While some analysts had predicted that Apple (NASDAQ:
) or Intel (NASDAQ:
lead television to the next generation
, there is a third player approaching that could challenge their
supremacy. According to
, Amazon (NASDAQ:
) plans to release a set-top box that will allow consumers to
stream video to their TV sets. Amazon's Lab126 division is
reportedly developing the box, which does not yet have a release
date but is expected to arrive this year.
Lab126 just happens to be located in Cupertino, California --
the same city that is famous for housing Apple's massive
Not much else is known about the set-top box, but it is
assumed that Amazon will use the device to strengthen its
existing slate of online video options. However, it is very
unlikely that Amazon would release a set-top box for that reason
Consumers already have dozens (if not hundreds) of ways to
view Amazon Prime. There are several set-top boxes, built-in TV
apps and other tools for bringing Prime into the living room.
Historically, set-top boxes do not produce record-breaking
sales number on their own. While Roku, Apple TV and other
existing boxes offer many intriguing options, Sony's (NYSE:
) PlayStation 3 is the most popular device used to stream Netflix
) in the living room.
Last December, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told the
Official PlayStation Blog
that there were even times when PlayStation 3 "surpassed the PC
in hours of Netflix enjoyment to become our number one platform
This is not an isolated case. Game consoles have
dominated online video
for several years -- in the living room, at least.
In March 2012, the
Los Angeles Times
reported that Microsoft's (NASDAQ:
) game console, Xbox 360, was used more for online entertainment
(such as Netflix and HBO Go) than for online gaming.
Thus, if Amazon expects to break any new ground with its
set-top box, it is going to need an additional hook, whether it's
apps, a fresh service or some other gimmick.
Intel is already hard at work on a new TV service, one that it
bridge the gap
between cable TV and online video services.
It is not yet known if Apple is building a similar service,
but some analysts -- including Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster --
believe that the Mac maker will offer an a la carte cable service
when it releases its first television.
If Amazon beats them to the punch (or arrives around the same
time), it could make it more difficult for Intel's service to
gain traction, all the while posing a threat to whatever Apple
might have planned.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer
of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or
louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
Profit with More New & Research
. Gain access to a streaming platform with all the information
you need to invest better today.
Click here to start your 14 Day Trial of Benzinga