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 (first generation)
DeveloperAmazon
ManufacturerFoxconn
TypeDigital media player, microconsole
Release date
Introductory priceUS$99[6]
Operating systemOriginal: Fire OS 5 "Bellini"[7]
Current: Fire OS 7
System on a chipQualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T[8]
MediaTek MT8173C (2nd Gen)
CPUQualcomm Krait 300, quad-core up to 1.7 GHz (1st generation)[8]
dual-core ARM Cortex-A72 up to 2 GHz and dual-core ARM Cortex-A53 up to 1.573 GHz (2nd generation)
Memory2 GB LPDDR2 RAM[8]
Storage8 GB internal[8]
Display1080p and 4K[8]
GraphicsQualcomm Adreno 320 (1st Gen)[8]
PowerVR GX6250 (2nd Gen)[9]
SoundDolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound[8]
ConnectivityHDMI, Bluetooth 4.0, Bluetooth 4.1, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac), 10/100 Ethernet, Fire game controller[8]
Power5.5 mm DC[8] (6.25 V 2.5 A power adapter[10])
Current firmware6.2.1.2
Dimensions115 × 115 × 17.5 mm (4.53 × 4.53 × 0.69 in)[8]
Mass281 g (9.9 oz)[8]
Related articlesRoku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Nvidia Shield TV, Ouya
Websiteamazon.com
Amazon Fire TV at a retail store in Canada.

Amazon Fire TV (stylized as amazon fireTV) is a line of digital media players and microconsoles developed by Amazon.[11][12][13] The devices are small network appliances that deliver digital audio and video content streamed via the Internet to a connected high-definition television. They also allow users to access local content and to play video games with the included remote control or another game controller, or by using a mobile app remote control on another device.

The device is available in two form factors, set-top box and HDMI plug-in stick with, in general, lesser specifications than the contemporaneous boxes.[11] The current set-top box model is the Fire TV Cube with embedded Amazon Echo smart speaker (which effectively replaced the Fire TV box model[14][15]), while the stick form factor encompasses three models, the entry-level Fire TV Stick Lite, the standard Fire TV Stick, and the high-end Fire TV Stick 4K (the last of which effectively replaced the third-generation Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD "pendant"[16][17][18]).[19]

The first-generation Fire TV device was unveiled on April 2, 2014. The second-generation version was released in 2015, with additional Fire TV devices released on regular basis since.

In March 2016, Amazon began collaborating with television set manufacturers to include the Amazon Fire OS and Fire TV interface built-in with televisions sold to the public, labeled as Fire TV Edition.[20][21][22][23] In September 2018, Amazon extended the use of the Fire TV brand to the Fire TV Recast, an over-the-air television digital video recorder exclusively for viewing use with Fire TV and Amazon Echo Show devices.[24]

Fire TV hardware[edit]

Original model[edit]

First generation[edit]

The first Fire TV was made available for purchase in the US on the same day of the April 2014 announcement for US$99 and was launched with a video game called Sev Zero.[6] Codenamed "Bueller", after the eponymous character from Ferris Bueller's Day Off,[25][26] it offered HDMI audio, with support for Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound pass-through, if the user's Internet bandwidth was sufficient. According to Amazon, the Fire TV was designed to outpace competitors like the Apple TV and Roku in performance: the 0.72-inch-thick box featured a 1.7 GHz quad-core CPU (Qualcomm Snapdragon 8064), 2 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage, along with a MIMO dual-band radio for 1080p streaming over 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and a 10/100 Ethernet connection and USB 2.0 port. Included with the box is a Bluetooth remote control with a microphone for voice search.

The company said that it did not intend the Fire TV to compete with gaming consoles; instead, its gaming capabilities were geared toward people who did not already own a console but may play games on a smartphone or tablet. It has a dedicated controller accessory.[7]

Second generation[edit]

Amazon released a second-generation Fire TV, codenamed "Sloane",[25] after the film love interest of Ferris Bueller,[27] in late 2015. This version had 4K resolution support,[28] improved processor performance, and a MediaTek 8173C chipset to support H.265 (HEVC), VP8, and VP9 codecs. Wireless hardware upgrades included 4K capable, a dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi with 2x2 MIMO and Bluetooth 4.1.[29][23] It was effectively replaced with the Fire TV Cube.[14]

Third generation[edit]

The third-generation Fire TV, also known as the Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD and Alexa Voice Remote, was released in 2017. It eschewed the previous set-top box design for a small, diamond-shaped "pendant" reminiscent of the Fire TV Stick, which plugs directly into a television set's HDMI port and can be hung from a short HDMI extender cable. It contained a slower processor but more RAM than the second-generation Fire TV, and also had support for 4K resolution streaming, Dolby Atmos, and HDR10.[30][31] Production was discontinued in 2018 in favor of the Fire TV Stick 4K.[16]

Fire TV Cube[edit]

First generation[edit]

The Fire TV Cube was released in June 2018. It is similar in function to the third-generation Fire TV, but also includes embedded Alexa functionality similar to the Amazon Echo smart speaker line, and can use HDMI-CEC and an IR blaster to control other devices with voice commands. As its voice functionality is integrated into the device itself, the Fire TV Cube does not include the voice remote.[32][33] The device uses a 1.5 GHz quad-core ARM 4xCA53 processor, 2 GB RAM, and 16 GB storage.[34]

Second generation[edit]

A second-generation model was unveiled in September 2019, featuring a hexa-core processor, "Local Voice Control" (which allows client-side recognition of common voice commands to improve response time), and support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+.[35][36] It supports 4K output.

Fire TV Stick[edit]

First generation Fire-TV Stick with remote (without voice search)
First generation Fire-TV Stick with remote (without voice search, codenamed "Inigo"[25])

First generation[edit]

On November 19, 2014, Amazon released its Fire TV Stick, a smaller dongle version of the Fire TV that plugs into an HDMI port. Codenamed "Montoya",[25] it retains much of the functionality of the larger Fire TV.[37] It has 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage, weighs 0.9 oz (26 g), and it uses a Broadcom BCM28155 1.0 GHz Cortex-A9 processor and a Broadcom VideoCore IV GPU. Wireless hardware includes a dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with 2x2 MIMO and Bluetooth 3.0 [23][38] The Fire TV Stick is bundled with a remote control, in either of two variants: one with Alexa voice search and one without Alexa.

Second generation[edit]

Second generation Fire-TV Stick with Alexa remote (with voice search)
Second generation Fire-TV Stick with Alexa remote (with voice search)

On October 20, 2016, Amazon released the Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, codenamed "Tank".[25][39] Other than the new remote, the updates include MediaTek MT8127D Quad-core ARM 1.3 GHz processor with a Mali-450 MP4 GPU, and support for the H.265 (HEVC) codec. Wireless hardware upgrades includes a dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi with 2x2 MIMO and Bluetooth 4.1.[23] It retains the 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage and weighs slightly more at 1.1 oz (31 g).[40][non-primary source needed]

In January 2019, the second-generation Fire TV Stick was re-issued with the updated remote from the 4K model.[30]

Third generation[edit]

In October 2020, two third-generation Fire TV Stick models were released. The Fire TV Stick model includes a remote with TV control buttons where the Fire TV Stick Lite model's remote does not include TV controls. Both models include similar internal hardware as the Fire TV Stick 4K, except for a maximum output resolution of 1080p and only 1 GB of RAM. In 2021, the third-generation Fire TV Stick was re-issued with an updated remote "3rd Gen Alexa Voice Remote".[41]

Fire TV Stick 4K[edit]

In October 2018, Amazon unveiled the Fire TV Stick 4K, codenamed "Mantis", which succeeded the third-generation Fire TV.[42] It is upgraded to a 1.7 GHz quad-core processor and supports 4K output, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, and hardware-accelerated MPEG-2 decoding. It also includes an updated voice remote that contains an infrared emitter and buttons for controlling TV power and volume (which can also be controlled with voice commands). The remote is backward compatible with previous Fire TV models, and also sold separately as an upgrade.[43][44]

Fire TV Stick 4K Max[edit]

On October 7th, 2021, Amazon released the Fire TV Stick 4K Max.[45] It includes the updated 3rd gen Alexa Voice remote, and has Wi-FI 6 support. It has a 1.8 GHz processor, a 750 MHz GPU, and 2 GB of RAM. It also has Dolby Atmos support.[46]

Fire TV Edition[edit]

Fire TV Edition is the product name applied to smart television sets produced by major television manufacturers that include Amazon Fire OS and the Fire TV interface, licensed from Amazon.[22] They offer basic live television program information and minimal recording capabilities.[21][22] Fire TV Edition television models are available from Best Buy's house brand Insignia, Toshiba (in U.S. and Canadian markets), and JVC and Grundig (in European markets).[22]

Fire TV Recast[edit]

The Fire TV Recast is a digital video recorder that works with an over-the-air antenna to record shows for later viewing on a Fire TV or an Amazon Echo Show device.[24] It is designed for use with over-the-air TV services and is a part of the cord-cutting movement. It was announced in September 2018.

Software[edit]

The Fire TV series runs Fire OS,[47] which is derived from Android Open Source Project source code.[48] It supports voice commands via either a remote control with an embedded microphone, or integrated microphones inside the device (as is the case of the Fire TV Cube), and can also be controlled with Alexa via Amazon Echo smart speakers. The devices support various Amazon-owned services, including Amazon Prime Video, Twitch, Amazon Music, Amazon Luna, IMDb TV, as well as other major third-party services such as MyCanal (France only), Netflix, YouTube, YouTube TV, Dailymotion, TED, MX Player, Curiosity Stream, ZEE5, Hulu, Hotstar, Movies Anywhere, Niconico, AbemaTV, Eros Now, YuppTV, Red Bull TV, Philo, AMC+, Disney+, Star+ (Latin America only), Paramount+, BET+, the Showtime app, Noggin, Voot, Pluto TV, Ameba TV, Toon Goggles, Yippee TV, Struum, Vimeo, Shahid, Frndly TV, Tubi, the Fox Soul app, Fox Now, Fox Nation, Viki, Sling TV, Oznoz, Minno, TVPlayer, Zeus Network, Flix Premiere, FilmOn, Discovery+, the Starz app, HBO Max, DirecTV Stream, Vudu, Peacock, NBC Sports Gold, Xumo, Hayu, Xfinity Stream, Craftsy, Night Flight Plus, 9Now (Australia only), Stan (Australia only), Videoland (Netherlands only), WWNLive, BritBox, Hallmark Movies Now, the Bally Sports app, Stirr, Shudder, Mubi, Crave (Canada only), RiverTV (Canada only), Allblk, Acorn TV, BBC iPlayer (UK only), ITV Hub (UK only), STV Player (UK only), All 4 (UK and Ireland only), My5 (UK only), NOW (UK, Ireland and Italy only), UKTV Play (UK and Ireland only), FuboTV, DAZN, FITE TV, FloSports, ALTBalaji, Sun NXT, Aha, TVFPlay, Hoichoi, Klikk, Plex, the Apple TV app, FunimationNow, Wakanim, VRV, Crunchyroll, Crackle, Pure Flix, SonyLIV, Popcornflix, the NFL TV app, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, Pandora, Tidal, Qello, Audacy, BBC Sounds and others via Amazon Appstore.[31][47][49][50][51][52]

The "X-Ray" feature allows users to view contextual information related to Prime Video content (such as biographies of actors and other trivia), using face recognition, music recognition, and IMDb data.[53]

Models[edit]

Model Fire TV
(box)[54][55]
Fire TV Stick Fire TV
(box)[56][55]
Fire TV Stick Fire TV
(pendant)[18][57]
Fire TV Cube Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Cube Fire TV Stick Fire TV Stick 4K Max
Model generation 1st 1st 2nd 2nd 3rd 1st 1st[55] 2nd 3rd 1st
Code name Bueller Montoya Sloane Tank Needle Stark Mantis
Model name AFTB AFTM AFTS AFTT AFTN AFTA AFTMM AFTR AFTSSS/AFTSS AFTKA
Release date April 12, 2014 November 19, 2014 September 29, 2015 October 20, 2016 October 25, 2017 June 21, 2018 October 31, 2018 October 10, 2019 September 30, 2020 October 7, 2021
MPN B00CX5P8FC B00KAKPZYG B00U3FPN4U B01ETRGSPA B01N32NCPM B01NBTFNVA B079QHMFWC B07KGVB6D6 B07ZZVX1F2 B08C1W5N87 (Lite) B08MQZXN1X
Status Discontinued Current
OS [58] Fire OS 5 Fire OS 6 Fire OS 7
Android Version [58] 5.1 7.1 9
System Version [58] 5.2.7.4 5.2.7.7[59] 6.2.8.1 6.2.8.0 7.2.3.4 7.2.3.4 7.2.5.5
CPU Maker Qualcomm Broadcom MediaTek Amlogic MediaTek Amlogic MediaTek
Family Snapdragon 600 Quad-core ARM big.LITTLE ARM Cortex-A53 ARM Cortex-A73
Model APQ8064T BCM28155 MT8173C MT8127D S905Z MT8695[60] S922X MT8695D[61] MT8696
Cores 4x Krait 300 @ 1.7 GHz 2x ARM Cortex-A9 @ 1.0 GHz 2x ARM Cortex-A72 @ 2 GHz and 2x ARM Cortex-A53 @1.573 GHz 4x ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1.3 GHz 4x ARM Cortex-A53 @ 1.5 GHz 4x ARM Cortex-A53 @1.7GHz[62] 4x ARM Cortex-A73 @ 2.2 GHz and 2x ARM Cortex-A53 @1.9 GHz 4x ARM Cortex-A53 @1.7GHz[63] 4x ARM Cortex-A53 @1.8GHz
Width 32-bit 64-bit 32-bit 64-bit 32-bit 64-bit
Application Binary Interface (ABI) 32-bit
GPU Designer Qualcomm Broadcom Imagination Technologies ARM Imagination Technologies ARM Imagination Technologies
Family Adreno VideoCore IV PowerVR Mali PowerVR Mali PowerVR
Model 320 Capri VC4 GX6250 450 MP4 450 MP3 IMG GE8300 G52 MP2 IMG GE8300 IMG GE9215
OpenGL ES 3.0 2.0 3.1 2.0 3.2
Vulkan n/a n/a 1.0 n/a 1.1 1.0 1.1 ???
OpenCL 1.1 embedded profile n/a 1.2 n/a 1.2 2.0 1.2 ???
Hardware Decode Support [23] MPEG-4, H.263, H.264 MPEG-4, H.263, H.264, H.265, VP8, VP9 MPEG-4, H.263, H.264, H.265 MPEG-4, H.264, H.265, VP9 MPEG-4, MPEG-2, H.263, H.264, H.265, VP8, VP9 MPEG-4, MPEG-2, H.263, H.264, H.265, VP8, VP9, AV1
RAM 2 GB LPDDR2 1 GB LPDDR2 (512 MB system, 512 MB video) 2 GB LPDDR3 1 GB LPDDR3 2 GB 1.5 GB DDR4 2 GB DDR4 1 GB DDR4 2 GB DDR4
Storage Internal 8 GB NAND Flash 16 GB 8 GB 16 GB 8 GB
External USB up to 128 GB No Up to 128 GB microSDXC No Micro USB No Micro USB No
Microphone Mic button on remote No Mic button on remote
Networking Ethernet RJ45, 10/100 Mbit/s USB-to-RJ45 adapter (separate)[64] RJ45, 10/100 Mbit/s USB-to-RJ45 adapter (separate) USB-to-RJ45 adapter (included) USB-to-RJ45 adapter (separate) USB-to-RJ45 adapter (included) USB-to-RJ45 adapter (separate)
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0
HID, SPP Profiles
Bluetooth 3.0
HID, SPP Profiles
Bluetooth 4.1
HID, HFP, SPP profiles
Bluetooth 4.1
A2DP, AVRCP, GAVDP, HID, IOPT profiles
Bluetooth 4.2 + LE
A2DP 1.2-SRC, AVRCP 1.0-TG, HID 1.0-Host, HOGP 1.0-Host
Bluetooth 4.2 Bluetooth 5.0 + LE
Wi-Fi Dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n
2x2 MIMO
Dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
2x2 MIMO dual-antenna
Dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
2x2 MIMO dual-antenna
Dimensions 115 mm x 115 mm x 17.5 mm 84.9 mm x 25.0 mm x 11.5 mm 115 mm x 115 mm x 17.8 mm
4.5" x 4.5" x 0.7"
85.9 mm x 30.0 mm x 12.6 mm
3.4" x 1.2" x 0.5"
65.0 mm x 65.0 mm x 15.0 mm
2.6” x 2.6” x 0.6”
86.1 mm x 86.1 mm x 76.9 mm
3.4” x 3.4” x 3.0”
108 mm x 30 mm x 14 mm 86.1 mm x 86.1 mm x 76.9 mm
3.4” x 3.4” x 3.0”
108 mm x 30 mm x 14 mm
Power Supply 6.25 V, 2.5 A, 16 W, DC 5 V, 1 A, 5 W, DC 15 V, 1.4 A, 21 W, DC 5 V, 1 A, 5 W, DC 5.2 V, 1.8 A, 9 W, DC 5.25 V, 1 A, 5 W, DC[65] 12 V, 1.25 A, 15 W, DC 5.25 V, 1 A, 5 W, DC
Power Plug 5.5 mm (outer) x 2.5 mm (inner) (Coaxial power connector) USB micro-B Cable and USB A-Type Power source 3 mm (outer) x 1 mm (inner) USB micro-B Cable and USB A-Type Power source USB micro-B Cable and USB A-Type Power source 4 mm (outer) x 1.7 mm (inner) USB micro-B Cable and USB A-Type Power source

Reception[edit]

Dan Seifert from The Verge reviewed Fire TV on April 4, 2014, giving it an 8.8/10 rating and largely praising its functionality and future potential.[66][67] Dave Smith from ReadWrite wrote, "Fire TV aims to be the cure for what ails TV set-top boxes."[68] GeekWire editor Andy Liu's review is headlined "Amazon's Fire TV sets a new bar for streaming boxes."[69] Ars Technica praised the device for specifications that surpassed competitors, good build quality, and a microphone works very well if you use Amazon content. The reviewer disliked the fact that its media browser puts Amazon content in the front, which makes other applications less convenient to use, limited game selection with many games not optimized, and only 5.16GB of free space, which limits the number of games that can be installed.[70]

Main competitors[edit]

Some notable competitors include Roku, Apple TV, Nvidia Shield TV and Chromecast.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]