Amazon is adding a late entry to this year's Cyber Monday extravaganza. The online retailer just announced the Fire TV set-top streaming box will go on sale Monday afternoon for $69, $30 off the sticker price. Amazon did not announce a specific time for the sale.
The story behind the story: Our mobile devices may be supplanting the television but the TV has a prime place in most homes. With streaming and cord cutting shaping the future of television, technology companies are desperate to have their device become your living room gateway to the Internet. Microsoft has the Xbox platform, Apple does Apple TV, Google has its first hit with the Chromecast, and even TV makers like Samsung and Sony are building platforms into their HDTVs. At $69, Amazon hopes it can attract a few more living rooms to the Fire TV's growing ecosystem.
When we took a look at the Fire TV in April we were impressed by its speed thanks to the device's quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. Since the Fire TV is also a gaming device it obviously needs more power than what most streaming boxes have. But that extra power isn't just for building the city of your dreams in Minecraft; it also helps speed things up when you're sifting through menus and videos.
Similar to any other streaming box you can buy, the Fire TV has apps for Netflix, Amazon Instant video, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Showtime Anytime, and MLB.tv. Amazon says HBO Go is coming soon, and the Fire TV also features Twitch integration--Amazon picked up Twitch in August for $970 million. The Fire TV also has a few niceties such as screen mirroring for Android and Fire OS tablets and voice search.
Beyond the snappy processor and 2GB RAM, the Fire TV also has 8GB onboard memory, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI out, ethernet, and optical audio. The one thing you won't get with the standard Fire TV package is a game controller, which sells for $40 by itself. You don't necessarily need the game controller to play games, but it makes playing a lot more natural. The Fire TV also supports Xbox 360 controllers via USB.