Amazon set-top box planned for winter release, likely to be called Firetube - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 15 Old 10-04-13, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Amazon set-top box planned for winter release, likely to be called Firetube

According to a recent trademark filing, Amazon is now working on something called Firetube, which may very well be the new set-top box rumored to be planned for release this holiday season.


Firetube competes with Roku, Apple TV and Chromecast

A couple of weeks ago, Amazon announced new TV functions for its line of Kindle Fire HDX tablets: they would work as a "second screen" for the TV, providing additional information as well as more control over video playback. The industry media also expected a set-top box reveal, but no official announcement has been made as of yet.

However, unnamed sources talking to the Wall Street Journal stated that Amazon plans to release a set-top box before the end of the year, making it very likely that Firetube is what it will be called. This adds yet another contestant to the battle for living room supremacy, alongside the likes of Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, and even next generation video game consoles.

Firetube would deliver the Amazon Instant Video streaming service, now part of its Prime membership, which pits it against services like Netflix and Hulu. At present, Amazon Instant Video is the second most popular app available on Roku, right after Netflix. It is also one of the most popular services on Microsoft's Xbox console. Providing the service via its own proprietary device would give Amazon a significant advantage, as well as the opportunity to develop exclusive apps.

Amazon wants to push its Instant Video service

Rumors suggest that the e-commerce giant has been in partnership talks with cable TV providers, and has given several app developers a mid-October deadline for the submission of apps that would work on their set-top box. No other information, regarding pricing or a possible release date, is available at this time.

One speculation is that Amazon is motivated by a desire to increase Prime memberships, which a set-top box could serve very well. Amazon Prime is a shipping membership that currently costs $79 per year. Amazon Instant Video, as well as Kindle Owners' Lending Library (which allows users to borrow e-books on their Kindle devices) are also part of the Prime service, at no additional cost.

Wedbush Securities analyst Michale Pachter, offered his comments on these developments: "If Amazon can produce a box that will have a truly complete package of streaming sources, that would be very compelling. This fits into their vision of dominating the competition in every area." The potential e-commerce benefits of an Amazon set-top box and affiliated services are hard to ignore.

Firetube would be entering a tight race

Some industry analysts are worried that Amazon is entering the race for the living room at a less than ideal time, since there are countless devices (including various smart TVs) that can already provide access to Amazon Instant Video. Unless the company can come up some interesting apps and exclusive features, it's not likely that Prime members will be rushing to buy new device.

Firetube will be controlled via dedicated smartphone and tablet apps, instead of a traditional remote control, though one may also be provided separately. The Kindle Fire HDX's "second screen" feature, for example, can turn the tablet into a genuine remote, and it stands to reason that the functionality is going to be integrated with the Firetube set-top box as well.

Sources:
online.wsj.com
www.techradar.com
www.geekwire.com
news.cnet.com
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-04-13, 03:44 PM
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Re: Amazon set-top box planned for winter release, likely to be called Firetube

While it is good for competition and all, I don't know if it is wise for Amazon to get into this market considering all the various competitors that are already in this market including all the tv manufacturers with their "smart" tv's. Should be interesting to see if this unit sells and at what price point.
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-05-13, 12:16 AM
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Re: Amazon set-top box planned for winter release, likely to be called Firetube

I'm very curious if it will take off. Amazon usually does a good job of being competitive. Many of the smart TV available at the moment only have limited Aps. We have Apple TV, Roku's, and a Chromecast (and smart TV). I have to say for us the best at the moment are the Roku's. They have the most options/aps available. When smart TV's have as many available, then the others may be moot but that's not the case at the moment IMO.

Maybe Amazon will throw in viewings of movies that are beyond the 'Prime' list as and incentive.

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post #4 of 15 Old 10-06-13, 08:47 AM
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Re: Amazon set-top box planned for winter release, likely to be called Firetube

Quote:
tripplej wrote: View Post
While it is good for competition and all, I don't know if it is wise for Amazon to get into this market considering all the various competitors that are already in this market including all the tv manufacturers with their "smart" tv's. Should be interesting to see if this unit sells and at what price point.
I agree it just seems like the market is flooded with these and plus like you said the tv manufacturers already include smart TV's.

how come no one produces a plasma better than the KURO... lol
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post #5 of 15 Old 10-06-13, 09:30 AM
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Re: Amazon set-top box planned for winter release, likely to be called Firetube

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fschris wrote: View Post
how come no one produces a plasma better than the KURO... lol
I think we all know the answer -- Price!

Every manufacturer, even Panasonic is making 4K LED tv's now. Not 4K Plasma.

The low cost is what is pushing the technology.
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post #6 of 15 Old 04-02-14, 03:30 PM
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Re: Amazon set-top box planned for winter release, likely to be called Firetube

"Amazon launches Fire TV, an Android-powered streaming and gaming set-top box for $99"

Read the above article today.
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post #7 of 15 Old 04-02-14, 07:35 PM
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Re: Amazon set-top box planned for winter release, likely to be called Firetube

meh... just another Lo Fi streaming device...
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post #8 of 15 Old 04-02-14, 08:05 PM
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Re: Amazon set-top box planned for winter release, likely to be called Firetube

I wonder if firetube would be light enough for there drones to deliver?

on a serious note it seems this generation is driven by techno gagets if they can add more to the table they will most definitely garner some attention. If I remember right ,something was mentioned with amazon and Comcast
if they could pack all that in one service and add a ala carte feature for stations I think a lot of people would welcome it with open arms.
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post #9 of 15 Old 04-02-14, 08:33 PM
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Re: Amazon set-top box planned for winter release, likely to be called Firetube

how does it handle 24P playback?? haha
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post #10 of 15 Old 04-02-14, 08:34 PM
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Re: Amazon set-top box planned for winter release, likely to be called Firetube

hmmm all these 4K tvs coming out that aim to include apps to stream 480p movies.....
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