Is Amazon about to launch its own settop box? That's the word from news site re/code.net, which says its sources claim Amazon is planning a March launch. We first heard about a planned Amazon streaming media player nearly a year ago. At the time, we wondered if it would include Netflix, which competes with Amazon's Prime subscription video service. The Amazon box will primarily pair off against Roku and Apple TV media streamers, which dominate the market.
Although there still aren't many details on the box itself, when we first heard about the project we thought it made sense, since its own box would give Amazon greater control over the interface and allow it to more prominently place its own apps in front of users. We also imagined that it would could tie users more closely to other Amazon goods and services, especially shopping. We also expect that it will offer cloud-based storage for non-video types of content the company offers, especially music.
Re/code says that its sources claim that the Amazon player will be based on Google’s Android operating system. We've been wondering what's happening with the Google TV, since many of its early supporters have moved away from that platform. The last we heard Google was planning a shift away from the Google TV name in favor of the Android TV moniker. It will be interesting to see if the Amazon media player uses any Google or Android branding in its box.
We'll be following any news related to the Amazon settop box, so keep checking back for updates. And as soon as one becomes available, we'll buy one and bring it into our streaming media lab for thorough testing.
Re/code.net, Amazon Gets Its TV Box Ready, Again
James K. Willcox