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[Engadget] Amazon announces Fire TV, an Android-powered streaming set-top box

post #1 of 75
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Amazon Fire TV It's available right now!

Amazon Fire TV Controller

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Quote:
We've been waiting for it for quite sometime, but now Amazon is finally ready to make its play for the living room. Fire TV is not a barebones device like the Chromecast, it's a powerful Android-driven platform with ties to the broader Amazon ecosystem. Inside the slim black plastic box is a quad-core CPU with a full 2GB of RAM -- that makes it more akin to a high-end smartphone than your typical streaming device. And its incredibly slim, shorter than a dime,with barely enough clearance for the small selection of ports around back, which includes the standard HDMI as well as optical audio and Ethernet.

The interface is incredibly image heavy. Browsing through the Amazon video store is basically just scrolling through an endless barrage of movie posters presented in a moving 3D bar. And, at least during the demo, the hardware churned through the slick UI with nary a hiccup in sight. But far more impressive was how quick videos were to load. Pressing play on almost any video instantaneously launched the movie or show. And we mean instantaneously. There was no pause, lag or loading screen -- it's impressive to say the least.
Quote:
Developing...

And, true to the company's word, this is not a closed ecosystem. It's powered by Android and HTML, which should make porting apps extremely simple. The device will launch with access to Hulu and Prime (obviously) but other partners will be added over time, Including Netflix, Plex, and NBA Gametime, if the demo screens are to be believed. It can pull in content from other Amazon services as well. If you've got photos on your Amazon Cloud Drive, you can beam them to your TV and look at them either as a scrolling screensaver mosaic or as a slideshow.

You can obviously control the Fire TV with the buttons on your remote, but you can also use voice control. Inside the remote is a microphone which captures your searches, sends them to the Amazon cloud, deciphers them and tells the Fire TV what to pull up. And it does all of this incredibly quickly, at least as fast as Google Now. Amazon is also bringing X-Ray to the platform. If you've got an Amazon tablet you can pull up additional info about characters, actors, and the soundtrack while you're watching your favorite movies or TV shows. While you've been able to do that for sometime, it's now a truly second screen experience. X-Ray for music is also accessible on FireTV, so you can see the lyrics to whatever track you're listening too.

Basically if it's a feature of the Fire OS, it's coming to the TV box. Even Free Time, the kid-friendly version of the software that lets parents control what their children can watch, when and for how long.

source

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Edited by xzamples - 4/2/14 at 5:53pm
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post #2 of 75
They should get more TV shows and more recent episodes if they want this to succeed. Amazon Prime TV is a joke.
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post #3 of 75
If it was free with my Amazon Prime membership, it would be great rolleyes.gif
Will keep using my ol C2D laptop as a HTPC for streaming and movies, as I was for the last 3 years.
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post #4 of 75
Specifications are very impressive for a $99 device.
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post #5 of 75
Wow I might get this for my mother so she could watch netflix and play her favorite android games :]
post #6 of 75
In for one thumb.gif.
post #7 of 75
Not bad Amazon. I'm interested.
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post #8 of 75
Quote:
But far more impressive was how quick videos were to load. Pressing play on almost any video instantaneously launched the movie or show. And we mean instantaneously. There was no pause, lag or loading screen -- it's impressive to say the least.

Now if they can bring this level of improvement to their web-based prime player I'd be impressed.
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post #9 of 75
Maybe for my next tv, my current one has pretty much all the same things baked in.

If this had storage and allowed you to download titles from Amazon Instant Video (like my HTPC) then this would be much more interesting...
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post #10 of 75
I might just give my Roku to a family member and replace it with this.
While they fundamentally do the same thing it has a lot more potential and better hardware specs.

Also why I'm a PC gamer, sometimes something easy to kick back and play on the TV would be nice....without going all out on console gaming.


Edit:
Should note on glaring con that may hold me back. Lack of Google Play store....it would mean re-purchasing some apps on Amazon's fabulous app store.
Edited by Dnic41 - 4/2/14 at 9:45am
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