Online retailer Amazon may be planning to unveil a set top box that would stream video content over the internet straight to customers’ television. But there’s more that meets the eye from what we gather. Here are some things we’d be expecting from it.
Last year, we chatted with MIPS at Mobile World Congress and one of the crucial messages that emerged from that discussion was that soon hardware would become so cheap that one would envisage giving it away with services. So it would make sense to have it available for free to those who subscribe to Amazon Video on Demand (available in the US to Prime customers for free) or Lovefilm (available in UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway).
Shaped like a HDMI Dongle
HDMI dongles are all range at the moment and there’s a good reason for that. They are cheap and provide most of the features you’d expect to find on an Android-based tablet or a smartphone for a fraction of the price. We sourced one of those dongles last week which was available for less than £20 and Amazon could use its clout to buy thousands of these for much less than that. Of course, it will be based on ARM and on Android.
It is likely that the product will be part of the Kindle family and would almost certainly be very closely tied to Amazon’s own content services (books, audio, video). As such, we expect Amazon to tie it down to the Kindle family and name it Kindle TV. The integration may go as far as using compatible Kindle Fire tablets to control the device over Wi-Fi, a functionality that already exists on other platforms (iOS and Android).
Earlier this month, Charlie Kindel, a former Windows Phone executive, announced that he was hired by Amazon to work on something secret. His remit was to build an Amazon team that will go after something totally new. Although a smartphone is the most probable outcome, Terry Walsh from Wegotserved, also mentioned that the chap could work on Amazon Home Server and possibly more. As it stands, Amazon desktop-based software solution is risible; its MP3 download client and its Cloud Drive, for example, are somehow separate.