Is Amazon about to jump into the set-top box game?
That's the word from Bloomberg Businessweek, who quotes three sources familiar with the matter. According to the sources, the 'Kindle TV' (name uncertain) will be available this Fall.
Amazon's new set-top box would work just like any internet-connected streaming device for your television - it would plug into your TV and let users stream internet content. Nothing revolutionary, of course, but Amazon has never offered a product like this before.
Naturally, sources say that the set-top box would let users stream Amazon Video on Demand, as well as Prime Instant Video offerings for Prime subscribers. The benefit for Amazon in manufacturing and operating its own set-top box is that the company would be able to point users in the right direction when it comes to content (watch it on Prime Instant, not Netflix!). Plus, it would give Amazon another way to showcase original content from Amazon Studios, which we saw get a huge kickstart earlier this week from a series of new pilots.
According to the report, the new set-top box is being developed by Amazon's Lab126 division in Cupertino, and is being helmed by former VP of video products at Cisco Systems Malachy Moynihan.
Right out of the gate, Amazon would be competing with Apple TV, Roku, and consoles like the Xbox 360, which all offer the same deal - streaming internet content on your TV.
The first and most obvious question regarding an Amazon set-top box (other than price, of course), is which apps it would support. For instance, would it launch with a Netflix app, considering that they are a huge competitor in terms of battling for streaming eyes. You would have to imagine that it would, considering Amazon has been able to play nice with other video apps like Netflix on their other devices, like the Kindle Fire tablet.