Amazon has a team of engineers working on a "television set-top box", anonymous sources in contact with Bloomberg claim. Of course, a TV-based device would be a seemingly natural extension to Amazon Instant Video as it continues to produce its own original content and cements third-party content deals.
Few details are known about Amazon's upcoming box, but devices like Roku and Apple TV are two possible implementations which could service as blueprints for the company: tiny, inexpensive, appliance-like devices wrapped up in an stylish but minimalistic package.
On the software side of things, Roku runs atop its own flavor of Linux while Apple TV touts iOS -- the same operating system found on its iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices. Amazon's plans have yet to be revealed, but perhaps the company intends to port over the same OS found on its Kindle Fire tablets -- a heavily modified version of Android.
Amazon has enlisted some noteworthy talent to develop its media streaming box, including lead-man Malachy Moynihan, former VP of video products at Cisco. Two other individuals rumored to be working on the project include ex-Tivo slash Vudu engineer Andy Goodman and former ReplayTV architect Chris Coley.
The online retail giant has been investing heavily in its video streaming service. In fact, Amazon recently launched pilots for 14 new series -- any of which it may bankroll into full-fledged shows depending on viewer votes. Amazon Instant Video is included with Amazon Prime, an increasingly attractive service which touts free two-day shipping and a few other perks for $79 annually.
The Amazon Kindle Fire HD is the most powerful Kindle of the Fire family featuring an 8.9-inch, 1,920 x 1,200 IPS display rated at 254 PPI, inside is a Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 processor. Other key features include dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus, front-facing HD camera, HDMI-out, dual-band Wi-Fi technology with MIMO (2.4GHz and 5.0GHz) and 16GB of onboard storage.
The Google Nexus 7 is the first Google tablet and is manufactured in partnership with Asus. It features a 7-inch 1280 x 800 display and a Tegra 3 SoC which itself comprises a quad-core CPU and twelve-core GPU. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, also you get a front-facing camera and ships with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system.
The Roku 3 has solidified the company's position as one of the most popular set top boxes. The Roku 3 features a faster processor than its predecessor, dual-band Wi-Fi support, as well as a revamped user interface that should make discovering content from its 750 partner channels a lot easier. As far a ports are concerned you get Ethernet, HDMI with up to 1080p support, a microSD slot and USB with support for H.264 MKV video files.
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