Amazon's hardware and services ambitions have spread like wildfire since the launch of the initial Kindle e-reader and Prime Instant Video years ago, extending into original TV content and a full line of Kindle Fire multimedia tablets that exceed Apple's iPad in some ways. But the retail giant appears to have more new devices up its sleeves, and its eye on your TV. Follow this spot for the latest news on Amazon's foray into your living room.
Apr 2, 2014
We at Amazon are so pleased with Fire TV. It shows the true potential of our Prime video service, as well as what kind of products our remarkable team can build, but we don't want to stop there. That is why we are also announcing Amazon Prime Rib, our first step into the culinary world. With Prime Rib, you can order a fat slab of meat and have it delivered to you in just two days. Need your steak by tonight? No worries because thanks to our fleet of shipment drones, that giant hunk of juicy cow will be raining from the sky and landing right on your doorstep within the hour. We are so excited about Amazon Prime Rib and we think you'll be too.Read Article >
Apr 2, 2014
Amazon has just unveiled Fire TV, its first attempt at a set-top box for streaming movies, television shows, photos, games, and more straight to your TV. The Fire TV is all black and consists of a small, square box that connects to your televisions along with an even tinier remote. When turned on, the FireTV immediately displays a selection of new movies and TV shows in addition to various apps and games that you may want to dive in to. Options to browse through specific categories appear on the left-hand side of the screen, but if you know what you're looking for, you can easily begin a search from any screen just by speaking into a microphone on the remote. It won't just search through Prime Instant Video either: Netflix, Hulu, and a large number of other popular services are also supported.Read Article >
Apr 2, 2014
Amazon just announced its new set-top box the FireTV, and along with it comes some impressive features. One of the more exciting is the device's second screen integration: FireTV supports Amazon's X-Ray feature for movies and television, and you can view that information on your tablet while you enjoy video on your TV. This includes information on programs and films pulled from IMDB, and when you're using an Amazon tablet you'll get X-ray notifications sent from the FireTV. The feature will even support music, so you can check out lyrics as a song is playing. It sounds like a similar tool to Microsoft's Smart Glass integration with the Xbox One. In addition to the second screen features, Amazon also revealed that the FireTV will double as a game console, complete with its own controller and a library of thousands of titles including Minecraft. The FireTV is shipping today and will cost you $99.99.Read Article >
Apr 2, 2014
Amazon's FireTV set-top box will also act as a home console. The FireTV is billed not as a competitor to the Xbox One or PlayStation 4, but as a way for people who wouldn't otherwise buy a console to play games. Amazon claims it's made the FireTV three times as powerful as its competitors from Roku, Google, and Apple, giving it a dedicated graphics processor and 2GB of RAM. This will also presumably give it a boost in gaming. To go with the FireTV, Amazon has also announced a custom controller that will sell separately for $39.99 and come with 1,000 Amazon coins ($10) to buy games. Some games will also be playable with the default remote, and multiple controllers can be synced to the box.Read Article >
Apr 2, 2014
Apple and Roku have a new competitor in the living room. Amazon just announced its own video streaming device: the $99 Amazon Fire TV. It starts shipping today. "We need to invent and simplify on behalf of customers," said Amazon's Peter Larsen. During the presentation, Larsen went over three pain points of current devices: search, performance, and "closed ecosystem." Fire TV promises to avoid the problems that plague other living room hardware, according to Larsen.Read Article >
In terms of performance, FireTV features a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, which Larsen said should eliminate any hint of lag. Amazon claims it's three times faster than the latest set-top boxes from Roku and Apple. Amazon is also looking to avoid complaints of a closed ecosystem by bringing in numerous partners. "It's got a ton of content," said Larsen.
Mar 27, 2014
In just a week from now, we'll likely find out the truth about Amazon's living room ambitions. The company has sent out invites for an event in New York at 11:00AM ET on Wednesday, April 2nd that promises to offer an "update for our video business." Amazon has long been rumored to be working on a set-top box for the living room to compete with the likes of the Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku's popular streaming boxes.Read Article >
The most recent rumors say that the device will run a version of Android and will be able to play games. A leaked image even revealed what the game controller for the set-top box could look like. It's expected that the set-top box will be based on a "forked" version of Android, much like the company's Kindle tablets. That means that it wouldn't have access to the Google Play store or certain Google apps — instead, users would download from Amazon's own storefront. Of course, a centerpiece to the device would likely be the company's Amazon Instant Video service and its free TV shows and movies for Prime members.
Mar 14, 2014
Images of an Amazon-branded game controller have leaked, all-but confirming the existence of an Amazon set-top box for your TV. The images were first posted by media blog Zatz Not Funny, and come from a Brazilian regulatory agency similar to the FCC. They depict a traditional-looking game controller with media control buttons at its bottom. It actually looks remarkably similar to the controller for OnLive, but with Xbox-style offset analogue sticks. The controller also features three central buttons that look like Android's back, home, and menu keys, and a button beneath that bears the logo for GameCircle, Amazon's service for cloud saves, leaderboards, and achievements.Read Article >
It's suggested that the unnamed box will run a fork of the Android OS, just like Amazon's Kindle Fire line of tablets. Those tablets act very much as a storefront for Amazon, offering a wide selection of games, movies, and books. It's likely that Amazon will attempt to leverage its large content offerings with the launch of a set-top box. The recent acquisition of Killer Instinct / Strider developer Double Helix cemented rumors that Amazon had higher hopes for its TV box than just a media streamer, with gaming also said to be a focus. The Amazon TV box was apparently planned for a holiday 2013 release, but that date was reportedly pushed back, and the most recent rumors suggest an official announcement is imminent.
Feb 21, 2014
It didn't make its intended launch window of the 2013 holiday shopping season, but Amazon's web TV set-top box is apparently still very much on the roadmap. Recode reports word from multiple sources today that Amazon is aiming for a March rollout of its Apple TV and Roku competitor. Having invested in developing a rich and varied Prime Instant Video library, Amazon has done a good job of distributing that content across platforms, but there are obvious benefits to the web company controlling and selling its own hardware.Read Article >
Up to this point, the anticipation has been that an Amazon set-top box would run on Android, likely a customized version of the software as can be found on its Kindle tablets, with third-party app support helping to get other content providers involved as well. Today's report affirms that's still the plan, though additional speculation about the device also serving as a gaming platform is unfortunately left uncorroborated.
Jan 21, 2014
Amazon is considering moving far beyond its Instant Video streaming service, according to a new report out today. The online retail giant is working on offering a live TV service that would stream over the internet, reports The Wall Street Journal. It seems that the project is in its "early stages," and the paper's sources say that Amazon has contacted no less than three major media companies to begin working out licensing deals to stream programming. Such a service, if it's ever released, would compete directly with cable and satellite television providers.Read Article >
It's not clear how Amazon's live television service would integrate with its Prime subscriptions or its current Instant Video offering. Since early last year a number of separate rumors have pegged an Amazon set-top box to go hand-in-hand with its Instant Video service and compete with products like the Roku and the Apple TV. One report said that the set-top box would launch before the end of 2013, but our own sources later said that the company decided to delay the device. If Amazon is planning to release a live TV service, it'd make sense for the company to offer it alongside the set-top box.
Oct 24, 2013
Amazon has been rushing to finalize and release a set-top box in time for the holidays, designed to compete directly with the Apple TV and Roku. However, The Verge has learned that the company recently made the decision to delay the device, possibly beyond the holiday season. Sources say that the box is based on a fork of Android just like the company's Kindle Fire tablets, and that Amazon was going to allow third party apps in addition to its own services. In fact, much of the same code that works with Amazon's tablets can also be applied to Amazon's TV product, implying that the box runs some version of Fire OS.Read Article >
Although third party apps would be a differentiator for Amazon, obviously the premier feature would be access to the company's library of Prime videos. Amazon has been pushing its Prime video service hard of late, offering offline viewing on the Kindle Fire HDX and developing its own original shows as well. A set-top box makes perfect strategic sense for Amazon and had been widely expected in time for Christmas shopping this year.
Oct 3, 2013
Amazon's set-top box could make its way to stores this year. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Amazon hopes to begin selling a device that looks and acts like a Roku in time for the holiday season. While it would largely focus on delivering Amazon's own video content to buyers' televisions, the box would also allow other apps to run on it, helping it to compete with the vast content offerings from competitors like Roku. The set top box was first rumored earlier this year, though it was then targeted for a release during the fall, suggesting that development may have fallen behind.Read Article >
The box's pricing reportedly hasn't been discussed yet, but the Journal points out that Amazon has a history of pricing its devices fairly low and instead aiming to make money off of their use. Music services and video games could make their way to the device as well through third party apps, the Journal reports. Controlling the device will reportedly happen primarily through a companion smartphone app that serves as a remote, and it's still unclear if a standalone remote will be sold.
Apr 24, 2013
Amazon is said to be working on its own video streaming set-top box, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Citing three individuals familiar with the matter, Bloomberg Businessweek says Amazon is currently targeting a fall launch for the device. Such a move would help Amazon bolster its already formidable presence in the living room; a number of TVs, video game consoles, and home theater boxes already stream content from the retailer's Instant Video catalog. Developing its own hardware solution would give the company tighter control over how consumers access and consume those movies and TV shows.Read Article >
The box is being developed by Amazon's Lab126 division, which has been experimenting with TV-connected devices over the last several years according to the report. Bloomberg Businessweek doesn't outline potential pricing for Amazon's upcoming product, but existing (and impressive) options like the $99 Roku 3 don't give the company much wiggle room. We've reached out to Amazon for comment.