Apple generated plenty of buzz yesterday when it unveiled new set-top box hardware but it’s not the only company preparing to ship an updated media streamer. Amazon’s second generation Fire TV box recently passed through the FCC and by most accounts, it could give Apple TV a run for its money.
The FCC listing in question was discovered by Dave Zata and describes the box as an HDMI digital media receiver. The listing was filed by a company called Quill Royal LLC which is almost certainly a shell corporation used by Amazon to try and keep its pending product a secret until it’s announced - behavior that is typical among large companies.
The filing indicates the device will carry a microSD card slot along with 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity. There’s also a USB port and an Ethernet jack.
Zata also found evidence that the box will support 4K video playback. There’s not a lot of 4K content out there right now although supporting the standard at this early stage would certainly put it ahead of the competition, especially if the box arrives at the same $100 price point as the original (even priced at $150 to compete with the new Apple TV wouldn’t be a bad idea).
Adding further fuel to the fire (no pun intended) is the fact that the first generation Fire TV is currently listed as unavailable on Amazon.
It’s worth reiterating that this is all rumor territory at this point and there’s no solid evidence that links the FCC filing to Amazon. Given Zata’s track record, however, odds are that he's probably on to something here.