Amazon introduced its streaming box April 2, dubbed Fire TV, a direct competitor to Apple TV and Roku.
The box, which will retail for $99, will feature Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu Plus and more, as well as voice controls and an optional gaming controller.
More coverage in this week’s Zimedium Podcast.
Arrested Development (Season 4 is a Netflix Original)
It’s the story of a wealthy family that lost everything, and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together. It’s the return of the award-winning “Arrested Development,” starring Emmy nominee Jason Bateman and one of the funniest ensembles in TV comedy, who taught viewers the meaning of “never nude,” spread a dangerous amount of misinformation about maritime law, and reminded everyone “that’s why you always leave a note.”
Orange is the New Black (Netflix Original) New: Season 2
From the creator of “Weeds” comes a heartbreaking and hilarious new series set in a women’s prison. Piper Chapman’s wild past comes back to haunt her, resulting in her arrest and detention in a federal penitentiary. To pay her debt to society, Piper trades her comfortable New York life for an orange prison jumpsuit and finds unexpected conflict and camaraderie amidst an eccentric group of inmates.
House of Cards (Netflix Original)
Three Emmy Award wins including David Fincher (“The Social Network”) for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series and nine nominations including Outstanding Drama Series went to this acclaimed political thriller. Lead Actor nominee Kevin Spacey stars as ruthless, cunning Congressman Francis Underwood, who will stop at nothing to conquer the halls of power in Washington D.C. His secret weapon: his gorgeous, ambitious, and equally conniving wife Claire (Lead Actress nominee Robin Wright).
Lilyhammer (Netflix Original)
After turning state’s evidence against a powerful Mafia boss, former gangster Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano trades the mean streets of New York for the icy fjords of Norway, forging a new life among the locals of Lillehammer under the guise of Norwegian-American immigrant Giovanni Henriksen. The relative calm suits him at first. But it’s not long before Frank’s ruthless methods resurface, stirring the suspicions of his next-door neighbor, the chief of police.
Emmy winner Bryan Cranston stars as Walter White, a high school science teacher who learns that he has terminal lung cancer and teams with a former student to manufacture and sell high-quality crystal meth to secure his family’s future.
When his brother, Lincoln, is wrongly convicted of murdering a powerful politician’s brother, structural engineer Michael Scofield resolves to bust his innocent sibling out of the notorious Fox River State Penitentiary.
Set in 1960s New York, this series takes a peek inside an ad agency in an era when the cutthroat business had a glamorous lure. When the cigarette smoke clears and the martinis are set down, at the center of it all is womanizing ad man Don Draper.
Lie to Me
Loosely inspired by the career of psychologist Paul Ekman, this engaging crime drama focuses on the work of Dr. Cal Lightman, whose knowledge of human facial and behavioral cues lets him determine whether a person is telling the truth.
A little shady deal here, a little ethical entanglement there — it’s a way of life for Sean McNamara and Christian Troy, Miami doctors who own an exclusive plastic surgery clinic that generates as much trouble as it does cash.
By day, mild-mannered Dexter is a blood-splatter analyst for the Miami police. But at night, he is a serial killer who only targets other murderers.
When escaped serial killer Joe Carroll goes on a new killing spree, reclusive former FBI agent Ryan Hardy is called in, having captured Carroll nine years ago. Hardy soon discovers that Carroll has a loyal following of killers ready to terrorize.
Freaks and Geeks
A group of high school students in 1980 faces various social struggles. Lindsay Weir rebels and begins hanging out with a crowd of burnouts, courtesy of an invitation from Daniel Desario.
Have anything you’d change or add to the list? Add it in the comments.
Best Tech under $50
Google Chromecast $35
Roku LT $49
Blue Snowball Mic $49
Best Tech under $100
Apple TV $99
Netflix $95.88/year ($7.99/mo)
Amazon Prime $79/year
Best Tech under $150
Google Drive Storage $119/year 200GB ($9.99/mo)
Kindle Fire HD 7″ $139
Pebble Smartwatch $149
Bonus: Tech under $250
Samsung Chromebook $249
5 Tech Predictions for 2014
Welcome to the third-annual 5 Tech Predictions, where I analyze trends from the previous year (compiled on http://twitter.com/ericzimmett) and predict what will take shape within the next year. Centered around social media, streaming TV and technology.
5. Amazon Prime becomes No. 2 streaming service behind Netflix
Amazon, already a force in the UK with LoveFilm, will make some noise with Amazon Prime and look to challenge Netflix.
YouTube’s king for shortform video, Netflix for longform TV and Movies. But Amazon stakes claim at No. 2 in 2014 behind Netflix.
4. Original Programming Unloads
Netflix credits original programming for its big gain in 2013. Netflix, Amazon, and other players unload on original programming in 2014.
Original programming puts Netflix on a similar level as HBO. In fact, Netflix is becoming more and more like the HBO of the cable-cutting generation. We’re already seeing original programming from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube and more. Watch for it to continue in a big way in 2014.
3. Online Recommendation Engines
From Netflix to Foursquare, recommendations will reign in 2014.
Netflix has built its dashboard on recommendations; Foursquare is changing its focus to a recommendation search engine; Redbox is sending movie recommendations via email; and dozens of others will follow.
We’re submitting mounds of data online through clicks, purchases, and check-ins. All of that data finally pays off in 2014 by providing excellent recommendations. Watch for all of our online services to start recommending content, including advertising.
2. Mobile surpasses desktop
YouTube mobile use is currently at 40%, up from 25% the previous year. Social network use is already at more than 50 percent mobile. In 2014, the rest of the web will catch up.
Nearly 200 million Facebook users are mobile only, and mobile accounts for 30 percent of Facebook’s revenue. Apps like Instagram and Snapchat are built for mobile. From browsing to socializing, streaming and shopping, mobile is where it’s at in 2014 as it overtakes desktop usage.
1. HBO introduces standalone streaming service
Netflix has now surpassed HBO with the most subscribers, at 40 million, though HBO’s revenue is still above the streaming leader.
The peer pressure finally gets to HBO as it releases a standalone streaming service, likely late in 2014.
Though, like cable, it’s higher priced than most want to pay. In the $25 per month range. Showtime is another contender for standalone premium cable.
Both have cable-invested backers in Time Warner (HBO) and CBS (Showtime), which will delay a standalone subscription model, but watch for either one to roll out this option in 2014.
A LOOK BACK AT 2013.
Eric’s Ad Blog 5 Tech Predictions for 2013
5. Second Screen takes off
4. Facebook loses market share
3. Mobile Payments become mainstream
2. Free city-wide Internet
1. Big Netflix Competitor
Read the full 2013 predictions report here.
House of Cards, a Netflix-exclusive drama starring Kevin Spacey, is now available at Redbox.
Netflix outbid other networks, including HBO, for the show. This is the first time it’s available outside of the streaming service since its February release.