Amazon launched the Fire TV set top box on Wednesday (April 2). Costing $99, the device runs on Android software and according to Amazon will provide access to its Instant Video library of more than 200,000 films and TV series.
The device, available now, will also link to the Netflix, YouTube, Vimeo and Hulu media players and allow users to play music, watch photos and play games including the immensely popular Minecraft-Pocket Edition. Fire TV does not support HBO Go.
Users can stream, rent or buy film and TV content and is voice-activated via a microphone on a remote control. There is an inbuilt predictive protocol called ASAP that preloads programming based on prior choices. “No one likes waiting for videos to buffer,” wrote Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in a front page letter on Amazon.com.
Kindle senior executive Peter Larson showcased the product at an unveiling ceremony in New York on Wednesday.
Fire TV’s main rivals are the ‘venerable elder’ of the space, the $99 Apple TV box, as well as Google’s $35 Chromecast dongle and four Roku devices ranging from $49.99 to $99.99.