Calling it “the easiest way to enjoy Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, Watch ESPN, low-cost video rentals and more,” Amazon unveiled its new Fire TV product, a set-top box that puts it in competition with the likes of Roku and Apple.
The product “is an ambitious move by Amazon to break into the living room. Amazon offers a streaming-video service to its Prime subscribers, but until now has been largely dependent on other hardware manufacturers to deliver that content to televisions,” The Wall Street Journal notes.
The announcement comes amidst projected growth this year of 24% for streaming-media devices such as Roku, which leads the market, WSJ notes.
Amazon touted the device’s “voice search that actually works,” as well as access to Prime Instant Video’s movies and TV shows, and games such as Minecraft. The device costs $99, which is on the higher end for streaming devices but matches Apple TV’s price tag.
The WSJ article notes: “The cost may disappoint consumers who had expected Amazon to offer a break to subscribers to its Prime unlimited shipping and streaming-video service. Amazon recently raised the annual Prime price by $20, or 25%, in part to recoup some of the cost of content acquisition and rising shipping rates.”