Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by CatfishRivers, Apr 2, 2014.
It's official - "Amazon Fire TV"
I have to say the hardware looks impressive. From the live tweet:
** There's a remote too
"Fire TV has 3 times the performance of Apple TV, Roku TV, and Chromecast"
Processor: quad-core chip with dedicated GPU **
Fire TV: Everything You Need to Know About Amazon's Streaming Box (click for full article)
by Leslie Horn - April 2, 2014
-- Amazon has kicked off its arrival to the streaming party with the announcement of new device called Fire TV to satisfy all your TV watching needs today in a popcorn-scented New York event. Here's everything you need to know about it:
See more at: http://gizmodo.com/amazons-fire-tv-everything-you-need-to-know-1556889628
Amazon Officially Unveils Amazon Fire TV, A Tiny Media Streaming Box | TechCrunch (click for full article)
by Jordan Crook - April 2, 2014
-- The ecommerce giant Amazon has delved even further into the hardware space with the launch of a long-rumored streaming media device called the Amazon Fire TV. It said that it has watched these devices sell on its platform for a long time now, so it knows what is and isn't working for customers, hence its decision to try to do this better than anyone else out there, by "invent[ing] and simplify[ing]."
Their approach was to try to make "complexity disappear," hence the Amazon Fire TV, a sleek, tiny black box for your home theater. The console runs a special OS, and has a quad-core processor, which Amazon calls best-in-class for the category. It has 2GB of RAM, which is between twice and four times that of others on the market, and it has dual-band Wi-Fi for speedy networking. It's a little less thick than a dime is tall, and has an interface that somewhat resembles Plex, if you're familiar with that media software.
The remote it comes with is around the height of a piece of popcorn, and features seven buttons plus a click wheel navigator. When you press play, content starts playing back immediately - gthere's no waiting. Categories display content, watchlist, access, your video library, movies, TV, games, apps and photos, with settings residing in the main home screen. The immediate playback is actually a huge difference vs. others in this space, which all require some buffering.
The platform is HTML and Android-based, which makes it easy for devs to port their apps over from both the web and Google's mobile OS. Amazon says it will boost the Fire TV with original content from Amazon Studios, too.
Media streaming is an increasingly important space to Amazon, who has been focusing in on their video offerings. Not only does Amazon have its own Instant Video offering, competing with Netflix and Hulu and others, but it also develops it's own original content from Amazon Studios. In both cases, taking control of the living room is the only way to build up Instant Video loyalists, whether they're hunting down original content or just browsing through the library.
Amazon also took time to trash each of its competitors, citing problems like poor search on Roku, difficult text entry on Apple TV, and laggy performance in terms of loading content and building up a cache. Also, the closed ecosystem of competitor platforms is something Amazon claims was giving users of existing devices headaches. Amazon Instant Video isn't available on Apple TV, the company noted, and Microsoft charges $60 per year just to access Netflix, which has its own separate monthly cost.
Netflix is a partner for Amazon at launch, as well as HBO GO, SHO Anytime, Pandora, Hulu, ESPN and many others to come. You can search for content via voice or text entry, and there's a mic on the remote itself for better detection of voice commands. Amazon threw some shade here, too, presumably at Microsoft for one, saying that its voice search "actually works," compared to that of some of its competitors. Search works by genre, title, actor, keyword, etc. and spans content sources.
See more at: http://techcrunch.com/2014/04/02/amazon-media-device/
*REALLY* wish this had HDMI pass/feed-thru, ala Google TV... I know us techies think it's silly, but not having to switch inputs is a big plus for the non-techies in the house.
I'll tell you what - for $99 the hardware seems impressive. I haven't seen the upcoming Hisense Pulse Pro GTV box yet - but IMO the Amazon box looks better than any currently available GTV box. It will have gaming also.
Amazon Fire TV voice search demo
Live from Amazon's Fire TV event - a demo showing how well and how quickly the box does voice search. The voice commands are processed in Amazon's cloud.
fully agreed. will wait to hear what CPU this thing does have, but should blow most others out of the water at that price point (along with the 2G of RAM)
IMO there's no way the Hisense Pulse Pro box will be able to successfully compete against this at the $99 price point. The rumored price for the Hisense Pulse Pro box is $149 for a dual-core processor. It's not known how much RAM the Pulse Pro box will have - but my guess is only 1 GB of RAM.
It looks like the Fire TV box will force Google to come out with a Nexus TV box if they want to remain competitive in the GTV set-top box market. I'm still thinking the Chromecast will continue to sell well.
I had been thinking about buying an Asus Chromebox because I like web surfing and using a full keyboard while viewing on a television. The Asus Chromebox costs $179 not including a keyboard. What I would be interested in knowing is how well a keyboard and web browser works with the Kindle Fire TV. Also wondering if the Kindle Fire TV supports Flash in the browser.
The following article has some more details about the specs. I'm glad to see that the Amazon Fire TV supports ethernet:
Amazon Fire TV is like a $99 Kindle for your TV - Liliputing
From the article:
** Specs **
The Amazon Fire TV features some of the most impressive hardware of any mainstream TV box to date, including:
1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 8064 quad-core processor
Qualcomm Adreno 320 graphics
8GB built-in storage
Dual-band MIMO WiFi
It supports 720p and 1080p video at up to 60 frames per second, features 5.1 channel audio, 2 channel stereo, and HDMI audio pass through up to 7.1 channel audio.
The box measures 4.5" x 4.5" x 0.7" and weighs about 10 ounces.
The remote control measures 1.5" x 5.5" x 0.6" and weighs about 2.4 ounces. It features a voice search button, play pause, and rewind buttons, home, back, and menu buttons, and a select button surrounded by 5-way navigation buttons. The Bluetooth 2.1 remote is powered by 2 AAA batteries.
The optional Fire TV Game Controller has analog sticks, a D-pad, Android buttons including home, back, and menu, media playback buttons, and gaming buttons including A, B, X, Y, and shoulder buttons. It measures 6" x 4.2" x 2.4" and weighs about 10 ounces and runs on 2 AA batteries.
Amazon Fire TV hands-on
by The Verge
Dan Seifert takes a hands-on look at Amazon's just-announced set-top box, the Fire TV.
so this would compare to a Nexus 4 (phone) with regard to specs for CPU/memory (and without the thermal constraints of a phone). Should play very nicely.
will have to wait and see how well the ecosystem develops. For all the complaints Amazon lobbed about the walled gardens of the competitors, I'm not sure how this is all that much better (feel free to educate me)... Apple needs to enable AppleTV to run apps, and Google needs to rip that cardiac arrest kit off the wall and shock GTV back to life.
Here's the link for the Amazon Fire TV on the Amazon store:
Amazon Fire TV Streaming Media Player Shop Now
I don't see a web browser listed in the Fire TV apps section right now (see link below) - but since it's an open app ecosystem there could be a web browser added down the road. I was hoping the Amazon Silk browser would be a dedicated app on this device? I do see apps for Plex and YouTube (I understand HBO GO is supposed to be coming soon)
Amazon.com: Fire TV Apps: Apps for Android
I'm thinking that a bluetooth keyboard will work with the Amazon Fire TV (need to research it further) - plus it will probably have apps for using mobile devices as controllers.
The playbook: why Amazon's Fire TV is a guaranteed hit | The Verge
Yeah, I ordered one (to compare to my Sony GS7) before I realized there was no web browser at launch. :/ We'll see how it is.
11 Burning Reasons To Check Out Amazon Fire TV, The Company's New Streaming Box (list) » Gadget Review
Cord Cutters: An in-depth first look at Amazon?s Fire TV (video) ? Tech News and Analysis
by Janko Roettgers - April 3, 2014
-- Amazon's new Fire TV wants to take on Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast. But what does the box offer, and how does it differ from its competitors. Check out our video to find out:
LOL, anything for pageclicks (derision aimed at Phandroid, not Catfish)... that chart appears on the Amazon page for the FireTV.
A chart not originating from Amazon might also include the types of "casting" options supported.. ie. would be nice to get from phone to display without going thru the Amazon cloud... not clear to me what is/will-be supported there.
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