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Amazon event signals set-top box launch next week

Amazon has sent out invites to the media for a special event to be held in New York on April 2.

Wednesday’s event is likely to see the official unveiling of its media streaming set-top box. Indeed, on the invite Amazon promises an “update for our video business.”

For some time now rumours have been swirling concerning Amazon’s intended entry into the living room entertainment market. This device is said to rival the likes of Apple TV, Roku, and now the Google Chromecast.

The recent launch of Amazon Prime Instant Video here in the UK would appear to signal the company’s intent to expand its video streaming service outside of its native US. Instant Prime provides ‘free’ TV and movie streaming for Prime customers, including Amazon’s expanding roster of original content.

Still other rumours claim that the Amazon device will also be pitched as an affordable games console, with a dedicated game controller set to be offered. Images of this bluetooth controller appeared to have leaked onto the internet a couple of weeks ago.

The device is expected to run on a heavily modified version of Google’s Android OS, much like the Kindle Fire range of tablets. As such, don’t expect to be able to stream or download any of your Google Play media content to the new Amazon box.

Elsewhere, The Wall Street Journal is claiming that the Amazon set-top box will ship with preinstalled Netflix and Hulu apps in the US.

Next, read our pick of the best TVs of 2014