Amazon unveils Fire TV set top streaming device

Peter Larsen, vice president of Amazon.com Inc., introduces Amazon FireTV during a news conference in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, April 2, 2014. The worlds largest Internet retailer unveiled FireTV, a television-viewing device for streaming movies, television shows and other video from the Web.
Peter Larsen, vice president of Amazon.com Inc., introduces Amazon FireTV during a news conference in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, April 2, 2014. The worlds largest Internet retailer unveiled FireTV, a television-viewing device for streaming movies, television shows and other video from the Web. Jin Lee//Bloomberg via Getty Images

Amazon is introducing a set top box that allows streaming of online video content.

The company says the Amazon Fire TV device has better speed, performance and search functions than other streaming services such as Apple TV and Google Chromecast.

The device runs Google's Android operating system and will offer Netflix, Hulu and other streaming channels in addition to Amazon Prime instant video. It has voice search via its remote control to make searching easier.

The announcement comes as the online retailer faces increasing pressure to boost its bottom line after years of furious growth. As more Americans shop online, Amazonhas spent heavily to expand its business into new areas — from movie streaming to e-readers and groceries — often at the expense of its profit.

Meanwhile, Amazon.com Inc. has invested heavily on making TV shows and movies available to customers who pay $99 a year for Amazon Prime. Amazon recently boosted the annual fee to $99 from $79 annually. Members benefit from two-day shipping of certain items and access to videos including original series like "Betas" and "Alpha House."

Currently, the service relies on third-party devices like the Roku box to stream its programs to TVs.

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