The digital media player is dominated by the likes of Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku etc. But hey, what’s the bad thing in having another alternative. Guess Amazon realized it as well, and decided to hop in as well.
Say hello to Amazon’s Fire TV, a set top box cum digital media player that promises to offer a lot more than the competition. The Fire TV has been announced just a few hours ago. Let’s do a little digging and see what aces the E-commerce giant’s take on the digital media player has got up its sleeve.
What is Amazon Fire TV?
Amazon Fire TV is basically a simple digital set top box cum digital media player that connects via High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) to your High Definition TV (HDTV). The Fire TV is powered by a Quad Core Processor, and lets you connect to a large number of subscription based media delivery services (Netflix, Hulu etc.) It retails for $99 at Amazon’s own website (though overseas prices would be a little bit more). The device also doubles up as a game console of sorts, so that you will still have something to do even if can’t find anything interesting from an already massive and ever increasing library of digital media (though, you need to buy a separate game controller to explore complete library of games).
This device is shipping now and you can order it today on Amazon’s website.
Primary Technical Features of Amazon Fire TV
- Runs Android (same one as Kindle runs).
- Powered by a Quad Core Qualcomm CPU, coupled with 2 Gigs of RAM
- Myriad array of connectivity options, including Dual-Band Wi-Fi, Optic Link, Ethernet 10/100 and of course, HDMI (with support for both 720p and 1080p content)
- Compatible with the devices of almost every major HDTV manufacturer out there.
- All variations of audio output supported (2 channel stereo, 5.1 channel surround etc.).
Content Related/Software Features of Amazon Fire TV
- Compatible with all major streaming services including, but not limited to Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, HuluPlus, Pandora, Crackle, VEVO etc. Oddly though, HBO Go is missing from the list.
- Capability to play over 100 (as per Amazon) games, with the dedicated game controller (sold separately). Some of the games can be played without Game controller as well.
- Voice search and Parental Controls (coming soon).
- Support for all major audio/video/image formats.
- Pre-configured with Amazon account for immediate personalized recommendations.
- It also comes with a feature to mirror content of your tablet to your TV. So, if you have some nice photos and videos on your tablet that you want to quickly show to everyone in the room, this is a good option for that. In addition to that, it also lets you use your tablet as second screen. So, while movie is playing on the TV, you can see extra info about that on tablet.
For your pleasure, here is a funny TV commercial for Amazon Fire TV that Amazon will be airing shortly:
Amazon Fire TV is entering a market already filled with quite a bunch of competitive players, with each of them having something unique. For example, the $35 plug and play Chromecast by Google beats it in the pricing department by retailing at less than half the price of the Fire TV. However, Amazon’s massive online digital content library and features like free cloud backup might just turn the ball in the Fire TV’s corner. How much share of the digital content services market Amazon Fire TV eventually manages to grab for itself, is something that remains to be seen.
What do you think about Amazon Fire TV? Do you think it possesses the capability to topple the established players off their thrones, or should I say, TV tables and racks? Do let me know in the comments below.