Menu
Amazon jumps into set-top media business with voice-enabled Fire TV

Amazon jumps into set-top media business with voice-enabled Fire TV

Amazon released the Fire TV set-top media streaming device today at an event in New York, stepping squarely onto the turf of the Apple TV, Roku and Google Chromecast with a small, feature-heavy package about the size of an old CD double album.

The Amazon Fire TV costs $99 the same as Apple TV and is already available online. It packs similar hardware to a high-end smartphone, including a quad-core CPU, 2GB RAM, dedicated Adreno 320 GPU and dual-band Wi-Fi antenna.

+ALSO ON NETWORK WORLD: Google asks US Supreme Court to review ruling on Wi-Fi packet sniffing | Cisco reveals OpenFlow SDN killer +

Users of the Fire TV can link a number of online services to the device for living-room viewing including Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, and WatchESPN, along with Amazon's own Instant Video and Prime Instant Video. Notable in its absence, however, is HBO Go.

A predictive queuing feature, called ASAP, pre-loads content that it thinks users are more likely to view, so that it plays immediately when requested. Amazon's whispersync feature lets users resume a program from where they left off, even if they were watching on a different device.

The Fire TV remote, which works via Bluetooth instead of the usual IR blaster, includes a robust built-in voice search capability and, when the device is used to stream games from a special online library, the ability to act as a controller. (A dedicated gaming controller is available for $40. Games average $1.85 each.)

Fire TV is the latest entrant into a living-room streaming market that's being influenced by a number of different device types everything from cable company-issue DVRs to dedicated media PCs to gaming consoles provides some subset of features. If the endgame, however, is unifying all living-room entertainment and connectivity in a single device, Amazon has just made itself a major player.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Configuration / maintenanceHuluhardware systemsHBOsoftwareData CenterRokunetflixyoutubeAppleESPNGoogleSAP

Featured

Slideshows

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow Electronics introduced Tenable Network Security to local resellers in Sydney last week, officially launching the distributor's latest security partnership across Australia and New Zealand. Representing the first direct distribution agreement locally for Tenable specifically, the deal sees Arrow deliver security solutions directly to mid-market and enterprise channel partners on both sides of the Tasman.

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel
Show Comments