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Amazon TV coming

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Amazon has announced the release of an online-streaming set top box allowing users to view content through channels such as Hulu, Vimeo, Vevo and Netflix.

Unlike predecessors such as the Apple TV or Google Chromecast, Fire TV will have better search functions, speed and performance. The streaming quality allows for widescreen television usage and the box also has gaming and music capabilities.

Amazon is boasting about its voice control function, allowing users to speak their commands without fiddling with complicated buttons or having to get off the couch.

The device costs $99 (AU$107) and currently only ships to the States, but will no doubt hit Australian shores later this year.

Fire TV represents Amazon’s attempt to expand into the online market, and works in conjunction with their existing television and movie streaming service, Amazon Prime.

Amazon Prime currently faces stiff competition from other streaming channels, particularly Netflix, a firm favourite in the US with potential plans to crossover to the international market.

Devices like the Fire TV and Apple TV represent another blow to local cable and free-to-air television, with consumers preferring to schedule their viewing sessions at their own convenience and explore overseas content.