Is This Amazon’s Upcoming Media-Streaming Device?

Amazon Big Smile

Has a tech blogger uncovered Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) soon-to-be-released media-streaming device? The e-commerce giant is widely expected to unveil some type of Web-to-TV device on April 2 that will compete with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) TV, Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Chromecast, and digital media players made by Roku. Sources cited by Re/code have confirmed the launch date, and Amazon has already sent out invitations for a media event on that date. Although the company has not disclosed any details about the upcoming television-related product, sources who spoke to TechCrunch recently predicted that the device will resemble Google’s Chromecast dongle or Roku’s Streaming Stick.

However, Federal Communications Commission documents recently uncovered by tech blogger David Zatz suggest that Amazon’s device will actually be a set-top box similar to the Apple TV, reports Gigaom. Although the documents were filed by a company named “Ailen LLC,” Zatz noted that Amazon — like many other tech companies — is known for hiding unreleased gadgets under the cover of a shell company.

Unfortunately, the FCC documents don’t include many technical details about the device. Per Zatz, the documents he obtained describe a media-streaming box with “both dual band WiFi and Bluetooth.” The device also uses a Bluetooth-enabled remote control. Although the documents appear to describe a set-top product, Zatz noted that this doesn’t necessarily mean that Amazon won’t unveil a Chromecast-like dongle on Wednesday. Roku, the most popular media-streaming device maker in the market, offers both set-top boxes and a Streaming Stick device. Amazon may also be planning to take a similar multi-pronged approach to the market.

Besides saying that Amazon would release a Chromecast-like dongle, TechCrunch’s sources also indicated that Amazon’s TV gadget will be capable streaming “top-tier games” at a standard online video service speed of 30 frames per second. Meanwhile, per sources cited by iLounge, the next-generation Apple TV may also include the ability to stream or download video games.

It should be noted that Amazon’s entry into the media-streaming device market follows the same pattern the company used when it entered the e-book reader and tablet markets  After it initially only offered media for other companies’ devices, Amazon later introduced its own line of e-book readers and tablets. And after selling streaming Internet video content through its Amazon Instant Video service, it now appears that Amazon is about to introduce its own media-streaming device for televisions.

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