Instead of only carrying access to Amazon’s library of streaming video products, the box will also allow users to sign into apps from Netflix and Hulu Plus, according to a report from GigaOM. Unsurprisingly, the box will run on a forked version of the Android operating system, much like Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets. According to the report, Amazon’s Android fork could cause Google to leave YouTube off the box.
Unlike Google’s Chromecast, Amazon’s set-top box will use a regular remote control, though the company recently joined the DIAL multiscreen protocol, which would allow users to launch a stream on their smartphone and then open it on the set-top box.
Amazon allowing its competitors to use its hardware platform to reach users’ television sets may seem like an odd move, but it makes sense on further consideration. Users will want to use one device to view all of the streaming services they subscribe to on the television. If Amazon barred Hulu and Netflix from its box, that would provide a pair of compelling reasons for users to turn to other offerings like the Apple TV, Google’s Chromecast, or Roku’s streaming boxes.
This way, users would be able to watch Amazon’s “Alpha House” and Netflix’s “House of Cards” on the same device. According to earlier reports, the set-top box is slated to launch this month.
Amazon did not respond to a request for comment on this piece.