Amazon TV Streaming Device – What Can We Expect?

We wrote an article the other day that provided a comparison of the major video streaming services in the UK. One of the surprises that people might encounter in it is the lack of availability of Amazon Prime Instant Video on set-top boxes. However, that is all soon to change as the internet retailer prepares to launch an Amazon TV streaming device tomorrow in New York. Press received an invite to the launch of what was enigmatically described as an “update to our video service”. But as the invite came with a picture of a couch and a bowl of popcorn, people immediately realised that Amazon were ready to enter the set-top box market. The company, it seems, intends to pose a challenge to the likes of Roku and Apple TV with this new product.

The Making Of The Amazon TV Streaming Device

The announcement shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. Not only does it make sense considering Amazon’s ambitions to be a ‘company of everything’, but Brad Stone mentioned it in his book about Amazon and its owner Jeff Bezos last year. He wrote: “Will Amazon introduce a mobile phone or an Internet-connected television set-top box? Yes, because the company wants to offer its services on all the connected devices that its customers use without having to rely entirely on the hardware of its chief competitors.”

We’ll only find out how close to truth he was tomorrow, but we can expect his predictions to be fairly accurate. Amazon’s set-top device is rumoured to run on Amazon Common OS. This is the same version of Android technology that is unique to their Kindle Fire tablets. But the most important question is this: What will the Amazon TV streaming device do?

What Will Amazon’s Device Do?

It almost goes without saying that the Amazon TV streaming device will put an enormous emphasis on their video-on-demand service Amazon Prime Instant. It will, first and foremost, give you the ability to easily watch its enormous library of content through your TV. However, the set-top box is also expected to include apps that provide their customers with access to Netflix and Tesco’s Blinkbox.

A set-top box is the most likely of avenues — especially seeing as it’s rumoured that Amazon used Ailen LLC to get FCC approval for it in the USA and their company filed for a Roku-like streaming device around that time. However, there is talk that the device in question might, in fact, be a dongle. This would make it a direct rival to Google’s Chromecast which has just recently launched in the United Kingdom.

When, Where And How Much?

Whatever the end product looks like, we can definitely expect it to be cheap. As Amazon will inevitably put more focus on the Prime Instant service, which is only available by paying a minimum of £5.99 per month, it could be available for as little as £50. They may even integrate video adverts and links to their store into the Amazon TV streaming device. However, its release date is still completely up in the air. We will only find out these specific details tomorrow.