Are you struggling with choosing the right movie streaming service provider and hardware that supports it? Tired of tinkering with PCs and cables in your living room? Amazon brings to you the supposedly one-for-all solution set-top box – and all that for 99$. Fire TV? Game-changer or misinterpreting the trend? Here’s our summary for you!
Amazon has started as a online shop for books and quickly extended their product portfolio to cover also DVDs and later Blu-ray movies. Nowadays you can buy pretty much everything on Amazon and can be sure it gets to you quickly and usually with good quality – even groceries.
Fire TV – The New Device
Fire TV is a small black box to connect to your TV in order to get access to the entertainment portfolio of many streaming service providers, not only the Amazon owned ones. No matter if you prefer Hulu, Netflix, ESPN or Amazon Instant Video, all those and 90+ more apps are available for you. So sit back and enjoy your favorite show.
Even though the Fire TV comes at a fair price, Amazon has managed to include a few really nice features and compatibilities.
- Microphone in Remote Control for Voice-Search
- Video gaming with Amazon Controller
- Music streaming and local playback (AAC, AC-3, E-AC-3, HE-A, PCM, MP3)
- Playback of Photo Slideshows (JPG, PNG)
- Playback of Videos (H.263, H.264, MPEG4-SP, VC1)
- Amazon FreeTime for the kids
- Tablet Mirroring and enhancement with X-Ray
- ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) learns your preferences and recommends content
Amazon put some interesting hardware into this little box. Especially the processing power for rendering 3D games must have played a big role in selecting the right components. Does it all work out? Here’s what they got under the bonnet:
- HDMI output (720p and 1080p up to 60fps)
- Optical Audio output (TOSLINK)
- 10/100 Ethernet RJ45 slot
- USB 2.0 Type A slot
- Certified Dolby Digital Plus Surround Sound
- Qualcomm Krait 300 quad-core processor to 1.7 Ghz
- Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU
- 2 GB LPDDR2 Memory @ 533 MHZ
- Dual-band/Dual-antenna (MIMO) WiFi
- Bluetooth 4.0 (HID, HFP 1.6, SPP)
- 8 GB internal storage
So what’s the summary? The fact that you are not tied to a certain movie streaming provider when using the Fire TV is really interesting and differentiates it from rival solutions such as the Roku 3 or Apple TV. I’m not so sure about the video gaming functions – of course it is a nice add-on but Minecraft doesn’t make the Fire TV a rival to a XBOX ONE, Playstation 4 or Wii U. Depending on how they keep growing the portfolio of available games or not, the future will show us how this feature will develop.
So my final words are … for the price of 99$ you can’t really do much wrong here. If you enjoy streaming movies or shows just have a try at the Fire TV. As per usual on Amazon you may as well easily send it back if you don’t enjoy it – without questions asked.
YouTube: “Amazon Fire TV Unboxing, Hands On” by TechCrunch