Amazon preparing to launch Android-powered TV box

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Amazon could soon join the likes of Roku, Apple, and Google with the introduction of their own set-top box for internet-connected television. Like their popular line of Kindle tablets, it is rumored that the new device will rely on Android to run the show.

Rumors of an Amazon television platform date back to last year when it was believed the online retailer would target a holiday launch. Those plans never realized, but that hasn’t stopped Amazon, according to sources. As with the company’s Kindle tablets, the emphasis in selling a TV box would be on getting more eyes on Amazon’s library of streaming video content.

For the large part, Amazon’s video services have taken a backseat to others like Netflix and even Google Play. The number of Amazon Prime subscribers that don’t take advantage of or even realize they have access to a fairly robust library of movies and television shows (including Amazon originals) is startling, to say the least. A set-top box featuring a heavily modified version of Android would be designed to put this Amazon content front and center for viewers.

Little is known about expected hardware, but there is a chance the box will also act as a connected gaming platform on top of being a centralized media hub. We’d expect a device that is in line with similar Google TV-based offerings.

The Amazon set-top TV box is now expected to launch as early as May. Pricing is unknown at this point, but don’t be surprised to see an ad-subsidized model selling for less than $100.

[via Recode]

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  • CHTwenty4

    The biggest problem with Amazon Instant Video is they refuse to release an app for the Android Platform. The Google TV implementation is horrible.

  • David Hiestand

    Just fix the awful interface, separate Prime from the buying section (so I know what I am looking at), and release an Android app with Chromecast support.

  • Chahk Noir

    Amazon are shooting themselves in the foot by not releasing a half-decent Android app with casting ability. I’m seriously reconsidering my Prime subscription because of this (and rumored price hike) for next year if they don’t get their act together. It’s not that difficult if a couple of guys behind Plex can do it. It’s all politics and Amazon wanting to distance themselves from Google. Just dumb.

  • rekem

    Buy. Root. Install XBMC.

  • steveb944

    $100 with ads? I rather just get GTV that has proven functionality. I don’t use my CoStar at all now because the Wii U took over for streaming.

  • Scott Stafford

    Amazon Prime movie collection leaves A LOT to be desired. To say the least.

  • Carl Rood

    I love Prime Instant Video (however they need complete seasons of classic Doctor Who), but I’d love an Android app. Even with a Flash-enabled browser on a rooted phone, it works randomly, at best.

  • guitarist5122

    I’d rather have a Prime Video app, Amazon <_<

  • Jason Williams

    the purchase of the Strider/Killer Instinct developer can’t be just a coincidence – they are delivering a gaming console in that box as well. I’ll bet they beat Sony and MS in price and it’s 75% in feature parity with the PS4. Can’t imagine them swinging for the fences on total media like Xbox does.

  • TheJunkie

    I hope they join the fight against verizon too instead of paying those greedy bastards.

  • smithj33

    The only way this works is if they kill of their app from other devices.

  • CGS

    I like Amazon as an online store, but their interface is firstly awful, plus, I don’t want to pay the $70 just to get access to streaming all that. I dunno. Just personally, if I’m paying for digital content I want to buy it through Google, that way as long as I have my Google account and an Android phone I’m all set and ready to go. I have a ludicrous amount of TV & movies purchased on Play already, so I’ve been thinking my next “big” purchase should be a Google TV set top box, but I have no idea which one to go with.

    • AD1980

      Maybe a Chromecast?

      • CGS

        Well I’ve definitely considered it, but I like the idea of having a box to connect to my TV for the full Google TV experience so I can have apps and such.

        So far I found something called Vizio that seems fairly decent, I’ll have to keep doing research though I guess.

    • kywildcat

      Just go with a Minix Neo x7 box and Xbmc, and everything else will fall into place.

  • kywildcat

    Lost alot of respect for Amazon. They constanly leech off Android, and then shun android by
    not releasing an android prime app.

  • http://www.fanboygeek.net/ Andrew Hobbs

    Prime Instant video would suffice. Still, it sounds good :-)

  • http://androidflavor.com James Frost

    Thats nice to know but I hope the design shouldn’t be like the image in the article if you know what I mean :D