Set-Top Wars Heat Up With Unveiling Of Amazon Fire TV

Amazon stockBy Szk7788 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

The Amazon Fire TV is shipping today. The 0.7-inch thin WiFi-supporting set-top box streams 1080P high definition content and you will need an HDMI port to connect the device. Amazon Fire TV ships with a Bluetooth remote that allows for basic commands as well as voice search. For an additional $39.99,, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) will ship you a controller designed to play video games that the company will offer.

“Tiny box, huge specs, tons of content, incredible price — people are going to love Fire TV,” Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement. “Voice search that actually works means no more typing on an alphabet grid. Our exclusive new ASAP feature predicts the shows you’ll want to watch and gets them ready to stream instantly. And our open approach gives you not just Amazon Instant Video and Prime Instant Video, but also Netflix, Hulu Plus, and more. On Fire TV you can watch Alpha House and House of Cards.”

Netflix worried about Amazon Fire TV?

This last sentence is quite meaningful,, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is clearly hoping that Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)’s failure to make its own hardware will give it a leg up on the competitor almost out of the gate. That’s not to say Netflix is difficult to come by: over 1,000 devices, including Amazon Fire TV, grant users access to Netflix through Blu-Ray players, video game consoles and smart TVs as well as set-top boxes like Apple TV and Roku., Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s website has sold millions of set top boxes so the company is well aware of the hot market for these products. Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) is clearly not worried too much about the launch or they wouldn’t have allowed its software to be bundled at shipping.

The “more IP-enabled TVs the better for #netflix – makes it easier to get to their service on the big screen,” tweeted BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield who was in attendance at the unveiling in New York City today.

In addition to Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, WatchESPN,, NBA, Crackle, Bloomberg TV and others will be supported at launch.

In addition to all the streaming content and channels,, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced the first video game from Amazon Game Studios, the sci-fi action game Sev Zero which is played with the included controller and allows for another player to join in with a Kindle Fire tablet.

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About the Author

Brendan Byrne
While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at

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