common with modern cable DVRs: You can change starting and ending times, record shows on a recurring basis, assign priorities in the recording queue, and choose how many episodes of each show you want to keep before the oldest is deleted.

Navigating through a recording is simple. When using the web-based player you can click and drag on a timeline slider at the bottom of the video window. You can also skip back and forward in 30-second increments using your arrow keys. As with most other streaming services, there are no traditional fast-forward and rewind controls—only the slider and arrow keys.

JUST A FEW EXTRAS

Beyond live and recorded TV viewing, there isn't much else to Aereo.

The built-in search function mostly does what you want it to do. On the plus side, it searches both show titles and descriptions for your search term, maximizing possible results. On the downside, multi-word searches bring up results for one word or the other; in just one example, searching for "Formula One" brings up all kinds of results that happen to have "one" in their title or description. Aereo tries to sort by relevance, but the signal-to-noise ratio can be an issue.

The channel guide can be customized, hiding stations you're not so interested in. (Don't speak Spanish? You can hide Univision!) You can also select optional, non-broadcast channels, though so far the only one available is Bloomberg TV.

CAN'T I DO THIS MYSELF FOR LESS MONEY?

Well, maybe. Parts of it. But whether you want to go to the trouble is another question.

You could write a book on the dozens of devices that can either provide local DVR service or send live TV to your phone and tablet. If you have a cheap HD antenna, you can hook it up to a TV tuner card on your PC, or plug the cable into a device like the $80 SiliconDust HDHomeRun. Then there's the granddaddy of time-shifted video, TiVo, which asks $150 for the device itself and another $15 in monthly fees. All of these provide DVR functionality of some sort, but don't re-transmit video to your mobile devices.

The real wildcard is Slingbox. Unlike the other options, it doesn't provide DVR functionality (though you can hook it up to a DVR device). Instead, it can broadcast live TV (either OTA or cable/satellite) to your mobile devices. Equally important, it lets you control your digital antenna or cable box remotely when you're away from home.

The Slingbox is a really versatile and powerful device, but its cost of entry is significantly higher than Aereo's: $180 for the cheapest Slingbox and then $15 for the mobile app. And there's a different app for phones and tablets, so if you want to use both an iPhone and an iPad, that'll be $30. (Got Android devices, too? Get ready to spend more.)

You could eventually save a bit of money with most of these solutions (TiVo excepted), but it would take at least a year of Aereo service to cover the up-front cost of even the cheapest option. Then there are the inevitable headaches involved in getting them up and running; if you're not technologically inclined, the alternatives may be more trouble than they're worth.

That's where Aereo really shines—it's simple enough for anyone to use.

A COUPLE OF GLITCHES

Though Aereo's web-based interface is truly gorgeous, there a few bugs that wriggle to the surface when you shrink it down to smartphone size. Play, stop, and record buttons on the phone are quite small and difficult to hit on the first try. We also found we were unable to get back to the main menu from the program guide; we'd have to select a channel to get the menu button to appear again.

But those are minor quirks that Aereo can easily patch. The only significant letdown—and one that will be harder to fix—was the Roku app, which simply isn't as beautiful or intuitive as the website. The channel guide is particularly annoying on the Roku. Instead of the intuitive grid layout, you're stuck with either a side-scrolling list of channels or a list of currently airing shows. It's a pain to navigate, and ugly as well.

There's one last hiccup to consider: If you leave your local broadcast area, Aereo stops working. That's by design, probably a safeguard against legal action from the networks. So if you go on vacation or travel for work, you won't be able to access live broadcasts or DVR recordings. (Slingbox, it should be mentioned, has no such limitations.) If you're particularly internet-skilled, you can probably set up a proxy network to skirt the issue, but most users will simply be out of luck until they get back home.

WORTH A TRY?

There's no question that Aereo has put together a beautiful and supremely functional service. It does what it says—no muss, no fuss.

Frankly, the chances that Aereo will be right for the average TV-watcher are pretty slim.Whether it's right for you is another, very personal question. There are many potential use-cases, each presenting a slightly different value proposition. But frankly, the chances that Aereo will be right for the average TV-watcher are pretty slim.

Who would it work for? We can think of three major possibilities. First, there are those who are already on an OTA-only diet and want inexpensive DVR functionality, a more convenient interface, and an easy way to watch TV on their mobile devices. Second, there are those already interested in cutting the cord, looking for any excuse to pull the trigger. And then there are those who have already made the move to a streaming-only setup—for them, it's just icing on the cake.

While we'd wager that plenty of curiosity-seekers will sign up just to see what the fuss is about, we just can't imagine too many of them will stick around for the long haul. Not many of the United States' 116 million TV-viewing households have a genuine need for the service that Aereo provides.

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