Fire TV is possibly the best single set-top box available, but it still can’t be everything to everyone

In what has been colloquially called the “battle for the living room” (or as I like to call it, the battle for your HDMI inputs), competition is heating up but hasn’t exactly hit a flash point. Modern products in the small set top box space like the WD TV Live, Boxee Box and Google TV never really caught on, and even the “big” successful players like Roku and Apple TV have relatively small sales numbers in the grand scheme of television watchers today. Whether it’s out of complication from yet another box, the inherent redundancy of having several boxes that all do most of the same things or the price of more hardware and subscription services, these little set top boxes have yet to break though.

But if there’s one thing Amazon knows how to do, it’s create products that can find mass appeal with the general consumer. With the announcement of its new set-top box, Fire TV, Amazon is betting that it can get a good number of people to buy this $ 99 thing, and pay another $ 99 per year to deliver more Amazon content to it. And then pay still more for premium movies and TV shows and apps that aren’t free as part of Prime. Building on the experience of launching the relatively successful Kindle Fire line of tablets, there’s indication that Amazon can do just that. The real question is: has Amazon figured out something that Roku and Apple have not?

In this ever-hyped fight for a foothold in the living room, is Amazon’s Fire TV offering a sure-fire hit? Read along with us and see what this little box can do.




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