Amazon set-top box pegged for March release

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Amazon's much-delayed set-top box is reportedly due next month

Amazon's set-top box could arrive next month, after the company shelved plans to release the device in time for Christmas.

Amazon has reportedly been working on its rival to the Apple TV and specialists such as Roku and Boxee over the last year, but no official launch date has been set.

Now, speaking to Recode, Amazon's content partners have floated a March release date, and revealed that the set-top box will run a modified version of Android. It isn't clear when the device might launch outside the US.

There's also no word on who Amazon's partners might be, but the set-top box will likely stream content from the company's own Lovefilm service. Additional rumours - plus job postings from Amazon - suggest the box will additionally serve as a gaming platform.

Lovefilm rebrand

Amazon has also announced a rebrand for Lovefilm in the UK to "Amazon Prime Instant Video". The changeover will bundle the streaming film and TV service with Amazon's one-day delivery service, Prime.

The switch means current Prime users in the UK will face a price hike from £49 to £79 to include Lovefilm - whether they want it or not. Users can decide whether or not to pay the extra fee once their annual subscription is up.

Current Lovefilm subscribers will have more flexibility. Currently an annual subscription costs around £72 a year. Those who don't want to pay the extra £7 to include Prime can opt for a streaming-only package under the rebranded service, which will keep the cost at £72. Monthly subscription options will also be available.

Along with the update to its streaming service, Amazon will also allow TV and film downloads in the UK via its Instant Video store. Download prices have yet to be confirmed.

The changes will take place from 26 February.

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