As I've grown older, I've embraced the benefits of never being an early adopter. But on Thursday, for the first time in years, I bought something the day after it came out -- the Amazon.com Fire TV set-top streaming box.
I stream Netflix content all the time using an Apple TV, but I really wanted a box that could also access Amazon's Prime Instant Video service, to which I am a subscriber.
Virtually every sizeable tech company with a consumer-hardware presence wants control of the living room. Microsoft and Sony have their media-friendly gaming consoles, and TV makers are adding Internet-connected apps to their sets.
Apple and Amazon are staking their claims with these inexpensive little boxes, which can stream video and audio media, access photos from the cloud, use apps like YouTube, and most importantly, connect to their respective content ecosystems.
On Saturday, my Fire TV arrived in the mail, and I immediately put it through its paces.