Amazon will soon launch its own video-streaming device to compete with Apple TV in April this year.
The device will be a Chromecast like dongle that plugs into the HDMI port, and will run a forked version of Android with support for various apps, including rival streaming serves like Netflix and Hulu Plus.
The Amazon device will carry a variety of apps available on Roku Inc. and Apple Inc. set-top boxes and run on a version of Google Inc.’s Android software, like Amazon’s tablet computers, these people said. Roku’s most popular apps include video services Netflix and Hulu Plus and music service Pandora, as well as Amazon’s own video-streaming service.
Pre-production units of the video-streaming device have already been distributed to select app developers, so that at launch, Amazon has a good lineup of apps compatible with the device. The dongle will carry Amazon’s “Fire” branding, which the company already uses for its Kindle Fire tablets.
Unlike the Chromecast, Amazon’s streaming device will ship with a simple remote. The device will also let you “stream” and play games, just like OnLive’s service, with top-tier gaming titles that’ll run at 30 fps.
Amazon has a video streaming service, a music streaming service, original video programming, so it makes sense that the company wants to increase its presence in the living room. There’s no word on pricing, but with Roku available for $50, Chromecast for $35 and the Apple TV for $99, Amazon would want to competitively price its product.
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