On Wednesday, Amazon took another dip into the hardware business with Fire TV, a set-top box for streaming video from Amazon and other sources, including Netflix and Hulu.
Of course, consumers have countless ways to stream video, including a variety of set-top boxes and streaming sticks, including Google’s Chromecast. Most high-profile streaming devices require a high-definition television with HDMI input, HDMI cable and wireless broadband service.
For now, Apple TV and Roku lead the marketplace.
Apple TV is ahead at nearly 13% of U.S. TV households, according to tech-tracking firm IHS, while Roku resides in 6.1% of TV homes. With “a competent, competitive product at the sub-$100 price point, backed by a strong brand and ecosystem, Amazon has firmly planted itself into what was formerly a two-person race,” says IHS senior analyst Paul Erickson. “The respective strengths of the offerings from Apple, Roku and Amazon combined are expected to squeeze most of the remaining oxygen out of the market for many smaller players.”
How does Fire TV stack up? Let’s compare:
Amazon Fire TV
Size: 4.5 inches x 4.5 inches x 0.7 inches; weighs 9.9 ounces
Video: Supports 720p and 1080p resolutions up to 60 frames per second (FPS)
What can I watch?: Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu, ESPN, Vevo, Bloomberg, Showtime and more. One notable absence from the lineup: HBO Go.
Bonus features: Along with voice search and FreeTime, which helps parent limit screen time for kids, users can purchase a controller for $40 and play video games. Minecraft and The Walking Dead are among titles offered.
SOURCE: Brett Molina and Mike Snider