Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Amazon unveils Fire TV

  • Print

NEW YORK -- Amazon is making a bid to enter living rooms with Amazon Fire TV, a new streaming device that delivers online video, music and other content to televisions.

The company says the $99 device has better speed, performance and search functions than other streaming boxes such as Apple TV and Google Chromecast. But Amazon is coming late to the streaming-device game, and it remains to be seen whether the company is offering enough new and better services to lure customers away from their current streaming methods.

The device, about the size of a CD case, runs Google's Android operating system and offers Netflix, Hulu and other streaming channels in addition to Amazon Prime instant video. It comes with a Bluetooth remote, which lets users search for video by talking to the remote. Customers will get a free, 30-day trial subscription to Netflix and Amazon Prime when they buy a Fire TV.

Amazon vice-president Peter Larsen said the retailer sells millions of streaming media devices each year, and its own box is an effort to address three complaints it commonly hears from customers: The search is too clunky, there is not an open ecosystem that allows people to use several different streaming systems and performance isn't good enough.

Fire TV also offers a range of other services, including channels like YouTube and Pandora and "Free Time," a customizable interface for children.

The box, which started shipping Wednesday, will also feature thousands of free and paid games like Minecraft and Monsters University starting next month. Games can be played using the remote. An optional Fire game controller will be available for $39.99.

One analyst called the offering "underwhelming." Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said the device is too expensive considering it doesn't offer notably more than similarly priced devices. Apple TV is $99 and the top-tier Roku is also $99, although it makes cheaper versions. Google's Chromecast is $35.

He also said Amazon missed a chance to lure more Prime customers by offering six months free of the service to Fire TV owners.

"I don't really get it," he said. "There's no real meaningful advantage to buying the box."

CRT Inc. analyst Neil Doshi was more positive.

"We expect that Fire TV should sell well and further bolster Amazon Prime's ecosystem," he said.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 3, 2014 A16

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart: Choose Yourself

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Gardening Column- Assiniboine Park English Garden. July 19, 2002.
  • A black swallowtail butterfly land on Lantana flowers Sunday morning at the Assiniboine Park English Gardens- standup photo – August 14, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you support Pimicikamak First Nation's protest against Manitoba Hydro?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google