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