Amazon’s TV streaming box to ship with Netflix and Hulu Plus apps

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Amazon’s Roku competitor, which could be unveiled any day now, won’t just peddle the company’s own video streaming service: The device will also have apps for direct competitors including Netflix and Hulu Plus on board, according to multiple sources.

Amazon originally intended to launch its TV box in time for last year’s holiday season, but the launch got held up for unknown reasons. At the time, the New York Times reported that Amazon intended to ship the device with Netflix.

I’ve now confirmed that this will indeed be the case, and that Hulu Plus will be available through the device as well. However, some mid-sized, more niche-focused video publishers told me that they haven’t been asked to join. Netflix wasn’t available for comment on the subject, and Hulu and Amazon didn’t reply requests for comment.

People in the know have told me that the device will ship with a traditional remote control. But Amazon recently also joined the ranks of companies registered to use the DIAL multiscreen protocol, which makes it likely that users will also be able to launch streams from services like Amazon Prime Instant Video and Netflix straight from their phones.

Amazon has been working on a set-top box for a couple of years now, with most of the actual development happening at the company’s secretive Lab126 R&D unit. Lab126 hired a number of people who previously worked on Logitech’s failed Google TV companion box.

Unsurprisingly, Amazon is also using Android as the foundation for its TV streamer. But just like with its Kindle Fire tablet, the TV will also be based on a fork of Android. This makes it unlikely that the device will have a YouTube app.

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