Online e-commerce giant Amazon is said to be developing plans for a new television set-top box in order to make it easier for consumers to stream the firm's video content in their living rooms.
According to a report by The Telegraph, sources expect the device to launch later this year and provide another way for Amazon customers to access the firm's on-demand content, such as film and TV streaming service LoveFilm.
The move will put Amazon into direct competition with a number of other firms, including Apple and Roku, both of which have their own streaming players on the market. Amazon will also be competing with games console manufacturers like Microsoft and Sony, which in recent years have positioned their machines as entertainment centres rather than simply pure gaming products. These competitors are already capable of streaming LoveFilm content via specially-made apps.
Jason Krikorian, a venture capitalist at DCM and internet television specialist, told the newspaper: "It would certainly make some sense. They have a ton of content and an existing billing relationship with millions of users."
Technology news website Techradar said industry commentators would be interested to see whether Amazon chooses to allow access to competitor streaming services such as Netflix. Devices already on the market such as Sony's Playstation 3 allow access to a range of services, so it may not be in Amazon's interests to restrict choice.