Thursday 25 April 2013

Amazon Kindle TV set-top box incoming, based on Android?

With Amazon’s hardware portfolio already housing tablets, e-readers, connected TV set-top boxes seem like the right extension for the company. After all, living room is going to be the next battle-ground for smart devices. Apple already has Apple TV box and is rumoured to be working on a smart television for a long time, Google has Google TV boxes and then there are plethora of other set-top box makers. So, why shouldn’t Amazon be present in the arena, it has the video content and now it is even developing original content. Well, it is happening. Amazon is working on a new device that will stream video content over the internet to the televisions, reports Bloomberg.

According to Bloomberg’s Brad Stone, three people familiar with Amazon’s TV plans have told him that this upcoming TV box will plug in the televisions similar to other set-top boxes and will stream Amazon’s increasingly growing portfolio of video content.

Now, the question arises whether the company is going to use Android as the base for this set-top box. Well, it is very likely, and also makes sense for the company. It is also spending money and time to tweak Android for its Kindle Fire tablets; it also has an app store ready for the platform, so why not use Android as the base for this set-top box. We believe that Amazon will use a Kindle Fire like custom version of Android in this smart TV box, which will also allow access to third-party applications, in turn increasing the usability of the device, rather than just being an Amazon content consumption box.

Amazon’s Instant Video service is already offered on multiple platforms including LG’s Google TV devices, but the company’s own set-top box will give the retail giant an opportunity to put its content front and center.

“The set-top box is being developed by Amazon’s Lab126 division, based in Cupertino (Calif.), which has toyed with building TV-connected devices for several years, the people familiar with the effort say. The project is being run by Malachy Moynihan, a former vice president of emerging video products at Cisco who worked on the networking company’s various consumer video initiatives,” Bloomberg noted.

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