It is finally here, the Amazon Fire TV

Amazon Fire TV

The long rumoured Amazon streaming media box has finally arrived. Meet Amazon Fire TV. The Fire TV is a small, black box that runs on a special operating system, has 2GB ram and a quad core processor.

The box connects through wifi and has a small remote control that also has a small microphone to enable voice search

Content comes from its own Amazon Instant Video library as well as from a large number of partners like Netflix, HBO GO, SHO Anytime, Hulu and ESPN.

But it is not all streaming video that one can watch on the Fire TV. Amazon added a photo app, there are several music services like Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn and Amazon is promising to grant access to thousands of games as of next month.

The media box costs only USD 99 and is already for sale at… Amazon.com

Chromecast is getting more support pretty fast, VEVO, Blip and Devour added, Hulu and HBO Go in development.

Google Chromecast

Both Hulu and HBO Go announced that they are working on apps for Chromecast. Just like Vimeo and Redbox Instant did already, now joined by VEVO, Blip and Devour. With the original sources Netflix, YouTube, and Google Play the support for Chromecast is getting traction.

Chromecast just launched a week ago and is the USB dongle variant of the Nexus Q TV-Box that for now is to co-exist with Google TV. The HDMI-dongle is available for just USD 35, although currently sold-out.

HBO GO possibly availble without cable subscription

HBO GO

Today one cannot watch HBO series on a mobile devices, computer or set-top box without having a regular HBO subscription. The HBO service is simply an add-on on top the “normal” cable product. But according to Reuters, the company is thinking about a stand alone proposition for HBO GO. The idea is to work together with broadband internet providers and offer customers that do not have a traditional cable subscription the possibility to upgrade their internet subscription for USD 10 or USD 15 for the addition of HBO GO.

There is always the fair of cannibalisation and for internet providers that are part of a company that also provides cable television this might be reason for heavy protest, but in the end this is the direction we are heading. Although it is not so much about the technology, but people more and more just want to pay only for what they want to watch. That model is services over the internet much better than trough traditional television channels. So let’s hope HBO is willing to take this risk so that others can follow. Hopefully this will also mean they will be offering their content for everyone at the same time all over the world.

Roku 3 is here

Roku 3

Roku is introducing their brand new version called Roku 3 today. The new streaming media player is, according to the manufacturer, 5 times faster than its predecessor and comes with a brand new interface and a remote with built-in head phone jack.

On the content side, Roku brings a lot of entertainment to the living room. Over 150,000 movies and shows can be streamed in a quality up to 1080p HD. It offers access to Hulu Plus, Crackle, Amazon Instant Video, VUDU, HBO GO, Blockbuster on demand and EPIX.

The Roku 3 is available for USD 99 through the website of Roku. Amazon and some other online retailers. With that price, it will prove a serious competitor to Apple TV.

See for a demo the video below

Use HBO Go on your Apple TV

HBO Go on Apple TV

No, there is no HBO Go app for Apple TV but there is a new version of the iOS app that allows you to stream HBO Go content to your Apple TV using AirPlay. This news was brought by President and COO of HBO Eric Kessler at the D: Dive Into Media event. The app can already be downloaded and the Airplay option is also available for the Cinemax MAX GO app from HBO.

Streaming from your phone or tablet might be even better then playing from Apple TV. More and more second screen devices will act like a remote control. However, using a seperate app for every content supplier / channel might not be best solution in the end. But that’s why there are companies like Dijit that try to combine a remote control, an EPG and social features.

Picture by cultofmac.com