Amazon to deliver set-top box in time for Christmas?

Amazon to deliver set-top box in time for Christmas? is reportedly readying a video-streaming device in time for the holidays. The set-top box would deliver content directly to the TV - and further Amazon's digital ambitions. It has secured exclusive Hollywood content, and financed original TV series including Amazon Studios' "Alpha House" with, from left, Mark Consuelos, John Goodman, Clark Johnson and Matt Malloy. (Amazon Studios)

Retail giant Amazon is said to be preparing to unveil a video-streaming device just in time for the holidays.

The new set-top box would position Amazon to compete with other Internet-connect TV devices in the market, including those sold by Roku and Apple Inc., according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news.

Such a gadget would further Amazon's growing ambitions in digital entertainment.

Amazon has been investing heavily in its Prime Instant Video subscription service, which offers unlimited online access to movies and television shows (not to mention free two-day shipping) for an annual fee of $79 as well as original content available only to its subscribers.

A set-top box would give Amazon a way to deliver its programming directly to consumers -- and position the company to compete in the living room with Apple's AppleTV and Google, whose hot-selling Chromecast streaming device delivers YouTube videos and subscription video services like Netflix and Hulu Plus to the living room TV.

"They're doing more and more original programming," said Richard Doherty, an independent analyst with the Envisioneering Group. "This device is just an enabler."

A spokesperson for Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.