Today Amazon unveiled a new product, the Amazon Fire TV. It "is a tiny box you connect to your HDTV." It's available now for $99.
The Fire TV lets you do what media boxes of its type allow:
- Watch Netflix, Hulu Plus, as well as other online media channels
- Search for things to watch
- Play games on a big screen television
- Listen to music or look at photos
There are, however, a few things it does that some of the other boxes don't. It lets you watch Amazon Instant Video — including Prime Video, a collection of movies and TV shows for viewing at no additional cost to Prime members. It lets you search with voice. And, it will soon feature something called Amazon FreeTime, which promises to be a robust and easy-to-use parental control system.
I see this move as a good one for all players in the space. The announcement helps average consumers become aware that such devices exist. Many will just buy because they love Amazon. However, more than a few will stop and compare available options before making a purchase.