Amazon making a TV set-top box?


April 24, 2013

According to a new report, Amazon is prepping a TV set-top box for later this year

According to a new report, Amazon is prepping a TV set-top box for later this year

Amazon doesn’t make many hardware products. But the devices it has focused on – ahem, Kindle – have done extremely well. According to a new report, we’ll soon be able to add another Amazon gizmo to that list, as the company is reportedly working on a TV set top box to rival Roku and Apple TV.

The scoop comes from Bloomberg Businessweek, which cites the infamous “people familiar with the project.” They say that the set top box will feature Amazon streaming content (duh), and will release this (Northern Hemisphere) autumn.

Growing the business

Why not? A set-top box could be a big boost to Amazon Video on Demand (think iTunes rival) and its Prime Instant Video (think Netflix rival) services. Right now, you can stream those services on the PS3, Xbox 360, Roku, and the web, but not on Apple TV.

The source didn’t know whether Amazon would include access to rival streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, etc.), but ultimately concluded that it was likely. Other services would help sell the devices, and Amazon’s content would be featured much more prominently – just like on the Kindle Fire.

Unless Jeff and Bezos and company change their ways, we’d likely see a rock-bottom price for the set-top box. The retailer sells its Kindle eReaders and tablets for little or no profit, banking on digital sales to turn a profit. An Amazon TV box would be ripe for the same strategy.

Analysts also expect Amazon to release a smartphone sometime in the future – possibly this year. If the smartphone joins a set-top box at the company’s annual Kindle event, then we could be in for quite a show.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Before finding a home at Gizmag, he had stints at a number of other sites, including Android Central, Geek and the Huffington Post. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica. All articles by Will Shanklin

It would be nice if it was as good as the Dune HD Smart series, which can play DVD and Blu-ray ISO files from a server.


I don't see why this would be to Amazon's advantage. The money is in selling content, not selling set-top boxes, and Amazon Video is available on a number of set-top boxes already.

Plus, once you start selling set-top boxes, you become a rival of all the other set-top manufacturers. That gives them an incentive to make your life more difficult with regard to selling your content from their boxes.

Jon A.

Some of Jon A's points are part of the reason Netflix itself decided to take their planned hardware platform, spin it off into its own company (Roku), and then just license software. This is a strategy that worked for them but Amazon doesn't necessarily have to stick to the same gameplan.

A lot of people are using game consoles right now for it though and they aren't perfect. Our PS3 is dedicated mostly to doing that but needs software updates each time we go to watch something with it. The Xbox in the other room needs a gold subscription to Xbox live to do it. Neither have media remotes.

The 2 Roku 2's we have work great though.

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