Amazon could introduce its own set-top box this fall in an effort to cement its foothold in digital media, reports indicate. Sources tell Bloomberg Businessweek that the device is intended to compete with the likes of the Roku and Boxee set-top units, and relies heavily on Amazon’s growing online entertainment business.
According to Businessweek, the box is being built internally by Lab126 in Cupertino, Calif, an Amazon subsidiary. The company was responsible for the development of Amazon’s line of Kindle devices, and sources say the group has been working on set-top box concepts for several years.
The box will apparently make use of Amazon’sInstant Video service. Instant Video was rolled into its Prime membership service two years ago, which gives customers access to free two-day shipping and its e-book lending service for $79 per year. No information was given on a price for the set-top box itself.
It is not immediately clear what will happen to its partnerships with other set-top manufacturers, or whether or not Amazon will allow competing video services to create apps for the device. Amazon Instant Video is available for both the Roku and Boxee, and the service is available on other platforms such as the Xbox 360, PS3 and iOS.
In the end, the new device may be an effort to attract more developers to the Kindle platform and increase Instant Video’s popularity. By most metrics, Netflix continues to dominate the streaming entertainment content industry by a wide margin, and iTunes also holds an advantage when it comes to downloads.