Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Amazon Reportedly Working On Set-Top Box

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the aren't-we-trying-to-get-rid-of-those dept.

Television 100

Bloomberg is reporting that Amazon has plans to release its own television set-top box later this year. The device will stream video over the internet from Amazon's video service catalog. From the article: "Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos is pushing the company into a broadening array of hardware, including tablets, electronic readers and a planned smartphone. ... The set-top box is being developed by Amazon’s Lab126 division, based in Cupertino, California -- the city that’s also home to Apple. Lab126 has toyed with building connected television devices for several years, the people familiar with the effort said. ... Plans for pricing couldn't be determined. Amazon’s typical strategy is to sell hardware at competitive prices, sometimes at a loss, with the intent of making up for discounts through sales of content, including books and movies. Amazon could also use the set-top box to promote its online store.

cancel ×

100 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

YASTB (4, Funny)

nospam007 (722110) | about a year ago | (#43540793)

Yet another Set-Top Box.

My TV is less than half an inch thick, nobody is going to 'set' something on top of that.

What I need is a Set-Bottom box so large that I can put my TV on it.

Re:YASTB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540897)

why not a kindle with a hdmi port?

simple, uses existing hardware designs.. and would actually be useful instead of yet-another-set-top-box.

Re:YASTB (3, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#43541217)

why not a kindle with a hdmi port?

...because Amazon can't make more money that way. They need a different device to sell you in addition to the Kindle.

Amazon works on a set-top box? (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#43541493)

I guess it beats working in this cubicle...

Re:Amazon works on a set-top box? (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#43543917)

Phone me when they ship a sex-top box.

Re:YASTB (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43542069)

Amazon's margins on Kindle are intentionally thin, they make money on content.

Of course, there are plenty of good reasons that a set-top box is better than an HDMI enabled Kindle - for example you don't need to pay for that expensive touch screen, and you can include a remote control without requiring some add-on piece. Plus near an HDMI cable isn't necessarily a convenient place to store your Kindle, and you'll probably prefer having a hard-wired network if you can for HD content. So you have to design some multi-cable (network, HDMI, power) dongle or dock, and that's extra money. Meanwhile, you can probably get set-top box hardware down in the sub-$75 price range. There's not a whole lot of upshot to making re-using the Kindle hardware at that point.

Re:YASTB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43542553)

they ain't gonna make money on dedicated set top box hardware either... in order to sell, they WILL be sold at cost, if not below... so why not use a platform and hardware design that already exists?

Re:YASTB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43543125)

But the Kindle Fire already has an HDMI port..

Re:YASTB (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about a year ago | (#43541391)

why not a kindle with a hdmi port?

Why not a packaged Raspberry PI running Android? Costs is under $100 if you buy in bulk... Oh wait....

Re:YASTB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43542205)

why not a kindle with a hdmi port?

They already have those: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008GGCAVM/ [amazon.com]

They're more expensive than a Roku: http://www.amazon.com/Roku-4200R-3-Streaming-Player/dp/B00BGGDVOO/ [amazon.com]

Presumably this will be price competitive with a Roku. Although I hope they aren't expecting me to buy one. I already have a TiVo and a Nintendo. Why would I need another box to attach to my television? This may be a solution searching for a problem. I can't see that this will be better than a Roku, so it will need to be cheaper. Particularly if there is vendor lock in.

Re:YASTB (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#43541297)

Most of them have a way to attach to the back of the set.

Apple TV [amazon.com]
ROKU [amazon.com]

Re:YASTB (1)

Yer Mom (78107) | about a year ago | (#43546259)

For the rest, there's six inch nails.

Re:YASTB (1)

tattood (855883) | about a year ago | (#43541553)

What we need is more televisions that have software built into them that can access all of the video networks directly. There are already DVD/Blu-Ray players that can play from Netflix/Amazon/Hulu/Youtube, etc.

Re:YASTB (2)

sixsixtysix (1110135) | about a year ago | (#43542051)

i do agree, and pretty much all tvs made now have this stuff built-in. there can be issues though:
1. hardware manufacturers won't always put the apps on older, yet seemingly capable devices.
example 1: i have a samsung blu-ray player that is a few years old. it can play netflix, hulu+, ultraviolet (via vudu), but no amazon vod or hbo go apps. the player should be more than capable and not all of those apps came installed by default. i guess samsung wants me to buy a new player.
example 2: my roommates' toshiba tv has netflix and even an app store, but there is no hulu+, amazon vod ,etc. pretty lame.

2. there is no hardware neutrality, so who is to say this amazon box or a built-in amazon app will work with all isps?
example 1: comcast + hbo go [on the roku] = not working, but comcast + hbo go [on tablets, phones, pcs* and xbox 360] = working. that is fucking retarded.
example 2: hulu+ and their streaming !=streaming shenanigans, where some stuff only streams on the website and other stuff only through its apps and i'd bet there is even more fragmentation in the apps (stuff will play on phones, but not through blu-ray player app).





*probably not linux

Re:YASTB (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year ago | (#43541957)

Yet another Set-Top Box.

My TV is less than half an inch thick, nobody is going to 'set' something on top of that.

What I need is a Set-Bottom box so large that I can put my TV on it.

Apparently some people haven't noticed that you can't sit anything on top of any television sold for the past several years.

Re:YASTB (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | about a year ago | (#43542351)

what we really need is an industry standard component rack with a single umbilical to a television.

Re:Yastb (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#43542969)

If only there were some sort of device the size of a USB stick drive that plugged directly into the HDMI port, and ran full Android, XBMC, or a full desktop OS. Oh wait. There is. I just bought one off the shelf at the legendary cutting edge technology powerhouse Walmart, for $79. Are we supposed to pretend these don't exist?

Re:YASTB (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#43546215)

Yet another Set-Top Box.

My TV is less than half an inch thick, nobody is going to 'set' something on top of that.

What I need is a Set-Bottom box so large that I can put my TV on it.

How about a "set back box" that uses a lot of the deadspace behind a TV? the IR control signals can be either bounced off the back wall or a small little mirror/prism can distribute it behind the TV for all those boxes. You don't need to see most of them anyways.

Re:YASTB (1)

ezelkow1 (693205) | about a year ago | (#43546785)

Theres already a vesa standard for this. There are vesa mounts on the back of most tv's and many tiny client tv boxes, such as dish's joey boxes, will mount on the back of a tv. Since they use rf remotes IR is not an issue

That's a lot of effort (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540823)

Considering 95% of the world won't be able to use the product, that's a lot of effort.

I'd be more impressed if Netflix were doing it, they at least cover closer to 10% of the world's population and seem to have an interest in getting their service to more people.

Netflix was smarter (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#43540891)

I'd be more impressed if Netflix were doing it.

Not me. I thought it was pretty brilliant of Netflix to have every set top maker clamoring to include support.

Then Netflix has no hardware anywhere, and whatever device you choose Netflix wins a bit.

Re:Netflix was smarter (3, Insightful)

ethanms (319039) | about a year ago | (#43541095)

I'd be more impressed if Netflix were doing it.

Some of you people have short memories...

Back in 2005 Roku designed their streaming media box specifically to stream Netflix content... for at least a couple of years Netflix was the only content available on it.

I was part of one of the original focus groups while it was in development and it was plainly clear from the questions and marketing materials that this device was for Netflix only to start... it's only the last several years they've added Amazon Instant Video and other "channels".

As most recent parent you mentioned, it was brilliance on the part of Netflix to avoid having their own branded hardware. This paved the way for many device manufacturers to include support w/o facing competition from Netflix itself. When you buy a TV or Bluray player today and it includes Netflix support you are far more likely to subscribe vs. if you had to buy your own hardware from Netflix.

Amazon is creating a hassle for themselves... just like they have done by not producing an Android app for their streaming video (because it would compete with their Kindle). I don't want Amazon content on my Nexus 7 specifically because of this, and you'd better believe that it does influence my decision to buy Amazon content.

Re:Netflix was smarter (1)

CODiNE (27417) | about a year ago | (#43541453)

It seems these days everyone has forgotten "Don't compete with your customers".

Microsoft countless times, Zune, Kin, Windows Phone.
Google making Android handsets
Samsung competing with Apple on smart phones.
Netflix and Amazon generating their own content.

At least most of their partners are too stupid or unable to pull out of their existing relationships.

Re:Netflix was smarter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43542081)

Amazon is creating a hassle for themselves... just like they have done by not producing an Android app for their streaming video (because it would compete with their Kindle).

whats even weirder is that they make an ios app which competes with their kindle...

Re:Netflix was smarter (1)

HJED (1304957) | about a year ago | (#43542779)

It is more likely that is to do with DRM, considering they have a kindle ebooks app for Android.

Re:Netflix was smarter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43543247)

I doubt it, as Netflix, Hulu, etc. are are fully DRMed on the droid. Next answer.

To get people to choose Kindle Fire over Nexus 7 (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43546821)

Amazon knows it can't sell its own branded iOS tablet to iOS fans. It thinks it can sell a few Kindle Fire tablets to Android fans. That's the difference.

Re:Netflix was smarter (0)

Cammi (1956130) | about a year ago | (#43542091)

I haven't found a Roku that didn't die in 2 months of use. So no, Roku is not a real life option.

Re:Netflix was smarter (2)

BrokenSoldier (737420) | about a year ago | (#43545757)

Ive had my original Roku HD for over 2 years. Other than occasionally rebooting it, and blowing the dust off, its been on continuously, daily. My kids love it, my 4 yr old has been using since she was 2 and a half. Great little device.

Re:Netflix was smarter (1)

kimvette (919543) | about a year ago | (#43545953)

I have had my Roku 2 XS for over a year and a half. I've had to reboot it perhaps three times, but otherwise have had zero issues with it. Prior to installing private channels on it, I haven't had to reboot it, so I blame the private channel apps.

Re:Netflix was smarter (3, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year ago | (#43541149)

Agreed. And I'd go one step further and say that it makes no sense to buy a set top box built by any content provider, period. General-purpose set top box makers are competing with each other, which means that it is in their best interest to provide quality service for all content providers. A content provider, in contrast, has every incentive to make their service work well, but every incentive to make other companies' services seem substandard, assuming they even provide the ability to access those services at all.

And on the flip side, it makes no sense to buy content from any provider that also builds hardware. It is in their best interest to provide severely degraded service for everyone else's hardware. Notice, for example, that Kindle's flowing KF8 support still hasn't landed on iOS a year and a half later. Notice that (according to Slashdot discussions a couple of days ago) Amazon's new TV show pilots are not playable on Android devices except for Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets. And so on. Because they sell tablets, they have no incentive to make it work on anyone else's tablets. If it doesn't work, they can say, "Hey, you should try our new tablet. It does everything your old one does, plus it works with our content." If it works on other devices, they can't make that claim. As long as other providers aren't playing the same game, and as long as it still works on all computers (which nearly all tablet users also own), Amazon wins by default.

And people wonder why I won't buy books that I can't hold in my hand, movies that I can't stick on my shelf, etc. It's because of companies like Amazon that limit what you can do with content that you've paid for, not because there's a good technical or legal reason to do so, but rather for their own competitive advantage.

Do. Not. Trust. Digital. Content.

Re:Netflix was smarter (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#43541233)

I agree with all your statements, but sadly for the sake of sheer convenience I do buy Kindle content. At least they have done a good job of having a lot of reader choices even though they sell the hardware Kindle.

Sometimes I buy digital TV shows also, but only if I can consider it a one-time watching fee, since there is no aspect of ownership involved.

Digital movies? Never, until they are really mine to use as I wish.

For hardware specific devices, I generally agree - unless you are buying the device for some capability outside the sales realm. I would not be against having an AppleTV just to support AirPlay (I would just use AirPlay clients running on OSX or Windows but they don't always work). But if I were going to buy one mostly to play video Roku is the one I'd most be inclined to support.

Re:Netflix was smarter (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about a year ago | (#43541549)

Do. Not. Trust. Digital. Content.

s/Digital/Proprietary Formatted/

Digital was never a problem, and was maybe the best thing to ever happen for interoperability. I bet your 25 year old music CDs still work great, and the fact they're digital, is probably why you don't ever actually spin the discs to listen to their music anymore. ;-) Don't be dissin' digital content; let's be clear what the real problem is.

Re:Netflix was smarter (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | about a year ago | (#43541729)

It's funny, when I take a DVD and turn it into digital content (using Forbidden Majicks!), I never have any problem trusting it. It's totally DRM free, will play on practically and device, and I can make unlimited copies....

Oh, you mean DRMed digital content....

Oh, by the way, the above is a fantasy story. It's impossible to turn a DVD into digital content without the consent of the Lords of Copyright. CSS for DVDs is completely unbreakable both legally and through forbidden knowledge. (I certainly don't own a T-Shirt with the DeCSS code on it...)

Put the rat cage on Julia, not me! Do it to Julia!

Re:Netflix was smarter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43542111)

dvds are digital content, you insensitvie clod!


side note: i've come across quite a few commercial dvds with no css.

Re:Netflix was smarter (1)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | about a year ago | (#43544599)

And make great coasters too. That's why they're so versatile.

Re:Netflix was smarter (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year ago | (#43543719)

Actually, by digital content, I meant "non-gratis digital downloads and streaming", though I'll readily admit that DRM does make the problem worse.

With a physical product, even if the actual data is digital, there's something tangible. It can be traded and sold. It can be used as a Frisbee. More to the point, physical media inherently requires that the media be broadly compatible with a wide range of products by multiple companies, because the mere existence of the physical media necessitates that compatibility. Shelf space is just too expensive to have twelve competing copies of a single movie in different encodings for different devices.

That's why HD-DVD had to eventually either fail or cause Blu-Ray to fail; too many standards translates into unhappy consumers and insane distribution overhead. The industry really can't support a wide range of competing standards in physical media. Heck, the industry is throwing DVDs in with a sizable percentage of their Blu-Ray discs simply because it can barely support two standards adequately.

With digital downloads, all of those barriers that previously kept content providers honest no longer matter. Up until the point at which consumer backlash kicks in, there's nothing preventing having a hundred different competing devices, none of which can read content created for any of the others.

That's _still_ not a problem with digital (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about a year ago | (#43622177)

physical media inherently requires that the media be broadly compatible with a wide range of products by multiple companies, because the mere existence of the physical media necessitates that compatibility.

Ah, so you've never bought a Sony product (audio recorder or camera). I didn't realize there were people like you out there, and it gives me hope. Keep up the good pattern, for it has given you an idealism that I, for one, find very fresh and exciting. ;-)

On to your real point...

Actually, by digital content, I meant "non-gratis digital downloads and streaming", though I'll readily admit that DRM does make the problem worse. .. With digital downloads, all of those barriers that previously kept content providers honest no longer matter. Up until the point at which consumer backlash kicks in, there's nothing preventing having a hundred different competing devices, none of which can read content created for any of the others.

DRM doesn't make the problem worse ; it makes the problem, as it's the main proprietary component which makes interoperability difficult (and illegal, thanks to DMCA). Without the DRM, you could replace those hundred competing devices or software components, with one which you have forced to work with all the hundred different "standards." Or you'd have filters/converters that, say, take Netflix content and converts it to something your Amazon-spec player can handle (or vice-versa). Even your narrowly-defined "digital content" definition ultimately has its problems really because of DRM and the proprietary format (the two are closely realted). It's not because it's digital or because it was a non-gratis digital download.

Please, have a look at this example: https://buy.louisck.net/purchase/live-at-the-beacon-theater [louisck.net] . What you'll see is something that fits your definition of non-gratis digital download in every way. I'll admit you can't use it as a frisbee, but really, it doesn't threaten to increase the proliferation of players. It's not going to result in another wall-wart or yet another weird app that you have to install. Whatever player already you have, will very likely work with what he's selling. A thousand other content creators, none of them working together or united by a single store which forces a technical constraint upon them, could do that and it would all just work. Digital content is not a problem; it's a good thing and solves more problems than it creates. Just keep away from the proprietary stuff.

Every console has first-party games (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43546853)

And I'd go one step further and say that it makes no sense to buy a set top box built by any content provider, period.

Every video game console is "a set top box built by any content provider". What device for playing video games on a television would you recommend instead?

Re:That's a lot of effort (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#43540935)

What a stupid thing to say. Look, Amazon wants to make money. More users isn't the same as more money. There is a difference.

Re:That's a lot of effort (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#43542153)

Considering 95% of the world won't be able to use the product, that's a lot of effort.

Considering 95% of the world only has 5% of the money in the world, that makes sense.

Considering 5% of the world has 95% of the money in the world, that makes sense again.

Although, Amazon is going to get 0% of my money on this.

Amazon Reportedly Working On Set-Top Box (5, Interesting)

Ensign_Expendable (1045224) | about a year ago | (#43540847)

Skating to where the puck is, instead of where it's going.

Re:Amazon Reportedly Working On Set-Top Box (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year ago | (#43540955)

Sometimes you cannot see where the puck is going, but you better skate in the right general direction instead of standing still.

Re:Amazon Reportedly Working On Set-Top Box (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541075)

Sometimes you cannot see where the puck is going, but you better skate in the right general direction instead of standing still.

Sometimes, the puck hits you in fhe face - see Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg.

Re:Amazon Reportedly Working On Set-Top Box (1)

metlin (258108) | about a year ago | (#43541141)

Props for the Wayne Gretzky reference, eh.

Re:Amazon Reportedly Working On Set-Top Box (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year ago | (#43546267)

Better than Sony, who has spent more time in the penalty box than any other company, and is the only company to ever take it's skate off and try to stab someone.

Will (2)

magarity (164372) | about a year ago | (#43540899)

"Amazon could also use the set-top box to promote its online store"

"could"

lol

Re: Will (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541127)

what's wrong with "could"? news sites report news. no one knows for *sure* that amazon will do this, so the report is being as accurate as possible. that's a GOOD thing.

Re: Will (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about a year ago | (#43541451)

what's wrong with "could"?

Because the proper word is "WOULD" based on their past history. Amazon is ALL about selling you stuff and they will do anything they can think of to keep you buying stuff from them. I'm totally sure that amazon WOULD use a set top box to advertise their stuff, it's in their DNA.

If you don't get that I can tell you don't have a Kindle. You either get to see advertisements every time you pick up your kindle, or you paid extra for the thing. They are great devices, but it's all about selling you stuff though THEIR interface, THEIR app store and you cannot easily break free from that.

Re: Will (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541713)

oh, i'm totally with you. of course that's what amazon is going to do. i'm not an idiot.

but there's a difference between speculation and news. i expect news sites to report things that have happened or have been said. amazon hasn't said what they're going to do with this box yet, so reporting that they WILL do something would be inaccurate.

I hope its a better effort... (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year ago | (#43540919)

...than their shows.

How butthurt is Netflix right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540921)

Their CDN is eating their lunch!

Re:How butthurt is Netflix right now (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about a year ago | (#43541473)

Netflix is turning record profits and actually just beat the street's estimates on their last quarters earnings. They are NOT hurting...

Of course I'm not commenting on the material they have on Netflix... That is kind of painful..

Irrelevant (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540937)

'based in Cupertino, California -- the city that’s also home to Apple'

Exactly what reason is there for bringing up Apple as part of the summary of this post?

Re:Irrelevant (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540947)

Because he misses Saint Steve's dick up his ass.

Re:Irrelevant (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43541291)

The reason is probably the AppleTV [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541397)

Lab126 is just a few blocks from One Infinite Loop, convenient for lunch hour interviews of AppleTV team members. Not that I'm speaking from personal experience -- strictly hypothetical of course. :)

Coming soon.... The Slashbox! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540951)

Get hourly updates featuring
-Vague laws misinterpreted by engineers to be threats to privacy/civil liberties
-The latest release of every obscure Linux distro and its shortcomings compared to 10 other distros
-Factually spurious articles about the death of the IT industry.
-Philosophical flame wars about the validity of alternative energy/electric cars
-Mental masturbation regarding drones/macs/climate change
-Windows 8 trolling

Re:Coming soon.... The Slashbox! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541653)

Will they replace DNS with a 30 gig HOSTS file?

Is there really a use case for single-providers? (4, Insightful)

Proteus (1926) | about a year ago | (#43540957)

No one I know would be interested in a device dedicated to a single provider's service. Everyone I know who uses Internet-based delivery for some of their media uses more than one source, and none of them would have any desire to have multiple devices. Perhaps if this was the only way to consume Amazon's video offering... but it isn't.

There's already a number of devices (Roku, PS3, XBox, a variety of DVD/Blu-Ray players, etc.) that allow access to Amazon's Instant Video as well as Netflix and a host of other media services. I can't see how Amazon thinks it's a good idea to compete with that.

Re:Is there really a use case for single-providers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540991)

The Last Mile

Re:Is there really a use case for single-providers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541223)

And yet people buy Kindles.

Re: Is there really a use case for single-provider (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541381)

I own one because they make perfect Christmas gifts, you ungrateful clod.

Re:Is there really a use case for single-providers (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about a year ago | (#43541463)

Except once you think about it, you don't actually know anyone who bought a Kindle for themself, do you? Kindles are the ultimate thoughtless "gift." Like a turd, but with less feeling.

Re:Is there really a use case for single-providers (1)

HJED (1304957) | about a year ago | (#43542813)

People buy Kindles because they are very good ebook readers in terms of hardware and because you can't read kindle books on other ebook readers. (No tablets and PCs don't count as ebook readers)

Re:Is there really a use case for single-providers (1)

Turmoyl (958221) | about a year ago | (#43541669)

I hear you, and the absolutely limited experience that the entire Kindle line offers (e.g. the Kindle Fire HD, which is all things Amazon to the exclusion of all things Google, even though it's running on a (severely outdated) Google OS) does not bode well for a set-top box, especially when it has to compete with totally usable, cheap, all-in-one solutions like the Roku line.

Re:Is there really a use case for single-providers (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43546869)

No one I know would be interested in a device dedicated to a single provider's service.

Video game consoles are dedicated to the console maker's game download service. Where do you live where nobody is interested in a video game console?

Future Slashdot Headline (5, Funny)

sesshomaru (173381) | about a year ago | (#43540989)

"Latest Update to Amazon's Video Player disables Roku Players and Internet Enabled Blu-ray players from playing their content."

"An Amazon spokesman was quoted as saying, 'Unfortunately, due to piracy concerns, we are unable to continue supporting non-Amazon set-top devices. We are sympathetic to our customers who's set top devices will no longer play our content, and are offering them a $10 off coupon for KindleTV....'"

Re:Future Slashdot Headline (2)

neminem (561346) | about a year ago | (#43541073)

Modded +1 funny? More like +1 "depressingly likely"...

Re:Future Slashdot Headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541083)

"Latest Update to Amazon's Video Player disables Roku Players and Internet Enabled Blu-ray players from playing their content."

And nothing of value will be lost.

Re:Future Slashdot Headline (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year ago | (#43541143)

Few people will buy a puck for every service, and more people will be using Netflix than Amazon. Roku would win that game.

Game pucks (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43546889)

Few people will buy a puck for every service

Then explain people buying both a Wii puck to play Wii games and an Xbox 360 puck to play Xbox 360 games.

Re:Future Slashdot Headline (1)

garcia (6573) | about a year ago | (#43542471)

As someone who has Amazon Prime (I got it for like $39 as a grad student and it's still good until this summer) and uses a Roku, I can tell you that I would definitely not be paying for a "KindleTV" + Prime if they dropped my Roku.

Why? Because their library sucks, the interface is fucking terrible, and the way they don't group show seasons together into one show is just wrong.

Amazon doesn't need to work on a Roku replacement, they need to work on a Prime Video replacement and pronto.

Re:Future Slashdot Headline (1)

technomom (444378) | about a year ago | (#43545067)

I really can't see them dropping Roku support as Roku is sold through Amazon stores and I'm sure the Roku folks will drop Amazon as a distributor like a hot potato if that happens.

Amazon is smart enough to not let competition in other arenas kill their mainline businesses. Their video business is still fledgling and, as yet, does not have sway over other parts of the business. If they did, you wouldn't see Netflix in their App Store.

Quick Guide to TV Computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541043)

1) TV computers are awesome and very cool. Everyone who watches TV either wants one, or needs one but doesn't know it.

2) TV computers which are not totally dedicated to the interests of their users, are useless. Everyone who has one which is intended to serve someone other than the user, is either miserable and hates it, or they don't realize what they're missing so they think a life of slavery, limited choices, and strangely-broken behaviors is "normal."

3) A TV computer made by anyone who is also in content business or who operates a public multimedia server, is 100% guaranteed to utterly suck and be nearly useless, since that computer will almost certainly be designed fror the purpose of fucking the user and channelling the users into doing business with some prticular service. A TV computer made by someone who partners with such an entity in order to be compatible (and thanks to DMCA no one is ever legally allowed to be compatible without a license -- FUCK YOU, CONGRESS! YOU ARE HURTING TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS!), may or may not suck. You have to study these companies very carefully and skeptically.

You job, as consumers, is to buy (or build) the right ones and give a giant "fuck you" to the wrong ones.

An example of a company that makes some TV computers which are basically founded on the right attitude, and therefore have unlimited positive capacity (whether you actually like the products or their build quality is a separate issue) is Western Digital. Interesting that they are in the hard drive business. I'll let you ponder why a company who makes hard drives also happens to make good computer TVs. The correlation is not arbitrary happenstance. ;-)

There are other TV computer manufacturers in that class. I mention WD only as an example, though IMHO they do happen to be the best (but that's immaterial).

Three examples of companies who have a conflict of interest which makes the company fundamentally incapable of making an even half decent computer TV are: Amazon, Google, and Apple. You need not even review their products to know they are junk, but if you go ahead and review them, you'll learn that soon enough.

An example of a total wildcard, a company who has no business getting into these computers but theoretically could use their enormous resources and actually come up with something ok, would be Facebook. Weird. Intel is another one, though you'd be wise to distrust them.

Actually: distrust everyone. My point is that some can be ruled out faster than others. And Amazon is one you can rule out. Their product will suck, and I guarantee the reviews will bear that out. Product unseen, this is known.

TV gaming computers (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43546979)

A TV computer made by anyone who is also in content business or who operates a public multimedia server, is 100% guaranteed to utterly suck and be nearly useless, since that computer will almost certainly be designed fror the purpose of fucking the user and channelling the users into doing business with some prticular service.

That'd rule out TV computers made by Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony, all of which produce first-party games.

An example of a company that makes some TV computers which are basically founded on the right attitude, and therefore have unlimited positive capacity (whether you actually like the products or their build quality is a separate issue) is Western Digital.

Do WD TV and other TV computers that you recommend play video games, or do they play only noninteractive media? I can't seem to find a list of games that work on WD TV. The mention of games on the features page [wdc.com] doesn't link to a list of all available games. Of all the services on WD TV's list of services [wdc.com] , only PlayJam makes any mention of games. Is PlayJam really the only recommended provider for TV gaming?

Instant! (2)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#43541045)

Their remote control needs only six buttons: "Buy", "Buy", "Buy", "Buy", "Buy", and "Buy Now!".

Re:Instant! (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year ago | (#43541169)

Grandma will still call you up to ask which one to push.

Re:Instant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43541207)

The "buy now" button will also be patented as "one button" technology and anyone who uses a button for purchasing things in an app or physical device will be sued for infringement.

Hmmmm..... (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about a year ago | (#43541049)

If they plan on selling any of these they very well better re-invent the Roku for this to gain any traction. Of course what they will likely do is subsidize the cost for the sake of all the content they hope to sell, but how cheap can you make a set top in the face of what's already out there? My top of the line Roku (which I love) is selling for around $80 with even cheaper models available. Fact is, Amazon video is the service I use the least--but I do use it sometimes. I love amazon, couldn't go with out my paperwhite, but I don't think they have thought this through. With all that said I will be watching "Django Unchanged" later. I have a choice between Vudu and Amazon. Maybe I'll give the Amazon service another spin but I would never own a device that was limited to that alone and I don't think they are planning on making money off of the hardware.

Just my two cents...

CableCard & DLNA/DTCP-IP (1)

nickmalthus (972450) | about a year ago | (#43541103)

Even with Internet streaming A list content choices are fewer than with a cable subscription. Hopefully the box will support DTCP-IP. SiliconDust started to support DLNA earlier this year for the HDHomerun prime which means you can finally have CableCard->HDHomeRun-> IP-> TV on any DLNA supported device in the home like a Samsung smart TV and smart phone. Even premium content can be played on DTCP-IP enabled devices like the PS3 which means the windows media server monopoly for premium content has been ended. This summer SiliconDust is going to release the HDHR4-US with h264 encoding which means lower bandwith streaming and more device support. The only downside is the lack of TV guide support altough most HTPC software already has TV guide support via the Internet.

You Teaser!! Now let me tease YOU. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43545707)

SiliconDust started to support DLNA earlier this year for the HDHomerun prime which means you can finally have CableCard->HDHomeRun-> IP-> TV on any DLNA supported device in the home like a Samsung smart TV and smart phone.

At first, this sounds interesting. When you put it that way, it sounds like CableLabs has quietly allowed cable companies to re-enter the TV market. Just write a DLNA virtual capture card for MythTV, subscribe to HBO, and then you're finally watching HBO on your television.

That'd be neat. I remember when I used to do that, and I was a very happy customer. (Before 2007, when my cable company switched to digital and said I couldn't use a PVR or even VCR any more (had to go back to pre-1975 tech), so the decade-and-a-half of my monthly payments came to an abrupt end. It's so sad to see companies suddenly close like that.)

Even premium content can be played on DTCP-IP enabled devices..

Made me google. Oh. :( What a disappointment. For those on the sidelines, it looks like DTCP-IP is something invented to prevent interoperability and keep DLNA from working, while still allowing manufacturers or service providers to slap a DLNA label on things in order to mislead consumers into believing stuff might work. Bait: meet switch. So while someone could write a DLNA interoperability module for PVRs, it would fail on the type of content being discussed. CableLabs has not allowed cable TV companies to enter the TV market. Don't re-subscribe yet, anyone. These folks are not actually open for business.

Back to you, nickmalthus: Why did you tease us? ;-) Oh well, on the bright side, you did teach me a new acronym for some obsolete DRM scheme that I never heard of before.

What I find amusing about the whole discussion is that you're talking about content availability of streaming services vs cable TV, bothering to say one is better than the other. That's like discussing the relative merits of Ford's model T vs their model A. It's relevant to consumers in 1908 and relative to historians forever, but not relevant to consumers in 2013.

What I mean is this: Silicondust is a cool company and made some neat devices, but the modern PVR runs Sickbeard and doesn't need a HDHomeRun-version_anything. The reason that happened, is that the cable companies stayed out of the TV market for too long, thanks for abominations like the DTCP-IP requirement preventing them from doing business. Windows Media Server is the model T in this scenario, not the modern competition. If you're worried that Amazon's model A does not adequately compete with these DTCP-IP devices, you might be right but does it really matter to 2013 users? No one is going to use any of this obsolete stuff anyway. We're going to pirate until the files are for sale. If they're never for sale, then full functionality will continue without them, or our financial support. We await their participation.

Try it, you'll like it. Throw all that weird gear away and quit attempting to work with companies who don't want your business anyway. No more weird proprietary software, no more weird proprietary boxes which do nothing useful (think about it) except suck up another wall wart power supply to translate one ciphertext stream into another ciphertext stream, no more limited-functionality players with strange arbitrary brokenness, and no more outages. And on top of all that, as a bonus you have no more monthly payments except to the ISP.

You win in every single way. Nothing else works nearly as cleanly, reliably and conveniently (it's just not even close), nothing else has as wide a variety of content, and it's cheapest too!

This (except for the lack of payments) is the new baseline functionality that the media companies need to offer, and once you try it you'll never settle for anything less, ever again. Your HDHomeRun Prime, as well as your PS3 and Window Media Server, will gather dust and you'll chuckle when you look at it all and think of what you put up with, just to watch TV back in 1908 on all that stuff.

Well this explains some things (1)

overshoot (39700) | about a year ago | (#43541155)

Like in particular, breaking access for devices based on Linux. People were observing that Amazon's business isn't in controlling access -- but if they're going into doing their own boxes (like Kindle) then coming up with ways to limit competitive access is very much their business.

yes, there's room for another set top box (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | about a year ago | (#43541261)

Much as there was room for the Kindle e-reader, and still is. That's not to say that it's a good idea for consumers to get locked in to whatever method Amazon will use to entice people to buy THEIR box to consume content from them. But don't assume they won't sell a crap ton of these - they're Amazon.

Amazon's STB: your local amazon hub (1)

mveloso (325617) | about a year ago | (#43541509)

Maybe it'll be more like the ATV1, where it's a local cache of all your amazon stuff. It'll download content while you're away, and probably provide airplay-like functionality from your kindle....except you don't stream from your kindle, you stream from your amazon box with the kindle being a transparent remote.

I could see how that could be pretty handy. It's your amazon music/movie/book library in your house. As a plus, amazon could offer backup services, photo, etc too.

For the third world, amazon could offer amazon WebTV...which would actually be pretty handy.

why buy a setop box? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43542269)

My Blue-Ray player has all those features....and Blue ray player is heading toward $45 by next Thanksgiving.

Already Google TV stick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43542465)

http://www.amazon.com/MK808-Android-Rockchip-RK3066-Cortex-A9/dp/B009OX22B4

$45.00 free shipping and plays many formats including streaming. I'm using it for a mp4 movie collection via usb hard drive enclosure.

Just buy Boxee or Roku (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43542561)

Do a quick in-place update to support Amazon VOD and voila. Instant install base (of 2 people).

Well that explains the DRM and related XBMC (1)

aussersterne (212916) | about a year ago | (#43543369)

issue. So long, Amazon.

All you young people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43544185)

Nothing put negative response. Is there really no one here that hangs around older / less technologically sophisticated people? I know plenty of folks that just want to turn on a TV and watch stuff, and not mess with maintaining a PC.

Humble name suggestion (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year ago | (#43544735)

The Amazon Balkan!

They should just stick an Amazon logo on Roku (1)

technomom (444378) | about a year ago | (#43545079)

Silly for Amazon to build its own hardware when they could just relogo Roku, ship it with 3 months worth of free Prime, and pre-set the Amazon Video subscription on it and be done with it.

After all, they are just trying to get Prime customers, that's the name of the game. The hardware is just a means to an end, like Kindle.

No more new hardware - Apps plz (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43545593)

I wouldn't buying Amazon setup box especially after Roku did to subscribers like me with Dish. Dish invests money in Roku and Roku pulls out all international programming channels like YuppTV and offers only one option for international programming - Dish channel. Not only that - prices for Dish international programming are exactly same as its satellite dish option. Damn Roku - sold your soul to Dish and sold us out. My reaction - sold the setup box and said goodbye ..with my middle finger.. to Roku
Dish buys Blockbuster - gets movie rights, invests in Roku.
Amazon keeps acquiring contents rights , in future - offers hardware for content
Netflix - acquires contents rights, no hardware
Other providers like Yupptv - provide content with apps and with custom setup boxes.

looks like a brewing battle for streaming content.
BTW - I have dish satellite US channels and Amazon Prime.

If it's not running Android it will fail (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43545627)

Amazon can probably sell it to some people since they can slap it on their front page, but I am certain they can't make a better box than Roku and the software stack on the Kindle has been pretty much universally panned. I am not interested in any streaming device which is not Android-based. Google TV will already play Amazon video, as well lots of other devices, so it's hard to see why someone would pay Amazon for a certainly inferior device unless they sold it at a loss, which would be... a loss, since other devices can already display their product.

NO NO NO BAD DOG! (1)

ProfessorKaos64 (1772382) | about a year ago | (#43545829)

Now, go stand in the corner while I scold you!

Set-Top Box? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43546001)

I read the headline quickly and I could swear it said:

"Amazon Reportedly Working On Top Sex Bot"

Capcha: scrape
so... back to the drawing board for the sex bot?

Smartphone with hdmi (1)

darjen (879890) | about a year ago | (#43546051)

I have no need to purchase a set top box. My Android smartphone with hdmi cable and bluetooth trackpad is good enough to watch pretty much any content I want from my living room couch. The one thing I wish I could do is somehow turn my Android phone into a Clear QAM tuner and use it to watch the free tv channels from my internet cable with an Android based XMBC app. I know there are usb tuner cards out there, maybe someone could make these work with an Android micro usb port.

I do realize there are a steadily shrinking minority of a few people who don't already have a recent smartphone or tablet with hdmi capability. I guess they must be the ones who are targeted by the set top box market.

Set-top box standards (1)

felipou (2748041) | about a year ago | (#43546065)

Is there any standard for this type of device? Shouldn't there be one?

Like, a standard for remote control via wifi and bluetooth. A standard for streaming from other devices. A standard on the types of medias to be supported.

Is that feasible or even possible, given that this is basically a collection of standards?

DLNA with DTCP-IP (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43547027)

A standard for streaming from other devices.

That's DLNA with DTCP-IP. There's a standard, but key parts are secret because the major video producers want to make copying harder.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>