Amazon's Christmas gift to you: streaming STB. Maybe. Not quite sure, yet.
It's code-named "Cinnamon," and it has no release date or intended price however, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos likes to keep his hardware costs down. In that regard, we can expect him to enter into the fray against Apple TV at $99 and Roku at $50. I'll throw in Chromecast at $35 because, I like it better than the set-top box (STB) stuff.
Obviously, they all end up doing the same thing with Hulu, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix or Pandora adding to the cost. See why I like Chromecast. So, Amazon may just be wanting to boost its Prime membership. Prime is not a bad deal at $79 a year. You get pretty much the same as the other guys and it is Amazon so, one click shopping, storage in the cloud, and cross device performance is pretty consistent. And, you can buy Thigh Masters and new underwear while you are comfortably streaming movies or tv shows. That's got to be a bonus right there.
According to the Wall Street Journal which broke this story-cum-plant-cum-rumour-cum-whisper-marketing-campaign:
The company may offer a separate remote control for the set-top box, though it is likely to also be controlled through apps on smartphones and tablets, similar to the Apple TV set-top box, the people said. Last month at Amazon headquarters, Mr. Bezos demonstrated features of the latest Kindle Fire which allow it function like a remote control, including sending streaming video to web-connected televisions.
But the WSJ also said:
A set-top box could be shelved or delayed due to financial, performance or other considerations, the people said.
You think the WSJ is trawling for hits? A little?
In the meantime, we happy Prime users have to contend ourselves with Xboxes, Rokus, and did we mention, Chormecast? Hell, it's a crowded field that will continue to get crowded. Will just buy these damn boxes and throw them round like so many USB memory sticks. It's hard to see what anyone is going to do to excite us to buy one other than make sure it works nicely, and doesn't cost much. Like Chromecast. We've made our point, people. The display less computer age is upon us.