Amazon eager to ape Apple with set-top box of its own?

Amazon Instant Video
Amazon might be adding to your crowded house

First, there was the race to capitalize on the growing tablet market with devices like the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD.

Then there were rumblings Amazon may soon be entering the rapidly expanding smartphone arena with a branded device all its own.

Now, reports indicate Amazon is about to make a foray into the living room, right beneath your HD television.

According to sources close to the project speaking with Business Week, Amazon is no longer content to just have its instant video service appear as an app on other products, and is developing a proprietary set-top box all its own.

It's a jungle out there

Supposedly on track to arrive this fall, Amazon's streaming media box will provide access to the online retail giant's library of instant video and video on-demand options.

Amazon Instant Video is already available on a wide variety of similar devices, including gaming consoles like the PlayStation 3.

With this new set-top box though, Amazon hopes to differentiate itself from competitors like Apple TV and Roku with the easy instant access having an Amazon Prime membership would provide.

The device is purportedly being developed by Amazon's Lab126 in Cupertino, Calif., which has apparently worked on similar devices before, though those never met the public.

It will be interesting to see if Amazon allows other services like Netflix and Hulu to appear on its streaming system, if it's indeed in the works, as those apps are readily available on Kindle devices.

Competitive devices like Apple TV do allow for secondary apps like Netflix to exist in the same ecosystem, so it may not be to Amazon's advantage to shut out those services.

TechRadar asked Amazon for comment, though we're not holding our breath for a response with any concrete details about the company's plans. Maybe we offer a product name? We're thinking Kindle-vision has a nice ring.