Amazon launches new device for streaming video
New York: Amazon today unveiled a new media streaming device, ramping up its challenge for the living room against rivals such as Netflix.
The Amazon Fire TV device, which fits in one`s hand and connects to television sets, aims to boost the US online giant`s efforts to capture viewers for its Prime Video service.
"It`s a tiny box with huge specs," said Amazon Kindle vice president Peter Larsen at a New York event unveiling the device.
The box along with a remote control device also allows users to listen to music or to play games with a separate controller device.
Larsen said that existing devices "make streaming today too frustrating" and that Fire TV would simplify the experience.
One of the features highlighted by Amazon is voice search, allowing consumers to avoid the tedious task of searching for films or videos by punching letters into a remote control device.
The Fire TV box goes on sale to US consumers for USD 99, with the game controller sold at USD 39.99.
The device puts Amazon on track to challenge Google`s Chromecast stick and the streaming media boxes from other groups such as Roku or Apple.
Amazon said the processors and graphics engine gives the device "three times the processing power" of rivals such as Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku 3 "so content loads faster and games run smoother."
Because it is an "open ecosystem," the device will allow consumers to watch video from rivals including Netflix and Hulu, Amazon said.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said in a statement that Fire TV had "tons of content" at an "incredible price."
"Voice search that actually works means no more typing on an alphabet grid. Our exclusive new ASAP feature predicts the shows you`ll want to watch and gets them ready to stream instantly," he said.
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