You read article after article about the new Amazon Fire TV and see the praises heaped on the device. I admit if I was an Amazon prime member and had their tablets, I would look hard at this new entry into the IPTV market. But devices are not the only part of the IPTV viewing experience.
First, you need to know there are three discreet ways you can get IPTV.
- Windows PC – A great known in the market, running software like Playon TV, Hulu and a bunch of other apps, including XBMC and PLex media servers. I have a media PC running all of the above and love it.
- Linux – Roku and others use their own version of linux and provide their content via Channels you get for free and pay for. A great way to extend you PC an native Roku channels to different rooms in your house wirelessly (great picture quality). BUT, you can only get the channels that Roku lets you have, kind of like iTunes.
- Android – I hope this is the future. There are tons of apps made by everybody that gives you the choices we are all craving for. That is, don’t tell me what I want. Let me pick. The more choices I have, the more freedom I have. Not locked into anyone.
Just like the latest HDTV entries that come with their own built in apps, everybody has a different take on what consumers want. The book by Arthur Freeman entitled “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda: Overcoming Regrets, Mistakes, and Missed Opportunities” says a lot.
My regret is that every manufacturer wants to lock you into their system. Cable and cell phone companies have been doing this for a while (Don’t we love that?). What happened to “open systems”? Where users could pick what they wanted with few restrictions? Reading closely you find out that Amazon uses a “highly customized” version of Android; or in my view a locked version of android. If they woulda used a more open version of Android, you could pick from hundreds of apps not just from their list of available apps.
Amazon and others coulda given us a more open system, giving us choices and let us be loyal customers thankful for the choices.
Somebody shoulda told Amazon people want content, let us pick what we want to watch.
There is hope. I just purchased an Android media box disguised as a game controller. It is called Ouya. It started as a Kickstarter project and is now in production. I haven’t even set it up yet, but based on information on the internet and their forums will let you load all the apps you want without the Amazon, Roku, Boxee, etc. restrictions. So let me list you the FREE apps I am going to install which will also get me off of cable:
- French TV
- TV5 MONDE
- Netflix (maybe, Snagfilms has a ton of great movies)
I don’t know about you, but this pretty much fills my TV viewing appetite. So is the Amazon Fire TV a great device? Yep, as far as the device part goes, now who is going to step up and really give us what we want, freedom of choice? No one I know…yet.