Tags: Amazon | Fire | digitally | shows | movies

Amazon Unveils Device to Watch Digital TV Shows, Movies

Wednesday, 02 Apr 2014 11:01 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Amazon has unveiled its $99 TV box, Fire TV, for watching digitally delivered shows and movies — a product that'll go head-to-head not only with Apple TV but with Google and Roku, which also offer Internet-connected TV gadgets, reports said Wednesday.

One of Fire TV's biggest features is a voice search that uses a remote as a microphone, Macgasm.net reported.

Consumers can also add a $39.99 controller that enables FireTV to become a game console.

“This is their attack on Roku and Apple TV,” analyst Brian Blair of Wedge Partners told Bloomberg News.

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The world's largest Internet retailer has used free video streaming to get more people to sign up for Prime, its two-day-shipping subscription, Bloomberg News reported.

Fire TV includes Netflix and Hulu.

Fire TV also features viewing apps from ESPN and Showtime for anyone who already pays for TV through his cable or satellite provider, Bloomberg reported.

With its own box, Amazon aims to feature its library of video instead of depending on other TV manufacturers. Its library includes exclusive rights to shows like "Downton Abbey" and "Jersey Shore," Bloomberg noted.

Like Netflix, which produces “House of Cards,” Amazon has been developing its own programming to attract customers with exclusive content.

“This is about selling Prime,” analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles told Bloomberg News. “It really does open up their ability to deliver a lot of stuff.”

Macgasm, a site that describes itself as covering everything relating to Apple products,  reported that "if you’re in the Amazon ecosystem, this is a must-have."

"Fire TV features tight integration with the Kindle Fire tablets," it reported. "They have included an Airplay-like screen mirroring on the Fire TV, but they’ve also built in some features for second screen viewing.

"They’ve expanded X-ray from books to music, movies, and shows. Whispersync will also allow you to watch shows on your tablet and pick up in the same spot on the Fire TV."

Macgasm reported that Amazon promised music services too, adding, "The box will also let you look at your photos, those you’ve synced to your Amazon Cloud Drive or taken on your Kindle Fire."

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Related Stories:

Apple in Talks with Comcast for Streaming-TV Service

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