News

Amazon hopes digital streaming device sets TV on ‘Fire’

Amazon hopes digital streaming device sets TV on ‘Fire’

ON FIRE:Fire TV, which is available on Amazon.com, can access Netflix, Hulu and other providers of streaming video content. It also provides a more prominent showcase for Amazon Prime Video as well as its growing slate of original television shows and video games from Amazon Studios. Photo: Reuters

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc unveiled a $99 video streaming device called Fire TV that the e-commerce company promised would be more powerful and easier to use than rival services by Apple Inc, Google Inc and Roku.

Amazon is a latecomer to the set-top TV market that is dominated by the Apple TV. Amazon customers have a large appetite for film and TV, but many already own similar devices, analysts said.

Fire TV, which is available on Amazon.com, can access Netflix, Hulu and other providers of streaming video content. It also provides a more prominent showcase for Amazon Prime Video as well as its growing slate of original television shows and video games from Amazon Studios.

“It’s the easiest place to watch Netflix,” Amazon executive Peter Larsen said at an event in New York on Wednesday to launch the product. “You can watch ‘Alpha House’ and you can watch ‘House of Cards’.”

Amazon said it decided to develop the device after getting feedback on its website from customers who bought set-top boxes like Roku, Apple TV and Google Chromecast. Common complaints include lagging performance, cumbersome search and closed “ecosystems” on those devices, it said.

“When we look at the living room, how do we make the complexity disappear?” Larsen said.

Fire TV can predict what the user will watch and cue it up instantly, Larsen said. A microphone in the remote enables voice-activated search. A video game controller can be purchased for $39.99.

Seattle-based Amazon said it tried for “lowest price point possible” on Fire TV, which costs about the same as an Apple TV, but substantially more than Chromecast or Roku.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba and Liana Baker in New York; Writing and additional reporting by Deepa Seetharaman in San Francisco; Editing by Richard Chang)

Recent Headlines

in Local

New Management Plan Being Developed For Lake

lake

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is drafting an updated management plan for Fort Randall Dam and Lake Francis Case.

in Local

Board Will Name Stuff

meeting room

The South Dakota Board on Geographic Names is holding a meeting next week to gain public input on the naming of a creek and an island near Sioux Falls.

in Local

Noem Supports Perry National Guard Decision

Kristi Noem 20513

South Dakota Congresswoman Kristi Noem says she supports the move by Texas Governor Rick Perry to move one thousand national guardsmen to that states southern border.

in Local

Home Heating Bill Now Law

heater

A bill sponsored by South Dakota Senator John Thune that would ensure deliveries of home heating fuels in the dead of winter was passed by Congress and signed by the President.

in Local

Pressler Floats Museum Idea

South Dakota

South Dakota independent Senate candidate Larry Pressler is proposing an international North American Native American Holocaust Memorial Museum, to be built at Wounded Knee in south west South Dakota.