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Amazon Reportedly Launching It's Own TV Set-Top Box This Fall

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by CatfishRivers, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Amazon In Your Living Room: Company Reportedly Launching Its Own TV Set-Top Box This Fall | TechCrunch (click for full article)

    by Drew Olanoff - April 24, 2013

    "According to a report from Bloomberg, e-commerce behemoth Amazon is preparing to launch a set-top box this fall, in hopes that you'll consume all of your content through its spin on the now-common device. The company is already working hard to push its Kindle line to consumers, and this box would be for people who don't want to deal with the fanciness of Apple products, the gaming nature of Microsoft's XBox, the half-baked Google TV or the little engine that could, Roku.


    Yes, this is a crowded market, but Amazon has something that these other companies don't have, which is warehouses full of things to sell to people while they watch TV. I imagine that you'll be able to shop as you would online or on your mobile device, right on your TV set. That means that the temptation to pick up that new TV, while you're watching your old crappy one, could overcome you during a show. One button click and a new TV could be on the way."
     
  2. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    I would be interested in taking a look at the upcoming Amazon TV box if it comes with a web browser. Without a browser meh - unless they offer all kinds of incentives and free TV shows/movies -:)

    Competition is a good thing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
  3. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Amazon planning to introduce box to compete with Google TV | Android and Me (click for full article)

    by Taylor Wimberly - April 24, 2013

    "Bloomberg Businessweek reports that Amazon is planning to introduce a television set-top box this fall, according to three people familiar with the project who aren't authorized to discuss it. Details are limited, but the device is being developed by Amazon's Lab126 division, which created the Kindle family of products.


    Amazon already offers a lineup of Android-powered tablets, and smartphones are rumored to be on the way, so it makes perfect sense that they would want to get try and take over your TV. The rumored Amazon set-top box would prominently feature Amazon's Video on Demand store and their their Instant Video service, which is a free bonus for subscribers of Amazon Prime.


    The new box should have no shortage of original, exclusive content. Just last week 14 shows debuted on the new Amazon Original TV Pilots from Amazon Studios. Amazon is monitoring the reviews and popularity of each pilot and will let the audience decide which shows become series. There are also 25 movies currently in development and in the processes of being tested with audiences.


    We assume that Amazon's set-top box will also run a version of Android, so we expect the device to have access to the growing Amazon Appstore for Android. Developers would need to optimize their apps for larger displays, but if anyone could convince them to do so it would be Amazon.


    Hints suggest that Google TV will get a major refresh at Google IO next month, but Google's TV platform has been sorely lacking in exciting new features and developer support. Competition is a good thing, so hopefully Amazon and Google will push each other to deliver more premium experiences.


    What features and experiences would you like to see from an Amazon Kindle TV box?"
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
  4. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    I want my Kindle TV: report confirms Amazon (click for full article)

    by Janko Roettgers - April 24, 2013

    SUMMARY: Amazon's secretive Lab126 unit is building a TV set-top box that will stream Amazon Instant videos straight to your living room, according to a Business Week report.


    -- "Amazon is building a TV set-top box, which it plans to introduce this fall, according to a BusinessWeek report. The device will heavily focus on Amazon's Prime Instant video streaming service as well as the company's pay-per-transaction VOD titles, and directly compete with streaming devices such as Apple TV and Roku.


    The device is being built by Amazon's secretive R&D unit Lab126. Lab126 has been experimenting with streaming devices for years, according to BusinessWeek, which said it was able to confirm Amazon's plans with three unnamed sources. Some of the folks involved in the project previously worked for TiVo, Vudu and the DVR pioneer, ReplayTV.


    The revelation of an Amazon set-top box shouldn't come as a big surprise to GigaOM readers: We reported in September that Lab126 had hired a number of employees with a connected device background, including much of the team behind Logitech's failed Google TV device, the Logitech Revue.


    BusinessWeek didn't go into details about the technology at the core of Amazon's device, but it would make sense for the company to build it on top of Android, essentially re-purposing Google TV's technology. That's the same strategy Amazon used successfully for its Kindle Fire tablets, which run on a highly customized version of Android that's been stripped of all obvious ties to Google."
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
  5. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    This type of product does not benefit from 30 or 40 different platforms at all in my opinion, that is not the kind of competition I want to see. All that means is that none of them ever do well enough in the market to justify resources to make the platform the best it can be. It also means we won't see economies of scale that come with many millions of any given product being manufactured. We also don't see any platform with much clout with the content providers, all can just ignore the demands of these niche products, all of which have combined to amount to next to nothing after several years of this type of competition. Sure some are doing so poorly like Boxee, they will disappear. Probably a dozen others that never gained any traction in the marketplace have disappeared or will soon disappear. A negative side story is consumers are turned off by no name smart TV boxes that didn't amount to anything and are sitting unused in their closets which makes them reluctant to buy a different one, too confusing with so many options and the reality that very few or none of the current platforms will survive long term.

    What I wan to see is competition among 30 or 40 manufacturers making the best Google TV devices possible. I don't see Amazon offering another different smart TV box meaning anything good at all, just another fracture in a market that is struggling to go anywhere. So Amazon can grab 5% of the market, so what? It will be just another bland offering among a flood of bland offerings. I haven't read about the product and don't even know if it will be another Android box of some kind, one that is properly certified and licensed, or based on some other operating system but unless it is Google TV, it certainly won't help Google TV gain traction or make Roku better or Apple TV better. A product needs a large market, one that can generate profits for companies to be willing to spend enough money to make it the best it can be. Right now, no company can make any money and no company cares about dead end products and that is what the smart TV business is in danger of becoming.

    I say let Roku, Apple TV and Google TV provide the competition, those are the only three I have seen I consider any good but all need to be improved. Apple TV and Roku are one company products with sufficient resources being devoted to give them a chance and to keep Google TV honest. The 6 or 7 companies currently making Google TV products would be willing to devote greater resources if there is hope the market will be big enough to justify it. If another dozen companies come out wtih competing products, products that will gain a small share of this tiny market, that isn't going to do us any good.
     
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  6. Carlszone

    Carlszone Well-Known Member

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    Lol!

    These companies are acting just like the networks. Just like w/reality TV & talk shows, the imitators are flooding the market. I wouldn't worry. The pretenders won't last long.
     
  7. Carlszone

    Carlszone Well-Known Member

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    I look at it this way...

    Blockbuster video stores were a huge success. Then all the video stores started popping up. Blockbuster was able to holdout by cutting prices and offering membership discounts. Now we have Netflix, Rebox and Amazon Prime as major players. But there are millions of on-line movie streaming options. But I can only name a handful that matter. And Blockbuster ain't one of them.

    Shifting tides is all this is...

    Carl
     
  8. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    This Is the Set-Top Box Amazon Should Make | Gadget Lab | Wired.com (click for full article)

    by Roberto Baldwin - April 24, 2013

    "It looks like Amazon is getting ready to enter the set-top box market. If so, the online retailer needs to go big or go home, because the competition is simply too intense for anything less than amazing."
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2013
  9. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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  10. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    If Amazon plans on making a simple to use streaming box like Roku, good luck coming up with something better than the Roku 3. The Roku boxes just work and have a very active user and developer community. I think Amazon needs something more ambitious than that.
     
  11. Carlszone

    Carlszone Well-Known Member

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    To Chris

    Hmm...

    Just wondering. Ya'll Kindle Fire users can chime in here if ya want. But what if they are planning to make a TV friendly version of the Kindle Fire w/streaming and of course their Amazon Prime line-up? A simple browser w/out all the GTV extras may far outsell any GTV unit currently on the market. Remember, as you keep reminding us, simplicity is the main reason you like the Roku.

    My library is closing again starting from 1 May til sometime in July. I'm an avid reader. Heck my friends take folks to the library just to show them the shelves of books I've read. Not boasting but I'm getting close to 3.000 books. But I'm also getting tired of having to depend on a system that doesn't yet understand it could very well be extinct in a few years. Less if they keep renovating beyond the taxpayers ability to support them.

    The Kindle Fire may be my next step. I've never actually seen one, but if it offered a mobile form of an all in one device I'd be hooked! Amazon which uses Android apps would not challenge Google on this platform if Google or the developers of GTV did not in some way alienate Amazons future ambitions w/products already on the market. Remember how long it took us just to get an Amazon app that would allow us to play movies in HD. And the Logitech Revue can forget about it.

    Amazon may be taking an altogether different approach...

    Carl
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  12. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I think another full Android connect to TV streaming box would be a pretty good product and that might be what Amazon will offer. I have an Android tablet I use but I don't use it for finding and streaming internet TV, I use Google TV and Roku for that because I like both better than the traditional Android operating system for that purpose. I am way out of the mainstream since I think Google and the Google TV partners are doing a great job with Google TV, that product works the way I want an internet TV streaming box to work.
     
  13. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    IMO Amazon will apply the same basic marketing strategy that they used when they launched the Kindle Fire tablet - which is they will try to lowball the competition with a subsidized device. I mean they probably will more or less breakeven on the hardware - and make their money on the backend with content sales, Amazon online sales, consumer data profiling (for targeted ads).

    For instance they "might" even go as low as $50 for the TV box. Since Google currently doesn't have a Nexus GTV device - this lowball move by Amazon could possibly squeeze GTV hardware partners. Of course it's too soon to know for sure - there are too many unknown details of the upcoming Amazon TV box.

    But if they go with the "lowball approach" - IMO that could be something that ups the ante for Google and forces Google to come out with their own Nexus GTV box. It will be interesting to see how it all unfolds.....
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  14. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    Roku already has a $50 streaming box with hundreds of other channels in addition to Amazon Prime Instant Video. If Amazon does try a low cost, loss leader box, and doesn't offer access to all of the services, it will be DOA is my prediction. That isn't what I expect and it won't have any impact on Google TV unless it includes a web browser and works really well but speculation is meaningless, we will know soon enough if Amazon is going to compete in this market and what it will make if that happens. Personally, of course, I hope it is a Google TV box.
     
  15. Scuzzo

    Scuzzo Active Member

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    im all for any competition.. if google cant get it done... then let amazon have a shot... hell... there ecosystem is so vast, they can tie any stream box into the amazon prime service... and bang.. content, they may throw in a membership to prime with every box... and if their box is an android os.. chances are they will not lock the boot like the fire, and that will make a nice experiment.. there are lots of Fire customers out there that like the experience and chances are they will welcome that same interface on the big screen tv... i would buy one in a second if it has a few features im looking for... i would buy way before the last crop of gtv or roku... any competition is good in this market... perhaps it wake google up. something need to..
     
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  16. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    One thing we know for certain, it won't be a low cost box and include a free year of Amazon Prime Instant Video. Anybody can get a free one month trial of Amazon Prime and I doubt if owners of this new box can get another free month if they have already used their free month in the last year. If people think another box like the several dozen that have already died competing with Apple TV, Roku and Google TV is good for competition, I don't know why you would think that.

    Nobody wants a box just for Amazon Prime, Roku, PS3, recent Google TV and so many others already work great for that purpose. Netgear must have tried and failed with about a half dozen models, Western Digital has done poorly wtih about the same number, Micca, RCA, Funai, D-Link, Asus, and more than I can count have done equally poorly and bowed out already. I don't know what Amazon is going to do but another one like the dozens we have already seen sure won't succeed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  17. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    I don't think a simple Roku kind of box from Amazon would likely be a big market mover.


    Let me elaborate a bit on what I meant by Amazon "lowballing" the TV box competition. I'm thinking the Amazon TV box will be a low cost box for the features/hardware that it provides. In other words a good "value". I don't think it will be a Roku "clone". Amazon could add some unique features to set their box apart - plus I do strongly anticipate Amazon will "subsidize" their TV box (in the same manner they subsidize their Kindle tablet). By subsidize I mean more-or-less breakeven on hardware - Amazon isn't doing this to make a killing on the hardware. Ultimately it's a tie-in to shop at Amazon.


    The point is, for example: If Amazon puts out a $140 TV box and breaks even on that hardware - for that $140 price it will have superior hardware to the $140 Asus Cube.. This is because Asus doesn't operate a huge online store like Amazon - and as such Asus needs to make a decent mark-up on hardware. I used the $140 Asus Cube situation as an example - IMO the Amazon TV box could cost anywhere between $40 to $150 (depending on hardware & features). I tend to think that $99 is the sweet spot for a TV box. (Also a Google Nexus device in competition with a subsidized Amazon TV box could conceivably offer better deals on content to the consumer).


    Competition is good in the sense that the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet was one factor that inspired Google to come out with their Nexus 7 tablet. The Nexus 7 is a very good deal for the price. I'm hoping along the same lines that the Amazon TV box will jump-start Google to come to market with a Nexus TV box. The Nexus devices are the best deals Google has to offer at the lowest prices. (The best "value" in terms of design, features, software and hardware).


    Ultimately it's the devices that consumers (the masses) perceive as having the best value that are the market winners.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  18. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I don't see how Amazon or Google can offer better deals on content for users of their boxes compared to other manufacturers, both count on relationships with the consumer electronics companies and that needs to be a level playing field to continue that. Unless the box has a web browser, it will in direct competition with Roku and Roku is so far ahead with content deals and third party channel developers, any new Amazon box along those lines will be at a disadvantage and lower priced or not, won't do much in the market.
     
  19. overtimeman

    overtimeman Active Member

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    And don't count out Microsofts attempt at their XBox TV based on Win8.They do have their own app store but will have the same stone wall of getting them compatible with the big screen TV.Since they moved the introduction until after the first of the year makes me think if it will be worth the hassle or do they want to get it right the first time!The set top box competition is going to be interesting these next twelve months with the Sony and Amazon units coming out.Myself .....well I'm not a big apps fan but really interested in the browser.Just have to wait and see.That's why I didn't jump on the new Sony voice remote and glad I didn't after reading all the posts.What shocked me the most was Logitech willing to let you trade your webcam that came with the Revue for one that's compatible with skype since it is a long dead project!
     
  20. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Mike here is an interesting article (see link below) about the Xbox TV (mini Xbox). Also after the article check out all the comments (currently 46 comments). Keep in mind though that Xbox TV has not been officially confirmed by Microsoft yet. The Xbox TV might not be released until early next year (if at all). Hopefully Microsoft will say some more about Xbox TV at their May 21st Xbox event (where they will officially announce the new full Xbox).

    Xbox Mini | The Verge Forums
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013

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