Amazon Unveils Fire TV, Its Video Streaming Device

Amazon is making an aggressive move toward your living room TV with a new video-streaming device. Amazon Fire TV joins a crowded field of devices vying for the same spot.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Online retailer Amazon is the latest tech company out with a console that can deliver streaming video services from the Internet to your television. The Amazon Fire TV device joins a crowded field vying for that coveted spot next to your flat screen.

NPR's Joel Rose reports.

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: Amazon unveiled the Fire TV in New York on a stage set designed to look like a fancy suburban living room. But in real living rooms, Apple, Roku and Google are already there, with devices that let you stream movies and shows from the Internet, directly to your TV. In fact, Amazon vice president Peter Larsen told reporters assembled for the launch that his company has sold millions of those other devices.

PETER LARSEN: And because we're selling millions of them, we hear from customers every day. We hear about what's working, and we hear about what's not working.

ROSE: Larsen boasts that Amazon's Fire TV offers better performance, interface and video-gaming options than the competition, with a similar price-tag of $99. The roll-out comes a few days after Amazon announced new investment in original TV series, adding to the library of shows and movies available through its Amazon Prime service. Still, Fire TV appears unlikely to replace Netflix or your local cable company, says James McQuivey, a media analyst at Forrester Research.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD CHATTER)

JAMES MCQUIVEY: Amazon is not interested in TV or gaming. Amazon wants to have a deep relationship with you, the customer, so they can sell you stuff. And this helps build a deeper relationship, so they can sell you even more things.

ROSE: McQuivey says the day is not far off when you will buy that stuff with a click - without having to look away from your TV screen.

Joel Rose, NPR News, New York.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.