Kindle TV: Is an Amazon set-top box on the way?

A new report suggests that Amazon could release a TV set-top box by the end of 2013. 

Amazon could begin selling a set-top TV box by the end of the year.

Later this year, and possibly as soon as the fall, Amazon will introduce a TV set-top box, allowing users to stream a range of content from Amazon's Video on Demand store and Instant Video service. That's the word today from BusinessWeek, which sources its report "to three people familiar with the project who aren’t authorized to discuss it." So no, Amazon has not exactly confirmed that it's going into the set-top box business. But it's an interesting idea.

After all, in recent years Amazon has charged full steam ahead into the streaming video business. Besides Instant Video and Video on Demand, its also sponsored an array of original content, including an experiment wherein users can view a bunch of TV pilots, and decide which one gets made. And according to Amazon internal projections (hat tip TechCrunch), plenty of people around the world are tuning in. 

It's worth noting that all that Amazon is already available through third-party devices such as Roku. Still, it makes sense that Amazon would want to cut out the middle man, and just sell its own line of hardware. BusinessWeek, which speculates that the device could be called Kindle TV, says design and implementation are being handled by Amazon’s Lab126 division, by a team comprised of employees with "considerable experience making set-top boxes." 

More when we know it. 

As we noted yesterday, Netflix has recorded a blockbuster fiscal first quarter, with 2 million new members – making for 29 million users, in all. Meanwhile, quarterly revenue at Netflix surpassed $1 billion, helping cap a major rebound from the Qwikster debacle of 2011. (None of which is particularly good news for Amazon's video business.)

"In the end, the [the new Amazon TV device] may be an effort to attract more developers to the Kindle platform and increase Instant Video’s popularity," writes Ed Oswald of Laptop Magazine. "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." 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to