2014 may be the year of set-top box battles as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) prepares to join the fray with its own take on the TV set-top box.
Sources from companies that partnered with Amazon told Re/Code that the online retail giant may be slating the release of an Amazon TV set-top box sometime in March.
Previously, rumors pointed to an Amazon TV box being released during the 2013 Christmas holiday season. However, industry sources told AllthingsD back in Fall 2013 that Amazon delayed the Amazon TV box for a 2014 release.
Not much is known about Amazon’s take on the TV set-top box. However, Re/Code reports that it may be powered by Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android. Amazon currently uses a version of Google’s Android OS for its Kindle Fire line of tablets.
While details of this rumored Amazon TV box are sparse at best, Amazon has made efforts to expand its presence in the entertainment space recently, including the purchase of a game studio, which may be linked to the rumors of Amazon developing an Android-based game console. It is currently unknown if the Amazon TV box will debut with gaming capability.
The online retail giant currently doesn’t have any set-top devices for viewing video content. However, Amazon's instant video service is already available through competing devices such as the Roku set top box.
Should Amazon enter the set-top box market, it will be competing in a market that has grown more crowded over the past couple of years. While the Roku box and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) TV tend to be the go-top device to compare the rumored Amazon TV box to, game consoles may be playing a bigger role in the TV set-top box entertainment market as well.
Current generation consoles such as the Sony (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation 4 and the Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox One have greatly expanded their roles in the living room by adding additional support for TV and video streaming apps from companies such as Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX).
Not to mention, cable companies themselves have also come up with their own solutions such as the Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Xfinity X1 to combat the growing digital video market.
Will a new Amazon TV box be the push Amazon needs to be a major player in the set-top box and streaming video market? Let us know in the comments.