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Amazon to rival Apple TV with its own set-top box

Amazon heads towards full ecosystem of hardware, software, services and content

Amazon LoveFilm Instant set-top box

Amazon is reportedly building its own set-top box to stream LoveFilm and rival Apple's TV.

The online retail will supposedly launch the unnamed device later this year, according to The Telegraph. It will allow users to easily stream on-demand content including movies and TV shows on LoveFilm Instant.  

The move would up the ante against rivals such as Roku and Philips which both make internet connected streamers which support LoveFilm rival Netflix. Select models of Smart TV already support LoveFilm as well as games consoles and tablets.

"It would certainly make some sense," said Jason Krikorian, an internet television specialist at DCM. "They have a ton of content, an existing billing relationship with millions of users."

With a device right in consumers' living rooms and an existing app library, the Amazon set-top box would also go up against a number of devices running Google TV, including the Sony NSZ-GS7.

There are no details on the specifications of the set-top box or what features it will offer. It is being developed, along with Amazon's other hardware by Lab126, a secretive unit that the firm has rapidly expanded by poaching staff from rivals.

With an existing range of hardware including the Kindle eReaders and Kindle Fire tablets, a set-top box built for LoveFilm would certainly make sense. Amazon could sell the device bundled with a subscription to the service; it could even give it away for free with a large enough subscription.

It has also been long rumoured that Amazon will jump further into the mobile market by producing its own smartphone.

Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.


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