In the race to stay competitive, Amazon has found new and interesting ways to try and get customers to switch over to their Amazon Prime Instant Video service. Most recently, they've piloted 14 different shows, in hopes that you, the customer, will pick the ones you want to see the most. Now, since all the cool kids are rumored to be doing it, the gigantic e-store is said to be planning to release a TV set-top box for streaming video.
Sources who have wished to remain anonymous but are very close to the matter said that the set-top box would further expand the Instant Video service, including the Amazon Video on Demand store. With Apple, Roku and Boxee all having STBs plus Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo pushing their own media services through their gaming consoles and the upcoming 4th iteration of GoogleTV, there is a lot of competition in the space right now. Amazon's Instant Video service has quickly surged to the front of most of these services, and is even available on a huge array of tablets and smartphones, giving Amazon enough justification to push their own STB.
Co-founder of Sling Media, Jason Krikorian, agrees with Amazon's plans moving forward.
It would certainly make some sense. They have a ton of content, an existing billing relationship with millions of users.
Amazon reps have declined to officially comment on the matter. However, we do have some details on who is creating the actual box: Amazon's Lab126 division, which is headquarted in Apple's stomping grounds of Cupertino, California. The same sources say Lab126 has been playing around with connected TVs and set-top boxes for some time and has an extensive background in these products. Running the entire operation is Malachy Moynihan, who was previously Cisco's VP during Cisco's time messing around in video offerings. Moynihan was also with Apple during the late 80s and early 90s. Complimenting the exec are Andy Goodman, who came from TiVo and Vudu and Chris Coley, who was formerly with ReplayTV, a DVR start-up.
No rough figure on pricing was given from these sources. However, with all of the news we have right now, would an Amazon set-top box be something consumers would be interested in, given all of the other options? The Xbox 360 is really becoming a solid media hub with each passing day and if that isn't up your alley, the Roku is a less expensive, yet powerful little alternative. Is there room for the Kindle TV, the proposed name for Amazon's device? Let your text be read in the comments section below.