Jeff-Bezos-CEO-Amazon-Kindle-FireAP.jpg
Amazon and CEO Jeff Bezos will reportedly launch its own set-top TV box this fall as it continues to expand its hardware offerings. (AP image)

Amazon reportedly going into set-top TV business

Amazon is gearing up to take another big shot at Apple and others, with the Seattle-based tech company reportedly preparing to launch its own TV set-top box for release this fall, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

The company isn't confirming it, but what's already being dubbed by some as 'Kindle TV' "makes a lot of sense for Amazon," says Tom Giles, Bloomberg technology editor.

"They've realized we can move what we sell online onto a whole array of devices," he says.

The new system would compete with Apple TV, Microsoft's Xbox, Rokus and other devices, and would be a powerful way to showcase movies, TV shows, and original programming.

Amazon's video offerings are already available on most devices, but Giles says by creating its own hardware, it's an aggressive move to get into the living room.

"It's a great way for you to get access to all of that video content that you can already get on Amazon and Amazon services in one more location."

Amazon has been pushing video hard. Earlier this week, the company launched 14 television pilots it paid for itself, with customers voting on which will be produced into full series. It's also negotiated the secure, exclusive streaming rights to hit shows like Downton Abbey.

There's no word on a potential price, but some analysts speculate it will be priced lower than competitors, much like the Kindle tablet significantly undercutting the iPad and rival devices. Amazon used it as a loss leader to push its content.

There are questions whether it will include rival services such as Netflix and Hulu, like the Kindle now does. Giles says it would make sense to include all of them, but with Amazon's content most prominently featured.

"It's a way they can play nicely but still be self-promotional," he says.


Josh Kerns, MyNorthwest.com
Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter/anchor and host of KIRO Radio's Seattle Sounds (Sunday afternoons 5-6p) and a digital content producer for MyNorthwest.com.
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