I know it’s been available for a little while now, but I wanted to take a moment to talk about Amazon Fire TV. It’s comparable in price to other media-streaming devices at $99. It makes itself a better value with more advanced hardware and some very strong gaming options. More importantly, it represents a shift in the way content is going to be delivered to our television screen.Amazon has been at the forefront of delivering things to people. They have their core Prime service, that will delivery almost anything to your door in two business days. They’ve been experimenting with a local version that will get common items to your door in a matter of hours. They’ve talked about using unmanned aircraft to bring packages directly to you, circumventing time-consuming shipping routes. They can deliver millions of TV shows or films directly to your computer screen. They recently announced a music service that will do the same for songs – for free if you’re a member! They started introduce hardware. First the Kindle (and all the different versions of it), then the Kindle Fire tablets, then the aforementioned Fire TV, AND as I write this, they are announcing an Amazon phone! All of these devices allow Amazon to deliver, directly into your hands, a world-class entertainment experience. Movies, shows, video games, books, songs… Anything that can be experienced through a screen and a set of speakers.
That stuff is all very cool. I’m a Prime member. I have a Kindle E-Reader. It’s all excellent. It’s all fun. But, more than that, this proliferation of devices represents a paradigm shift in the way that audiences consume media. During the 20th century, options were limited. Movie screens, television, the radio, and the newspaper delivered content to us, on a set schedule and we passively consumed on that schedule. But now, with all of these devices and services, we can pretty much get what we want, when we want it. It’s a great time! I often say that I love living in the future!
One of the major challenges today, is accessing all of this wonderful content in a convenient way. In order to get the content I want, there are too many services, and machines, and apps. And interfacing with some of these devices is extremely tedious! It’s far more complicated than it needs to be.!
I’m hoping Amazon has cracked part of that code. They are the first company to claim that they have an effective voice control on their media box. Simply say what you want into the remote, and the Fire TV will launch the correct app/service and you’re off and watching!
But is it going to catch on? Is this where we’re going, or even where we ought to go? Once upon a time, your TV had channels, and you would surf through the,. The end. You didn’t need multiple sets of channels to access different programs. I would like to see modern media re-capture that simplicity.
What do you think? Have you used a Fire TV? Something better? Do you have an even better idea?
Let us know!