Amazon Hopes to Burn the Streaming Competition with $99 Fire TV Box

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vrmlbasic

"Voice search that actually works"...with Amazon's content. If you want to voice search Netflix, I hear that you're SOL.

That Gary Busey commercial took a long while to get to the point.

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TechNinja49

Wonder if apps can be sideloaded. I really hope someone is able to root and flash some custom ROMs on this. Heck, why not even put a full linux distro on it? This has the potential to be a great micro pc.

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John Pombrio

Can it stream my content over the 10/100 network? What formats does it support? Why do most set top boxes ignore such an obvious benefit like streaming your own content from the network or over USB hard drive?

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jbitzer

Most set top boxes ignore the home streaming option because they are giving you the razor (cheap box) and selling the blades (content).

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gordonb

While I share your disappointment, I think it's because they don't want to have to support all the different formats that people have their media in. Avi, mkv, mp2, mp3, mp4, etc, not to mention mkv 8 bit, mkv 10 bit, and on and on .

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acidic

plex is supported. so there is your answer

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John Pombrio

My ISP GB limit is getting pushed with Netflix and Amazon Plus as it is. I want my local data streamed to the TV via my home network or by a USB hard drive.

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acidic

do you not know what plex is ? it streams over LAN/wan. it will play anything under the sun but in rare cases will need to transcode. i've been running a plex server for years now. both client & server are free and supported by most media players and most nas

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Will.Rubin

I suspect that blocking the streaming of your own content is a requirement of most of the online services. Otherwise you could stream illegal content and bypass their services completely. Yes, even if it makes streaming your own personal videos a non-starter.

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dgrmouse

@WillRubin And I suspect that you have absolutely no clue what you're talking about. Plex announced day 1 support for the Fire TV, which likely meant early access to the device.

@John Plex will allow you to stream photos, music, and videos from any device running Plex (the lines between client and server are rather blurry these days) via a server on your local network. The Android interface is pretty nice, very snappy, and the server load is minimal because the Fire TV can play almost everything without transcoding video. Plex also allows you to setup "channels" for Internet content, eg, stuff from SouthPArkStudios.com, YouTube, ComedyCentral, etc, which then stream to the client via the server.

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Will.Rubin

Will Amazon's streamer allow me to fast forward past the commercials? If not, then it's useless (... to everyone ... obviously) as a replacement for a cable DVR with 30 sec skip.

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MaximumMike

My Wii U has all of those features and plus it plays real games (by comparison.. the best games are still PC games). Why would I want another set top box to do something I can already do?

I agree with jbitzer. They should focus on putting their software on 3rd party hardware, as opposed to building another box that doesn't really have a purpose.

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dgrmouse

I felt the same way, and would loudly proclaim to anyone who'd listen how HTPCs were superior to streamers in every way... until the second gen Roku devices started selling as low as $30. Converting any TV ever made (the 720p models still support composite outputs) into a smart tv with any of these devices has become a /very/ compelling option, even if only streaming local content. And they are easy enough to setup and use that a neophyte can do it on their own.

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vrmlbasic

Same here. I'm tired of Amazon restricting its services to its own devices, only begrudgingly letting PC users in on the fun.

Apple at least created its own walled garden. Amazon walled in Android, the kinda-sorta "open" garden :(

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jbitzer

I love that the industry's solution to people moving away from cale is to put 15 more stupid boxes under your TV. Let 3rd parties make the hardware, put your software out on everything.

iTunes is drawing me kicking and screaming into the iCosystem because it has a solution for every watch condition. It's to the point I don't even buy physical disks anymore, and am now looking at (god help me) a Mac mini server once they receive a haswell or better refresh

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dgrmouse

JBitzer, you keep suggesting that Apple offers more functionality, but you're wrong. Once you install a few apps to your streamer, it leapfrogs AppleTV functionality - unless, of course, you're already too locked into iTunes to ever break free.

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jbitzer

Apple does sir, I have a roku, I have an HTPC, PS3, Xbox 360, and a Samsung SmartTv.

Of all of those the appleTv gets the most use.

Roku - can't use HBOgo - thanks Comcast! Also, I really don't care about the 1000s of channels when most of them are shit from one word church etc. also, even with the newest menu, it still looks like shit.

HTPC - PITA interface and control used to be cool with xbox as a MCE, but still not ideal.

PS3 - Hmm, not using a $300 machine on all of my tvs, interface sucks.

360 - have to pay for live to access half the apps.

SMartTV - limited apps and no HBOgo. Interface sucks

AppleTv - the only thing I don't get is Amazon streaming, Big F'ing deal. I can add all of my personal media to iTunes and it shows up in AppleTv, so personal media, check. HBOgo, Check. Hulu, check, Netflix, Check, Disney Jr channel, ABC, ESPN, Bloomburg, Etc? Check. all the Blurays I bought with included digital copy? Oh look they're iTunes compatible. And I can take the media on the go on my phone or my wife and kid's tablet.

So install all these shit apps on your streamer and enjoy your fragmented library across 15 different interfaces that you get to transcode to make portable. I bet it takes you longer to get through your convoluted menus than anything else.

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dgrmouse

So, in summary, you are drawn into Apple's ecosystem "kicking and screaming" because you can't find alternatives that support Apple's ecosystem. Good luck with that.

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jbitzer

Yes, that's exactly what I said.

When do you graduate remedial reading ?

Apple offers solutions none of the others do. How does Roku integrate with your personal media? Oh, you have to have a third party app? Interesting, what about on the go? Oh, nothing available?

What does the fire provide in relation to your purchased physical media? Oh, Ultraviolet? Well that's been a roaring success, loved by everyone.

Enjoy having your media across a fragmented array of apps. I prefer to look one place for everything I've bought, instead of VUDU, Amazon streaming, Cinema Now, Flixster, and half a dozen other half baked apps with different menus, purchase requirements, and website logins.

idiot.

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wolfing

Roku killer?

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acidic

nope. it is being referred to as an apple tv clone though. you know, because crapple invents EVERYTHING

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jbitzer

To be fair, of the different devices out there, Apple is the one that gives me in particular the most of what I want. Home media streaming and the online streaming options in one device, the only thing it doesn't have is Amazon because they're in some pissing match.

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fung0

Sounds more like Roku clone... It's a tiny business so far, and I can't see anything about Amazon's attempt that would make it a lot bigger.