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
  • US: April 12, 2014
  • DE: September 25, 2014[1]
  • UK: October 23, 2014[1]
  • JP: October 28, 2014[2]
Introductory priceUS$99[3]
Operating systemFire OS 5 "Bellini"[4]
System-on-chip usedQualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T[5]
MediaTek MT8173C (2nd Gen)
CPUQualcomm Krait 300, quad-core up to 1.7 GHz (1st generation)[5]
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[5]
Storage8 GB internal[5]
Display1080p and 4K[5]
GraphicsQualcomm Adreno 320 (1st Gen)[5]
PowerVR GX6250 (2nd Gen)[6]
SoundDolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound[5]
ConnectivityHDMI, Bluetooth 4.0, Bluetooth 4.1, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac), 10/100 Ethernet, Fire game controller[5]
Power5.5 mm DC[5] (6.25 V 2.5 A power adapter[7])
Current firmware6.2.1.2
Dimensions115 × 115 × 17.5 mm (4.53 × 4.53 × 0.69 in)[5]
Mass281 g (9.9 oz)[5]
Related articlesRoku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Ouya
Websiteamazon.com

Amazon Fire TV is a digital media player and its microconsole remote developed by Amazon.[8][9] The device is a small network appliance that can deliver digital audio/video content streamed via the internet to a high-definition television. It also allows users to play video games with the included remote, via a mobile app, or with an optional game controller.

The device comes in two form factors: Fire TV, a set-top box, and Fire TV Stick, a cut-down version presented as an HDMI plug-in stick.

The first-generation Fire TV device featured 2 GB of RAM, MIMO dual-band Wi-Fi, and a Bluetooth remote control with a microphone for voice search. It supported 1080p streaming and Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound but was dependent on internet bandwidth of the user. Unveiled on April 2, 2014, the Amazon Fire TV (1st Generation) was made available for purchase in the US the same day for US$99 and was launched with a video game called Sev Zero.[3] The second-generation version was released in 2015, adding 4K support.[10]

In September 2018, Amazon announced the Fire TV Recast, a digital video recorder which works with a HD antenna to record shows for later viewing on a Fire TV or Echo Show device.[11] It is designed for use with over-the-air TV services and is a part of the cord-cutting movement.[12]

Fire TV[edit]

Original model[edit]

First generation[edit]

The first Fire TV (codenamed "Bueller" after the eponymous character from Ferris Bueller's Day Off)[13][14] offers HDMI 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 0.72-inch-thick box features a 1.7 GHz quad-core CPU (Qualcomm Snapdragon 8064), 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 and a 10/100 ethernet connection. 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 do not already own a console but may play games on a smartphone or tablet. It has a dedicated controller accessory.[4]

Second generation[edit]

Amazon released a second-generation Fire TV, codenamed "Sloane",[13] in late 2015. The 2nd generation now features 4K resolution support, improved processor performance, and a MediaTek 8173C chipset to support H.265 (HEVC), VP8, and VP9 codecs. Wireless hardware upgrades includes a dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi with 2x2 MIMO and Bluetooth 4.1.[15][16]

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 eschews the previous set-top box design for a small, diamond-shaped "pendant" reminiscent of the Fire TV Stick, which is hung from a short HDMI cable. It contains a slower processor, but more RAM than the second-generation Fire TV, and also has support for 4K resolution streaming, Dolby Atmos, and HDR10.[17][18]

Production was discontinued in 2018 in favor of the current Fire TV Stick.[19]

Fire TV Cube[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.[20][21] The device uses a 1.5 GHz quad-core ARM 4xCA53 processor, 2 GB RAM, and 16 GB storage.[22]

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"[13])

First generation[edit]

On November 19, 2014, Amazon released a smaller version of the Fire TV called the Fire TV Stick. Codenamed "Montoya",[13] it has a dongle form factor that plugs into an HDMI port, and maintains much of the functionality of the larger Fire TV.[23] Its hardware is slightly different, it has 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage, weighs 0.9 oz. (25.1 g) and it uses a Broadcom BCM28155 dual-core 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 [16][24] The Fire TV Stick is bundled with a remote control, in either of two variants; one with voice search on the remote and one without.

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".[13][25] 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.[16] It retains the 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage and weighs slightly more at 1.1 oz. (32.0 g).[26][non-primary source needed] A

In January 2019, the second-generation Fire TV Stick was re-issued with the updated remote from the 4K model.[27]

Fire TV Stick 4K[edit]

In October 2018, Amazon unveiled the Fire TV Stick 4K, which succeeded the third-generation Fire TV.[28] 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.[29][30]

Software[edit]

The device initially ran Fire OS 3.0, based on Android Jelly Bean 4.2. According to Amazon, that made it "simple for developers to port their services and games over to Fire TV."[4]

In November 2017, Amazon launched the Fire TV version of the Amazon Silk web browser.[31] In December 2017, Mozilla launched a Fire TV version of the Mozilla Firefox browser.[32]

Updates[edit]

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:[33]

  • 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 from.
  • Hidden PIN entry, the PIN entry screen hides the numbers selected.
  • New shortcuts put the user's Fire TV to sleep or enable display mirroring by pressing and holding the Home button on the remote.

Content[edit]

Providers that can be streamed on the Fire TV Stick include A&E, Amazon Prime Video, BBC News, Bloomberg TV, CBS All Access, Crackle, Disney Junior, HBO NOW, History Channel, Huff Post Live, Hulu, Hulu Plus, iHeartRadio, MLB TV Premium, NBA Game Time, Netflix, PBS Kids, Showtime, Spotify, Vimeo, Watch ESPN, Watch Food Network, Watch HGTV, and YouTube. [34]

Models[edit]

Generation (within Fire TV) 1st generation (2014) 1st generation (2014) 2nd generation (2015) 2nd generation (2016) 3rd generation (2017) 1st generation (2018) 3rd generation (2018)
Model Fire TV Fire TV Stick Fire TV Fire TV Stick Fire TV Fire TV Cube Fire TV Stick 4K
Release date April 12, 2014 November 19, 2014 September 29, 2015 October 20, 2016 October 25, 2017 June 21, 2018 October 31, 2018
Status Discontinued Current Discontinued Current Current
OS [35] Fire OS 5 Fire OS 6
System Version [35] 5.2.6.9 6.2.5.8
CPU Maker Qualcomm Broadcom MediaTek Amlogic MediaTek
Family Snapdragon 600 Quad-core ARM big.LITTLE
Model APQ8064T BCM28155 MT8173C MT8127D S905Z MTK8695[36]
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[37]

Width 32-bit 32-bit 64-bit 32-bit 64-bit 32-bit 64-bit
GPU Designer Qualcomm Broadcom Imagination Technologies ARM Imagination Technologies
Family Adreno VideoCore IV PowerVR Mali PowerVR
Model 320 Capri VC4 GX6250 450 MP4 450 MP3 IMG GE8300
OpenGL ES 3.0 2.0 3.1 2.0 3.2
Vulkan n/a n/a 1.0 n/a 1.1
OpenCL 1.1 embedded profile n/a 1.2 n/a 1.2
Hardware Decode

Support [16]

MPEG-4, H.263, H.264 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
RAM 2 GB LPDDR2 1 GB LPDDR2

(512 MB system, 512 MB video)

2 GB LPDDR3 1 GB LPDDR3 2 GB 1.5GB DDR4
Storage Internal 8 GB NAND Flash 8 GB 16 GB 8 GB
External USB up to 128 GB n/a Up to 128 GB microSDXC n/a Micro USB n/a
Microphone n/a Yes No
Networking Ethernet RJ-45, 10/100 n/a RJ-45, 10/100 w/ USB-to-RJ45 adapter (separate) w/ USB-to-RJ45 adapter (separate) w/ USB-to-RJ45 adapter (included) w/ 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

BT 4.2 + LE

Supported profiles: 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

2x2 MIMO

Dual-band 802.11 b/g/n/ac

2x2 MIMO

Dual-band 802.11 b/g/n/ac

2x2 MIMO

Dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

2x2 MIMO

Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi supports 2x2 MIMO 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Dimensions 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”

38 mm x 142 mm x 16 mm
Power Supply 6.25V, 2.5A, 16W, DC

Plug: 5.5mm (outer) x 2.5mm (inner)

5V, 1A, 5W, DC

Micro USB Cable and USB Power Adapter required

15V, 1.4A, 21W, DC

Plug: 3mm (outer) x 1mm (inner)

5V, 1A, 5W, DC

Micro USB Cable and USB Power Adapter required

5.2V, 1.8A, 9W, DC

Micro USB Cable and USB Power Adapter required

5.25V, 1A[38]

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.[39] Dave Smith from ReadWrite wrote, "Fire TV aims to be the cure for what ails TV set-top boxes."[40] GeekWire editor Andy Liu's review is headlined "Amazon's Fire TV sets a new bar for streaming boxes."[41] Ars Technica praised the device for specifications that surpassed competitors, good build quality, and a microphone works very well if you use Amazon content. However, 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.[42]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Amazon Fire TV now available for pre-order in the UK and Germany".
  2. ^ "Amazon Fire TV & Fire TV Stick Coming to Japan". Archived from the original on 2016-02-06. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  3. ^ a b Horn, Leslie (April 2, 2014). "Fire TV: Everything You Need to Know About Amazon's $100 Streaming Box". Gizmodo. Gawker Media. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "Publish to Fire OS 5". Amazon.com. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Amazon Fire TV –Streaming Media Player –Shop Now". Amazon.com. Retrieved April 12, 2003.
  6. ^ James, Dave. "Amazon Fire TV review". techradar. Retrieved 25 Jul 2016.
  7. ^ https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/customerdocumentation/Amazon_Fire_TV_User_Guide.pdf
  8. ^ Solomon, Kate. "Amazon Fire TV is Amazon's powerful new streaming box". Techradar.com. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  9. ^ Tam, Donna. "Amazon unveils Amazon Fire TV for streaming video". CNET. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  10. ^ James, Dave. "Amazon Fire TV review". Techradar. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  11. ^ Goode, Lauren; Calore, Michael (20 September 2018). "Is there an Echo in here? Everything Amazon announced". Wired. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  12. ^ "Amazon Fire TV Recast: The new cord cutting DVR explained". Trusted Reviews. 2018-09-24. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
  13. ^ a b c d e "The Amazon Fire TV Stick 2's codename is Tank". AFTVNews.
  14. ^ "Amazon's Fire TV Piles Into the Living Room". Businessweek. 2014-04-02. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  15. ^ James, Dave. "Amazon Fire TV review". techradar. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  16. ^ a b c d "Device Specifications for Fire TV". developer.amazon.com. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  17. ^ "Amazon's Fire TV Stick gets a much better remote". TechHive. 2019-01-15. Retrieved 2019-04-20.
  18. ^ Patel, Nilay (2017-10-24). "Amazon Fire TV (2017) review: everything but the content". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-04-20.
  19. ^ Roettgers, Janko (2018-10-03). "Amazon Introduces New Fire TV Stick 4K, Alexa Voice Remote". Variety. Retrieved 2019-04-21.
  20. ^ Seifert, Dan (2018-06-21). "Amazon Fire TV Cube review: a smarter streaming box". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-04-20.
  21. ^ Haselton, Todd (21 June 2018). "The Amazon Fire TV Cube is so good I want one for every TV in my house". CNBC. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  22. ^ "Amazon Fire TV Cube specs, UK release date, price and more". Pocket-lint. 2018-06-22. Retrieved 2018-07-16.
  23. ^ "How Amazon's Fire TV Stick Compares to Other Streaming Dongles - WIRED". WIRED.
  24. ^ Fire TV Stick - Official Site. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  25. ^ Estrada, Maren (2016-10-17). "Amazon's next-gen Fire TV Stick with Alexa is only $40, and it launches this week". BGR. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
  26. ^ All-New Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote | Streaming Media Player.
  27. ^ "Amazon's Fire TV Stick gets a much better remote". TechHive. 2019-01-15. Retrieved 2019-04-20.
  28. ^ "The Fire TV Stick 4K fixes Amazon's remote problem". techhive.com. 2018-10-03. Retrieved 2018-10-06.
  29. ^ "Amazon's latest Fire TV Stick offers 4K for $50". Engadget. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  30. ^ "Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K review: This is the media streamer to beat". TechHive. October 31, 2018. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
  31. ^ Amazon releases their Silk Web Browser for the Amazon Fire TV - AFTV News, 28 November 2017
  32. ^ Firefox is now available on Amazon’s Fire TV, and it can access YouTube - Nick Statt, The Verge, 20 December 2017
  33. ^ "Amazon Announces New Features for Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick". Amazon. 2015-03-24. Retrieved 2015-05-27.
  34. ^ "Amazon Fire TV Stick Review – A Cord Cutting Solution? - Frugal Rules". Frugal Rules. 2017-06-21. Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  35. ^ a b "Amazon Fire TV Device Software Updates". Amazon. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
  36. ^ "COMPARATIVE: Mediatek MT8695 Vs all current SoC". AndroidPCtv. 2018-12-12. Retrieved 2019-01-26.
  37. ^ "COMPARATIVE: Mediatek MT8695 Vs all current SoC". AndroidPCtv. 2018-12-12. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  38. ^ http://www.aftvnews.com/physical-overview-and-comparison-of-the-amazon-fire-tv-stick-4k-and-new-alexa-voice-remote/fire-tv-stick-4k-power-adapter/
  39. ^ Seifert, Dan (2014-04-04). "Amazon Fire TV review". The Verge. Retrieved 2014-04-21.
  40. ^ "Review: The Amazon Fire TV Is Kind Of A Mess – ReadWrite".
  41. ^ Liu, Andy. "Review: Amazon's Fire TV sets a new bar for streaming boxes". GeekWire. Retrieved 2014-04-21.
  42. ^ Amazon Fire TV misses the same marks as Ouya, other media boxes. Ars Technica. Retrieved 1 July 2014.

External links[edit]

Official website