Amazon doesn't think the set-top box is dead

Even as doomsayers continue to predict the demise of the much-hated set-top box, video newcomer Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) is working feverishly to build and introduce a device this fall.

"Three people familiar with the project who aren't authorized to discuss it" did just that with Bloomberg Businessweek, revealing that the e-commerce giant's plans include a device that will stream video over the Internet and plug into a TV to provide access to an array of Amazon video offerings such as video-on-demand, Instant Video and Amazon Prime.

Of course, the article points out, Amazon is not alone in defying conventional wisdom and developing a new set-top box. Already out there are Roku, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) TV and Boxee along with non-set-top specific devices such as the Sony Playstation and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Xbox.

The informed sources told the publication that Amazon's effort is being spearheaded by its Lab126 division in Cupertino under the direction of Malachy Moynihan, who formerly served as Cisco's (Nasdaq: CSCO) vice president of emerging video products as well as spending nine years with Apple during the turbulent 1980s and 1990s. Also working on the project are Andy Goodman, a former top TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO) and Vudu engineer and Chris Coley, a former hardware architect at ReplayTV.

The idea behind the project is that Amazon wants even more direct consumer relationships for the products it's hoarding in its video catalog. By building its own system, rather than relying on others with access to its product catalog, it gives developers a reason to create apps for Amazon's digital ecosystem.

While the sources who talked with Bloomberg Businessweek were a font of information, they came up short on one point: the product's proposed name.

Of course, an Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on the whole story.

For more:
- Bloomberg Businessweek has this story

Related articles:
Cisco, TiVo veterans reportedly helping Amazon build set-top box
NTT Plala plans Android-capable IPTV set-tops

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