The Fire TV is outfitted with more capable hardware than many of its competitors. Its quad-core CPU and 2GB of on-board memory render it a relatively powerful gaming platform (for a media-streamer, at least). It supports voice search, which is decidedly better than pushing buttons on a remote control. And it can decode Dolby Digital Plus surround sound audio (the box has an optical digital-audio output you can connect to a soundbar or AV receiver).
Amazon is laying a solid foundation in its effort to add a media wing to its e-commerce castle. Rapidly expanding its content offerings is crucial to its plans. But this space is already crowded with new contenders, and the old guard isn't standing still, either. Dish Network, Sony, and Verizon are all working on over-the-top services to reach the rapidly growing market of cord-cutters who are abandoning--or never signing up with--traditional cable and satellite TV service providers.
Amazon's shareholders have been patient with management's go-for-broke growth strategy so far, but the company's stock price plunged more than 13 percent in the wake of yesterday's earnings report. It made up some ground today, but it was still trading down $24 per share (7.7 percent) as of this writing. Is this just a bump in the road, or will Amazon need to tighten the reins?
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