Amazon TV box set to hit UK markets

Amazon's set-top TV box aims to compete with Apple TV and Google Chromecast.

Amazon's set-top TV box aims to compete with Apple TV and Google Chromecast.

First published in National News © by

Amazon's streaming box, Fire TV, will launch in the UK in October, the tech giant has confirmed.

Speaking on the first day of the IFA technology show in Berlin, senior vice president of devices David Limp said that the competition wasn't giving consumers enough, and that's why Amazon stepped in.

"We think that the products that are out there - and we sell a lot of them on Amazon - just haven't offered customers the value that we think you can, and this is an existence proof that you can put a lot of horsepower and performance into a box, at a great value."

The Fire TV box first debuted in the US in April, but will now come to Europe for the first time on October 23.

Fire TV is a streaming device that allows users to access on demand TV and movie services like Twitch and Netflix on their TV, as well as send content from smartphone and tablets to the big screen.

It sits in direct competition to Apple's own Apple TV box and Google's Chromecast, but Mr Limp believes that Fire TV has the edge because of its openness as a platform.

"I think the other thing that's important is that we treat Fire TV as an open ecosystem. So if you're a developer to move your app over from a phone or tablet is just a function of putting a 10-foot UI on the existing app and that has really driven selection and people will be surprised at the numbers that come onto the platform very quickly. There's just not that much incremental work compared to Apple TV for example."

It is also the only streaming device that currently provides access to both Amazon Prime Instant Video - formerly Lovefilm - and Netflix, in the same place.

Users can also buy a separate controller and download games to play through Fire TV.

"It doesn't replace an Xbox or a Playstation. There's a group of customers who live and die by those things, but there is a segment of customers that we think is out there that don't make the leap to those consoles", said Mr Limp.

He added that the Nintendo Wii had offered some inspiration to Amazon as a lower priced, more casual alternative to a dedicated console.

Amazon also revealed that the mobile gaming hit Flappy Bird was now exclusive to Fire TV, having being pulled from app stores by the developer earlier this year following global interest in the game. A new multiplayer version is available on Fire TV.

IFA runs until September 10, and has already seen a host of new devices announced by tech giant Samsung, including its first virtual reality headset, and a new smartphone with a curved screen on one side especially for notifications.

Comments (2)

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7:16pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Woulditbenicetobepaidback? says...

Press releases aren't news!
Press releases aren't news! Woulditbenicetobepaidback?
  • Score: 1

11:00am Thu 4 Sep 14

Rita Jelfs says...

The Evesham Journal depends on "advertorials" or press releases. I wonder if the company pays for them?
The Evesham Journal depends on "advertorials" or press releases. I wonder if the company pays for them? Rita Jelfs
  • Score: 0
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