Amazon Fire TV is Here
Okay, well it finally happened!! After more than a year of rumors and speculation, Amazon has finally announced that they’re taking over your living room, not just your shopping habits. You can already stream movies and TV shows on Amazon Instant Video to OTHER set top boxes like Roku or even the PS4.
But why would Amazon be content with you watching THEIR content on someone ELSE’S hardware? No, no, no! They wouldn’t be Amazon if they didn’t involve themselves in EVERYTHING. So, now we have the Fire TV.
Features and Specs
It’s a small box around the size of the Apple TV, maybe a little bigger. Definitely bigger than the Roku. The box itself is pretty straightforward – it’s just a box – nothing fancy. So let’s just skip right to the guts.
It has a quad core processor, and 2 gigs of RAM. For comparison – the Apple TV has 256MB of RAM and the Roku 3 has 512MB. It’s got MIMO dual band WiFi. They say it’s 3 times faster than the Roku, AppleTV and Chromecast. It even has a dedicated GPU for graphics and will play 1080p HD video.
It also uses ASAP – Advanced Streaming and Prediction to guess what you might like and want to watch and prep them for you in the background to avoid buffering when you start to play.
Second Screen Compatibility with Fire HDX
If you have a Fire HDX, they’ve integrated the second screen experience into the Fire TV so that you can fling video and audio from your tablet to your TV. Walk around the house watching Wolverine and when you’re ready to settle onto the couch, send it seamlessly over to the TV.
Lots of Content Options
I’m sure Instant Video will be the first thing you see with super easy access to watch Amazon content. But you’ll also have access to all your favorite apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Plex, Flikster, Vimeo, Crackle, Showtime Anytime, Pandora… there are a lot of options!
Gaming on the Fire TV
Amazon also has a game controller for it for $40. If you get that right now, they’re offering a Free game and $10 credit you can spend on games, apps and in app purchases.
Amazon FreeTime for Kids
For you parents, they have Amazon FreeTime coming out in a month, which will let you create profiles for your kids. Not just to keep their cartoons out of your date night movie browsing, but also so you can restrict certain kinds of content and set time limits.
Voice Search on the Fire TV
Now… here’s where the FireTV really gets interesting! They added something no other set top box has – voice search. Use the Bluetooth remote control that comes with the box. Hit the voice search button and just say what you’re looking for instead of typing it out. Ugh! I hate searching for things. S…go down…and over… U… back over… P… not fun! So I’m loving this. Hopefully it’ll actually be good search and work well in a living room environment! Only testing will tell. And we’ll be doing just that when it arrives at our studio tomorrow. So any questions, just ask in the forums at geekbeat.tv/forums. We’ll let you know how good it is and whether you should spend $99 on it.
View even more details on the Fire TV.