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Amazon to Release Roku Competitor Next Month, WSJ Says

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The modified Android operating system on the Kindle Fire.Amazon

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Amazon will release a video-streaming device in early April, the Wall Street Journal reports, giving the company a competitor to Roku and Google’s Chromecast.

The device will run on a modified version of Google’s Android operating system, much like its Kindle Fire tablets, “people familiar with the company's plans” told the Wall Street Journal.

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The modified Android operating system on the Kindle Fire.Amazon

NBC reached out to Amazon for comment but received no response.

So, what is this thing going to look like?

Probably like the Chromecast, reports TechCrunch. It cites “multiple sources familiar with the device” who say it will be a dongle that will plug into the side of your HDTV, instead of a set-top box like Roku or Apple TV.

It will also feature many of the same apps as Roku, the Wall Street Journal said, meaning couch potatoes can expect to binge on Netflix and Hulu Plus — as well as Amazon’s own Instant Video service.

Currently, people can stream movies and television shows from Amazon Instant Video and Prime Instant Video on other devices. The latter comes with an Amazon Prime membership, which recently jumped from $79 to $99 and includes free two-day shipping on all Amazon orders.

Amazon could offer special incentives to Prime members to buy the new device, the Wall Street Journal reported. Like Google does with Chromecast and Google Play, Amazon could use its hardware to promote its vast online offerings, with the added bonus of giving users an extra way to shop online.

The video-streaming device will be sold at stores like Best Buy and Staples, the Wall Street Journal said, as well as online on Amazon.

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