Amazon unveils rival to Apple TV

The world’s largest internet retailer’s new Fire TV device started shipping in the US today

Amazon’s vice president of Kindle, Peter Larsen, displays the Amazon Fire TV, a new device that allows users to stream video, music, photos, games, through their television. Photograph: Getty

Amazon’s vice president of Kindle, Peter Larsen, displays the Amazon Fire TV, a new device that allows users to stream video, music, photos, games, through their television. Photograph: Getty

 

Amazon. com chief executive Jeff Bezos is stepping up efforts to win over customers in their living rooms with a $99 (€72) TV box for watching digitally delivered shows and movies, challenging Apple’s TV device.

The world’s largest internet retailer unveiled Fire TV, a small black device that starts shipping in the US today. The machine also puts Amazon in closer competition with Google and Roku, which offer their own Internet-connected TV gadgets.

All of the companies are striving to reach into consumers’ homes and to tie customers to a package of services. Amazon has been using free video-streaming to lure more people to its two- day shipping subscription, called Prime.

Fire TV includes Netflix and Hulu applications for viewing, part of Amazon’s effort to include as much content as possible, according to Peter Larsen, vice president of Amazon’s Kindle division.

“Fire TV is definitely a better experience if you have Prime,” Mr Larsen said in a brief interview after presenting the device at an event in New York.

Fire TV also features viewing apps from Walt Disney’s ESPN and CBS’s Showtime, available to anybody in the US who already pays for television through their cable or satellite provider.

Amazon, which had already offered streaming-video services via its Kindle tablets and web browsers, also competes with Netflix and Hulu for content rights from major television and film studios.

An Irish release date for the product has not been confirmed.

Bloomberg