Amazon Fire TV

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Amazon Fire TV
Amazon Fire TV Logo.png
Amazon Fire TV with remote.JPG
Amazon Fire TV with remote
Developer Amazon.com
Manufacturer Amazon.com
Type Digital media player, microconsole
Release date
  • USA: April 12, 2014
  • DE: September 25, 2014[1]
  • UK: October 23, 2014[1]
  • JP: October 28, 2015[2]
Introductory price US$99[3]
Operating system Fire OS 5 "Bellini"[4]
System-on-chip used Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T[5]
CPU Qualcomm Krait 300, quad-core to 1.7 Ghz (1st Gen)[5]
MediaTek quad-core up to 2 Ghz (2nd Gen)
Memory 2 GB LPDDR2 RAM[5]
Storage 8 GB internal[5]
Display 1080p and 4K[5]
Graphics Qualcomm Adreno 320 (1st Gen)[5]
PowerVR GX6250 (2nd Gen)[6]
Sound Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound[5]
Connectivity HDMI, Bluetooth 4.0, Bluetooth 4.1, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac), 10/100 Ethernet, Optical audio, Fire game controller[5]
Power 5.5 mm DC[5] (6.25 V 2.5 A power adapter[7])
Dimensions 115 × 115 × 17.5 mm (4.53 × 4.53 × 0.69 in)[5]
Weight 281 g (9.9 oz)[5]
Related articles Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Ouya
Website Amazon Fire TV

Amazon Fire TV refers to two generations of digital media players and microconsoles developed by Amazon.com.[8][9] It is a small network appliance and entertainment device designed to stream digital audio/video content to a high-definition television. The device also allows users to play video games with the included remote, via a mobile app, or with an optional game controller. The first-generation device featured 2 GB of RAM, MIMO dual-band Wi-Fi, and a Bluetooth remote control with a microphone for voice search. It supported 1080p streaming and Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound but was dependent on internet bandwidth of the user. Unveiled on April 2, 2014, the Amazon Fire TV (1st Generation) was made available for purchase in the US the same day for US$99 and was launched with a video game called Sev Zero.[3] In 2015, the Amazon Fire TV (2nd Generation) was released with improved processor speed and 4K UHD support.[10] Amazon Fire TV is also available in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan.

Design[edit]

The developmental code name of the Fire TV was Bueller, named after the eponymous character from Ferris Bueller's Day Off.[11]

Hardware[edit]

The Fire TV offers HDMI and optical audio, with support for Dolby Digital Plus and 7.1 surround sound pass-through, along with an Ethernet port and a USB 2.0 port. According to Amazon, the Fire TV is designed to outpace competitors like the Apple TV and Roku in performance: The 0.7-inch-thick box features a 1.7 GHz quad-core CPU (MediaTek 8173C), 2 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage, along with a dual-band wireless radio for 1080p streaming over 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. The Fire TV now supports 4K Ultra High Definition streaming quality when used with compatible 4K Ultra HD TVs.[12] The company said that it does not intend the Fire TV to compete with gaming consoles; instead, its gaming capabilities are geared toward people who don't already own a console but may play games on a smartphone or tablet. It has a dedicated controller accessory.[4]

Fire TV Stick[edit]

On November 19, 2014, Amazon released a smaller version of the Fire TV called the Fire TV Stick. It is a HDMI-port plug-in device that replicates much of the functionality of the larger Fire TV.[13] Its hardware is slightly different, it has 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage, weighs 0.9 oz. (25.1g) and it uses a BCM28145 1.2 GHz Cortex-A9 processor[14] The Fire TV Stick is bundled with a TV remote, a model with voice search on the remote and one without.

Software[edit]

The device initially ran Fire OS 3.0, based on Android Jelly Bean 4.2. According to Amazon, that made it "simple for developers to port their services and games over to Fire TV."[4]

Updates[edit]

On March 24, 2015, Amazon announced an update to the Fire TV software to provide the following additional features which address some of the concerns raised in early reviews:[15]

  • Expandable USB storage on Amazon Fire TV; the user can connect a USB mass storage device to expand the Fire TV storage.
  • Connect to the user's hotel or dorm room Wi-Fi with captive portal support, which enables the user to connect to Wi-Fi that requires web authentication—this includes Wi-Fi at most major hotels, as well as some universities.
  • Private listening on Fire TV, adds support for wireless Bluetooth headphones to Fire TV.
  • Browse and search Prime Playlists: Prime members can now take advantage of Prime Music playlists from Fire TV with hundreds of expertly curated Prime Playlists to pick from.
  • Hidden PIN entry, the PIN entry screen hides the numbers selected.
  • New shortcuts put the user's Fire TV to sleep or enable display mirroring by pressing and holding the Home button on the remote.

Reception[edit]

Dan Seifert from The Verge reviewed Fire TV on April 4, 2014, giving it an 8.8/10 and largely praising its current functionality and future potential.[16] Dave Smith from ReadWrite wrote: "Fire TV aims to be the cure for what ails TV set-top boxes."[17] GeekWire editor Andy Liu's review is headlined "Amazon's Fire TV sets a new bar for streaming boxes."[18] Ars Technica praised the device specs that are better than the competition, the build quality was high, and if you use Amazon content, the microphone works very well. However, the reviewer did not like that media browsing puts Amazon content in the front thus making other apps less convenient, the game selection is limited and many games are unoptimized, and its free space is only 5.16GB, limiting the amount of games that can be installed.[19]

Second generation[edit]

Amazon released a 2nd-generation Fire TV in late 2015. The 2nd generation features 4K UHD support, improved processor performance and a MediaTek chipset to support the H.265 (HEVC) codec.[20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Amazon Fire TV now available for pre-order in the UK and Germany". 
  2. ^ "Amazon Fire TV & Fire TV Stick Coming to Japan". 
  3. ^ a b Horn, Leslie (April 2, 2014). "Fire TV: Everything You Need to Know About Amazon's $100 Streaming Box". Gizmodo. Gawker Media. Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "Publish to Fire OS 5". Amazon.com. Retrieved July 24, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Amazon Fire TV –Streaming Media Player –Shop Now". Amazon.com. Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  6. ^ James, Dave. "Amazon Fire TV review". techradar. Retrieved 25 Jul 2016. 
  7. ^ https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/customerdocumentation/Amazon_Fire_TV_User_Guide.pdf
  8. ^ Solomon, Kate. "Amazon Fire TV is Amazon's powerful new streaming box". Techradar.com. Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  9. ^ Tam, Donna. "Amazon unveils Amazon Fire TV for streaming video". CNET. Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  10. ^ James, Dave. "Amazon Fire TV review". techradar. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  11. ^ "Amazon's Fire TV Piles Into the Living Room". Businessweek. 2014-04-02. Retrieved 2014-04-17. 
  12. ^ "Amazon Fire TV". Amazon.com. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  13. ^ "How Amazon's Fire TV Stick Compares to Other Streaming Dongles - WIRED". WIRED. 
  14. ^ Fire TV Stick - Official Site. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  15. ^ "Amazon Announces New Features for Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick". Amazon. 2015-03-24. Retrieved 2015-05-27. 
  16. ^ Seifert, Dan (2014-04-04). "Amazon Fire TV review". The Verge. Retrieved 2014-04-21. 
  17. ^ "Review: The Amazon Fire TV Is Kind Of A Mess – ReadWrite". 
  18. ^ Liu, Andy. "Review: Amazon's Fire TV sets a new bar for streaming boxes". GeekWire. Retrieved 2014-04-21. 
  19. ^ Amazon Fire TV misses the same marks as Ouya, other media boxes. Ars Technica. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  20. ^ James, Dave. "Amazon Fire TV review". techradar. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 

External links[edit]