Print 18 comment(s) - last by aliasfox.. on Apr 26 at 10:46 AM

Amazon is looking to further advertise its services

Amazon is looking to complete its gadget collection by releasing a television set-top box as soon as this fall. 

According to BusinessWeek, the box will plug into user's television sets and allow the streaming of Amazon's video services -- such as the Video on Demand store and the Instant Video service. 

The device will aim to compete with the likes of Apple TV, Roku, Boxee Cloud DVR, PlayStation 3 and Xbox. 

It seems odd that Amazon would need a set-top box, considering Amazon streaming is already available through TVs, Blu-ray players and many other set-top boxes. However, with a box of its own, Amazon could place its own products on the forefront.

The company could adopt a model much like that used for the Kindle Fire, where hardware is sold cheap in order to lure customers to its digital products -- Amazon Prime. It's unclear whether competitors like Netflix will make an appearance on Amazon's new device. 

Amazon's set-top box is reportedly being developed by the company's own Lab126 division in Cupertino, California. 

Amazon has created quite a digital empire with its online store and services like Amazon Prime (which feature the Instant Video service and free two-day shipping for an annual fee of $79). It makes sense that the company is branching out into hardware in order to put these digital services into the hands of customers more quickly. 

While Amazon has the Kindle e-readers and Kindle Fire tablets, it also plans to release a smartphone soon. A phone and a set-top box could polish off a nice collection of gadgets to carry out Amazon's goals of attracting more users and subscribers.

Just last week, Amazon acquired a Siri-like app called Evi for $26 million, which could possibly hint at the launch of an Amazon-made smartphone in the near future. 

Amazon has even more incentive to spread the word about its video services as well, since it introduced 14 of its own televisions pilots earlier this week, and it’s now accepting customer feedback to see which shows should be produced. 

Source: BusinessWeek

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By tanjali on 4/25/2013 11:19:11 AM , Rating: 2
Whos going to make first Tv with integrated media Player, Nice OS, couple TB's of storage, Wi-Fi, integrated HD Electrical antenna, wireless, cable free HDMI, electrical etc. connectors?...

RE: Tv's
By Brandon Hill on 4/25/2013 11:22:34 AM , Rating: 3
The long rumored Apple television?

RE: Tv's
By Creig on 4/25/2013 11:49:56 AM , Rating: 5
Electronics features and standards simply change too rapidly for an all-in-one device to stay current for very long. I think it's much better to keep devices separate so that you can upgrade each one individually as needed.

RE: Tv's
By HoosierEngineer5 on 4/25/2013 12:46:42 PM , Rating: 3
I am using a PC I built up to watch and record ATSC brodcast a couple of months after it became available - would you consider this an all-in-one or separate devices?

BTW, the only thing that will be obsolete in that setup in the near future will be the operating system.

RE: Tv's
By GulWestfale on 4/25/2013 2:21:00 PM , Rating: 2
i'd be wary of a TV with anything built-in, as it will be obsolete ina year or even before then. my father has a samsung smart TV, and in a world without xbox/PS3 it's nice enough. compared to what the xbox/PS3 offer, and compared to their interfaces and speed, the smart TV sucks. even hooking up my phone through MHL and watching youtube that way is better than using the slow built-in app.

that won't stop hordes of applards, of course... but hey, given that the thunderbolt display costs $999, and is only 27"... how much do you guys reckon a 40" apple TV would be? two grand?

RE: Tv's
By tanjali on 4/25/2013 2:59:29 PM , Rating: 2
Show me electronic thing that's not obsolete in a year!

RE: Tv's
By tanjali on 4/25/2013 3:03:18 PM , Rating: 2
And why would smart phone have better CPU than Tv set. Place in new Haswell i5 with nice graphics integrated that's just $250 for such a expensive thing that's nothing

RE: Tv's
By HoosierEngineer5 on 4/25/2013 3:38:17 PM , Rating: 2
Just built up an AMD A6-5400K (doesn't need a video card). Does blu-ray great, with LAV filters.

It won't be obsolete until the 4K TVs are common.

Ok, that'll be next year.

RE: Tv's
By HoosierEngineer5 on 4/25/2013 3:33:49 PM , Rating: 2
I bought an early Samsung 3D TV - couldn't get it to connect to my network by following the directions. Samsung applications was at a loss. Finally figured it out on my own. It turned out the features in the TV were pretty much worthless.

That's why everything runs through the PC.

RE: Tv's
By Reclaimer77 on 4/25/2013 3:18:23 PM , Rating: 3
I don't know, but I'm not buying one.

A good quality TV can last for years, but some of those technologies and services could potentially be obsolete tomorrow. And there's absolutely no upgrade path for a television set crammed full of them. Even something as simple as a bigger hard drive/SSD install could be impossible or more trouble than it's worth.

Not for me. Assembling your own media center with hand-picked equipment is the way to go. Something goes wrong, you replace it. Something better comes along, you upgrade it. Cramming every single thing into the display itself is just...well..stupid imo.

RE: Tv's
By aliasfox on 4/26/2013 10:46:11 AM , Rating: 2
That's a big ask.

Hardware makers have traditionally been very, very bad at OS development - nobody seems to like the Android add-ons that Samsung and HTC add to their phones, for example. LG bought the rights to Palm's IP, but whether or not they know what to do with it is another story.

Software makers often take too much time on their software to be able to keep up with the hardware game. Apple and Google both take at least 3-4 years to come out with something new on iOS (iOS 1 >> much maligned iOS 6) and Android (Froyo >> ICS), Microsoft takes even longer to develop Windows.

These cycles aren't without reason, but they are still significantly longer than one would expect out of hardware changes, which can see major developments/price changes within a 6-12 month cycle.

I think we'll end up with three major lines of integrated TVs:

- Apple will come out with today's hardware (mid-high end stuff, but nothing radical), beautifully integrated with their devices and the iTunes store, easy enough for Mom and Dad to figure out. Then they'll upgrade it far too infrequently, and once they become established, might start cutting out useful 3rd parties (like Netflix) in favor of their home-grown products, which may or may not be better.

- Hardware makers like Samsung and LG will come out with tomorrow's tech (like OLED), but tied into crap implementations of OSes (Samsung's gesture based TV? wtf?), with little to no ties to media distribution. Customers will buy once, realize that it doesn't really change anything, and go about their lives as they've always done.

- Microsoft will tie their Kinect architecture into a TV, likely using technology not too far removed from XBox 720. Then, like Apple, they'll sit on it for too long, but unlike Apple, they won't know how to market it properly and it will end up appealing to a much smaller population than it should.

Whether or not Google would want to try doing TVs again is a pretty big question, but they didn't do too well the first time and they don't seem to be too eager to try again.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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