Amazon Fire TV
Amazon Fire TV with remote
|Type||Digital media player, microconsole|
|Release date||USA April 12, 2014
UK Released, but at a unknown date
|Operating system||Fire OS 3.0 "Mojito"|
|System-on-chip used||Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T|
|CPU||Qualcomm Krait 300, quad-core to 1.7 Ghz|
|Memory||2 GB LPDDR2 RAM|
|Storage||8 GB internal|
|Graphics||Qualcomm Adreno 320|
|Sound||Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound|
|Connectivity||HDMI, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), 10/100 Ethernet, Optical audio, Fire game controller|
|Power||5.5 mm DC (6.25 V 2.5 A power adapter)|
|Dimensions||115 × 115 × 17.5 mm (4.53 × 4.53 × 0.69 in)|
|Weight||281 g (9.9 oz)|
|Related articles||Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast|
|Website||Amazon Fire TV|
Amazon Fire TV is a digital media player and microconsole developed by Amazon.com. 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 device features 2 GB of RAM, MIMO dual-band Wi-Fi, and a Bluetooth remote control with a microphone for voice search. It supports 1080p streaming and Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound but is dependent on internet bandwidth of the user. Unveiled on April 2, 2014, the Amazon Fire TV was made available for purchase in the US the same day for US$99 and was launched with a video game called Sev Zero. Amazon Fire TV is also available in the UK, Germany and Japan.
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, 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. 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.
Fire TV Stick
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. Its hardware is slightly different, it has 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage, weighs 0.9 oz. (25.1g) and the CPU is slower. The Fire TV Stick is bundled with a TV remote, which does not support voice search.
The device initially ran "Mojito," version 3.0 of the Android-based Fire OS which is compatible with Android Lollipop version number 5.1.0. According to Amazon, that will make it "simple for developers to port their services and games over to Fire TV."
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:
- 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 between.
- Hidden PIN entry, the PIN entry screen hides the numbers selected.
- New shortcuts puts the users' Fire TV to sleep or enable display mirroring by pressing and holding the Home button on the remote.
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. Dave Smith from ReadWrite wrote: "Fire TV aims to be the cure for what ails TV set-top boxes." GeekWire editor Andy Liu's review is headlined "Amazon's Fire TV sets a new bar for streaming boxes." 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.
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- For the First Time Ever, X-Ray for Movies and TV Shows Now Available Directly on Your TV