Amazon has introduced the Amazon Fire TV (Amazon.com), a tiny Apple TV-like box that you can use to stream Amazon Prime Video, and video from other services. Amazon describes the $99 box as follows:
Amazon Fire TV is a tiny box that connects your HDTV to a world of online entertainment. With a huge selection of TV episodes and movies, voice search that actually works, plus exclusive features like ASAP and Amazon FreeTime, it’s the easiest way to enjoy Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, low-cost movie rentals, music, photos, games, and more.
Like the Apple TV, or Roku, the Amazon Fire TV has HDMI out, and handles 1080p video. Like the Apple TV, it also has an optical audio output. But the Fire TV also has a quad-core processor, and 2 GB of RAM, notably because it runs games.
The main reason to buy this device is to watch Amazon Prime Video on your TV.
You can certainly do this with AirPlay from a Mac or iPad, but it’s certainly a lot easier to have a dedicated device. However, at $99, many people will hesitate.
Personally, I’d like to get one. Amazon introduced Prime Instant Video here in the UK, and I have an Amazon Prime account. But I’m surprised that they haven’t launched the Fire TV in the UK at the same time. This is the only country, other than the US, where Amazon does video, so I’d have expected it available here now. I’ll just be patient and wait until they bring it to this side of the pond.