Amazon Debuts Fire TV Box To Compete with Apple, Google

Apr 02, 2014 02:02 PM EDT | Jordan Ecarma

After plenty of speculation, Amazon has officially released the awaited set-top box that puts the online marketplace in direct competition with Apple and Google.

Available now on the Amazon store, the new Fire TV furthers the Amazon brand and gives customers a way to stream online movies, TV shows and other videos on their TVs, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

The slim, lightweight black box costs $99, the same price as an Apple TV, and works with streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and HuluPlus.

These services are preloaded onto the device along with Pandora, YouTube, VEVO and more, USA TODAY reported.

Streaming 1080p high-definition video, the Fire TV comes with a remote that can use voice to search for content and comes already registered to the user's Amazon account.

The new set-top box is Amazon's most daring venture yet, showing that the online retailer is looking to compete with tech giants like Apple and Google as well as others in the market.

"This is their attack on Roku and Apple TV," Brian Blair, an analyst at Wedge Partners, told Businessweek.

And of course, Fire TV will likely bring more customers to subscribe to Amazon's Prime video streaming, which has movies and TV shows.

"This is about selling Prime," Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities Inc. in Los Angeles, told Businessweek. "It really does open up their ability to deliver a lot of stuff."

While it hasn't reached Netflix's standing when it comes to available content, Amazon Prime has some exclusives to offer, including seasons of BBC's "Downton Abbey." The company so far has 20 million subscribers to the Amazon Prime service, which gives customers free two-day shipping but has been expanding into other areas, according to The New York Times.

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