Amazon Coming Out With a Set-Top Box?

0801_amazonvideo_660Seems like everyone is coming out with a streaming set-top box these days and now Amazon is throwing their name into the collective hat, according to Bloomberg.

It makes sense, I suppose, but only if they do something different than what’s already being offered by the likes of Roku, Apple TV, et al.

It’s the software that matters and the first company that cracks the fully-integrated Internet media box combining a DVR, video games, apps, and pay TV at an affordable price is going to make a mint. The hardware, after all, is nothing more than a dumb terminal to the software.

If we’re talking pipe dreams, Bezos and co. should partner with Valve to offer Steam for video games, build a cloud DVR with AWS on the backend, partner with Aereo to build out a live TV service, and work with developers to build out a slew of TV-optimized apps.

The Kindle Fire is nice, certainly, but Amazon does have some good pieces in place for a living room media center. But, it also faces some challenges: Amazon’s streaming video service is a nice perk of Amazon Prime, but that UI is a mess and the initial batch of original content isn’t nearly as good as Netflix’s or anything you’d watch on cable (save for Alpha House and Those Who Can’t, maybe). If Amazon’s video content isn’t that good or isn’t easier to use than what’s currently on the market than what’s the point?

I guess we’ll see if Amazon can crack this.

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