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Print 34 comment(s) - last by Jeffk464.. on Apr 2 at 8:35 PM

Amazon looks to take on Apple and Roku with its latest hardware product

After much speculation, Amazon today revealed its take on the video streaming hardware: the Fire TV.
 
Like the Kindle Fire family of tablets, the Fire TV makes use of a heavily modified fork of Google’s Android operating system. And the Fire TV packs a lot of, uh… firepower under the hood thanks to a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 8064 processor paired with 2GB of RAM and an Adreno 320 GPU.
 
According to Amazon, the hardware specs make the Fire TV roughly three times faster than competing offerings from Apple and Roku. Amazon also says that any perceptible lag while browsing the user interface has been banished as well. 

Other features include Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band 802.11n wireless connectivity, and 8GB of internal storage.

 
 
The Fire TV will of course put Amazon Instant Video front and center, but there will be plenty of apps to further flesh out the devices streaming capabilities. Partner apps already lineup for Fire TV include Hulu, MLB.tv, NBA, Netflix, Plex, Showtime, Vimeo, and YouTube.

 
And considering that the Fire TV is a device that fits into the vast Amazon ecosystem, it will have full access to Amazon Cloud Drive. Other features include support for Amazon's "FreeTime" parental control tool and voice search though the remote.
 
Another rumor was today confirmed with regards to the gaming capabilities of the Fire TV — this also explains the beefed up hardware specs. Customers will be able to add a $40 wireless gaming controller to play games that have been custom-tailored to take advantage of the Fire TV platform.

 

Amazon promises that that most games available for Fire TV will be priced at under $2 (over 1,000 titles will be available for free), and gamers can expect to see such titles at Asphalt 8 and a specially optimized version of Minecraft.
 
The Fire TV is available today for $99.

Source: Amazon



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Another missed opportunity...
By puter_geek_00 on 4/2/2014 12:42:49 PM , Rating: 2
Another missed opportunity for a Windows Media Player Extender.




RE: Another missed opportunity...
By NellyFromMA on 4/2/2014 1:33:38 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't that what Xbox 360, XBONE already do?


RE: Another missed opportunity...
By EnzoFX on 4/2/2014 1:59:21 PM , Rating: 2
Why stop there, why not build a $2k HTPC?
...
The point is the price difference obviously. MS MCE Win app has been stagnant for years, and has nothing of the sort in this space. Boxes like these are great when all you need is a few essential apps. My favorite are the GTV based ones, this one should carry over a lot of those already established GTV android apps.


By Jeffk464 on 4/2/2014 8:29:22 PM , Rating: 2
You could build a decent HTPC for around $500, no reason to spend $2K.


RE: Another missed opportunity...
By puter_geek_00 on 4/2/2014 2:07:58 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, they do that, but I have 4 tvs in my house. Buying an Xbox for each one isn't a solution....


RE: Another missed opportunity...
By MrBlastman on 4/2/14, Rating: -1
RE: Another missed opportunity...
By DrApop on 4/2/2014 3:28:17 PM , Rating: 2
Because it is not just about playing games. It is about watching TV and movies and videos.

If you have multiple TV's you want to be able to watch videos/movies/TV on all of them, not just the one you play games on.


RE: Another missed opportunity...
By MrBlastman on 4/2/14, Rating: -1
RE: Another missed opportunity...
By Spuke on 4/2/2014 5:15:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There's more to life than sitting in front of a tube being fed what we should think.
Funny, we just use our TV's (all 4 of them) for entertainment.


By wlemst88 on 4/2/2014 4:25:29 PM , Rating: 2
There once was a caveman trying to invent a wheel for a cart to carry some dinosaur eggs to his cave to impress his cave wife. The other cavemen all laughed at him and called him lazy. The first caveman had omelet and got some cave action that night.

People who innovate and question the status quo are not the problem - people who ridicule those who do are.


RE: Another missed opportunity...
By nafhan on 4/2/2014 2:13:09 PM , Rating: 2
It looks like it supports Plex if you need that kind of functionality.


RE: Another missed opportunity...
By puter_geek_00 on 4/2/2014 2:20:42 PM , Rating: 2
Plex doesn't support .vobs. Kind of a dealbreaker for me and my 500+ ripped dvds.
Plus, I already have my Media Center set up and working exactly the way I want.


RE: Another missed opportunity...
By nafhan on 4/2/2014 3:28:35 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like you should just put a PC under your TV... You aren't really the target market for this device.


RE: Another missed opportunity...
By astralsolace on 4/2/2014 3:59:24 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, not even Microsoft made the Xbox One a WMP Extender. Seriously. Nobody wants that shit.


By Jeffk464 on 4/2/2014 8:31:56 PM , Rating: 2
I do


By Jeffk464 on 4/2/2014 8:27:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Another missed opportunity for a Windows Media Player Extende


Yup, I use a HTPC for an over the air DVR and a little device like this would be nice if I could play content of my DVR. Right now I'm using an old bulky PC.


If they gave you....
By stevessvt on 4/2/2014 1:18:09 PM , Rating: 3
6 months or a year of complimentary Prime device with this I would drop my ROKU 2 in a heartbeat.




RE: If they gave you....
By stevessvt on 4/2/2014 1:21:52 PM , Rating: 2
Prime service, not device.


RE: If they gave you....
By Jeffk464 on 4/2/2014 8:35:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, so far this looks to be the best set top box. I would have gone with chromecast except it doesn't stream amazon instant video. This one seems like it connects to all the major players.


If it runs XBMC
By tomvs123 on 4/2/2014 12:24:21 PM , Rating: 3
If it can run xbmc (or something similar), I'll take three please!




RE: If it runs XBMC
By datdamonfoo on 4/2/2014 12:51:42 PM , Rating: 2
It runs Plex, apparently.


Welp
By flyingpants1 on 4/2/2014 12:17:22 PM , Rating: 2
They're just filling out the market now. Kinda surprised we didn't see this before.




DLNA
By artemicion on 4/2/2014 12:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
No mention of DLNA support = No DLNA support?




Not bad
By kamk44 on 4/2/2014 12:49:15 PM , Rating: 2
Appears to be a good first offering. Knowing Amazon they'll probably be able to move quite a few of these. I myself have been using the Chromecast device (laptop to TV) a lot lately, especially for Netflix since it seems to cache a lot if I use the app on my TV. I tried Amazon Prime for free for a month but did not care for their service as much since a lot of what I wanted to watch cost extra. I also typically buy enough at a time to get free shipping (although since I cancelled Prime their shipping has been irregular like they are punishing me).




By Wolfpup on 4/2/2014 2:36:19 PM , Rating: 2
It can work as one of these streaming devices, but oh yeah, it's also an actual game console.

Vita (despite being two years old) still has a much better GPU than this does too, even before you factor in that Vita lets you code closer to the metal AND has dedicated video RAM.




Search
By DrApop on 4/2/2014 3:38:10 PM , Rating: 2
I have an old Roku and the voice search on the AmazonFireTV is almost worth the price to upgrade.

Video search through things like Vimeo/Hulu/Netflix/Amazon is god awful on Roku.

Why they don't allow a cheap keyboard hookup on roku is beyond me...even after the third generation device, search is still pathetic.

If voice search works for all the apps on AmazonTV, it will be well worth the cost.

It also had a USB in for things like pictures from a thumbdrive I believe. Would be great to enable a webcam through the USB and then have a skype app/hangout app or something




Won't Play Any Real Games
By Arsynic on 4/2/2014 3:40:27 PM , Rating: 2
Amazon bought Double Helix for this? This thing doesn't even play any real games.




Waste of silicon
By coburn_c on 4/2/2014 6:22:10 PM , Rating: 2
Why run another system when everyone has a device that does all these things. Just get a miracast receiver.




AppleTV copy
By Nortel on 4/2/14, Rating: -1
RE: AppleTV copy
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/2/2014 12:41:59 PM , Rating: 2
Can't tell if serious...


RE: AppleTV copy
By amanojaku on 4/2/2014 12:49:14 PM , Rating: 3
A copy in what way?

It's form factor? AppleTV is about as basic as you can get, being a rectangle with rounded corners.

It's interface? AppleTV is about as basic as you can get, with just an icon display.

It's function? AppleTV is about as basic as you can get, with only video, audio and image playback.


RE: AppleTV copy
By kamk44 on 4/2/2014 1:33:48 PM , Rating: 4
I heard they patented "basic" (queue the offended applitists).


RE: AppleTV copy
By GotThumbs on 4/2/2014 3:28:23 PM , Rating: 2
It's in the details, not the shape.

Just look at the specs Jr.


RE: AppleTV copy
By Nutzo on 4/2/2014 6:19:07 PM , Rating: 2
Don't you mean a vast improvement on Apple TV?

Faster CPU, game support, support for more streaming providers, etc?


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