Amazon has announced the Amazon Fire TV live from a New York press conference, where the set looks like a decked out 70’s living room.
The square box, with remote, costs $99 and has already gone on sale.
Some of the specs include 2GB of ram, dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi, and supports 1080p and Dolby digital surround stereo. Available apps include Netflix, iheartradio, Showtime, Hulu, WatchESPN, MLB, Crackle, NBA, YouTube and more.
Amazon sells a lot of streaming media devices, so they also hear what’s wrong with them, like search, slow performance and closed ecosystems, where users can’t watch content from any provider they want.
Clearly, the e-commerce giant, who has an interest in dominating digital content, believes it can solve these problems by simplifying the technology. And, in case you are confused with who they will be competing against, Amazon promises it is three times as powerful as the Apple TV, Roku or Chromecast, according to The Verge.
As many had speculated, the device does use the Android operating system, and supports HTML, making apps easy to develop. The remote allows users to conduct a universal search through voice commands, so there’s no shouting across the living room at the TV (that’s a jab at the Xbox, which conducts voice search using the Kinect).
The device is still a work in progress.
For instance, music will be available from Pandora and other app, and songs you’ve purchased from Amazon, starting next month. Although there are some extras available today, like seeing things stored in your Cloud Drive or syncing with your Kindle Fire tablet.
It also will act as a game console, although it is more focused on bringing cheap mobile games to the living room than competing against the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 for the hardcore gaming set. A separate games controller costs $40.