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Today Amazon announced its latest piece of hardware, the Amazon Fire TV . It's a $99 set-top box that competes with the likes of Apple TV and Roku. The new device offers 1080p video along with Dolby Digital Plus surround sound from a large number of sources including Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, and more.

 



Amazon's Fire TV competes with Roku 3 and Apple TV at the $99 price point 

 

In addition to streaming video, Fire TV also supports video games. There is even a dedicated controller—the $40 Fire Game Controller. Fire TV launched with over 100 games, and Amazon promises that thousands more will be available shortly.

 

With its $99 price, the new box costs the same as a Roku 3 or Apple TV, and Amazon says the Fire TV has better specs and more features than the competition. That's true for the hardware—Fire TV features 2 GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage, a quad-core processor, a USB port, voice search, and an optical-audio output with Dolby Digital Plus.

 



Amazon's Fire TV offers the most features at the $99 price point when compared to Roku 3 and Apple TV

 

The Fire TV is available immediately. Amazon says that it outperforms the competition's offerings and that it's a panacea for budget-conscious gamers. Is that enough to convince you to spend $99 on yet another set-top box? I know I'm curious.

 



 

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No HBOGO? Will this allow sideloading of whatever I want or be a full locked down walled garden version of Android?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cryofax  /t/1525574/ready-for-prime-time-amazon-fire-tv/0_50#post_24561690


No HBOGO? Will this allow sideloading of whatever I want or be a full locked down walled garden version of Android?

Yes, you can sideload.

https://developer.amazon.com/sdk/asb/app-install.html


Tools to root it completely are probably already available.


Even if it doesn't do everything out of the box with stock software, it's going to be the most hackable streamer/game console ever made.
 

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It seems to be mostly redundant to the Roku, although gaming might be interesting for casual gaming. I'm glad they put an Ethernet port on there, that's the biggest failing of the Chromecast... if your 2.4ghz band is a mess, good luck getting good connectivity to the thing...
 

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Is it safe to assume that any app/channel that works with the Chromecast will work with this? Or will they have to develope two versions of the same app?
 

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Seems like a good device but this may be a deal breaker for me. I try to use devices I can control with my harmony.
Quote:
Originally Posted by primetimeguy  /t/1525574/ready-for-prime-time-amazon-fire-tv#post_24562134


nope
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyoAJB  /t/1525574/ready-for-prime-time-amazon-fire-tv#post_24562144


Is it safe to assume that any app/channel that works with the Chromecast will work with this? Or will they have to develope two versions of the same app?
 

I'm pretty sure chromecast doesn't run full blown android, so no. But just about anything available already on android should be an easy port, especially anything running on kindle fire. I expect the software library will grow exponentially over the next week or two.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMP  /t/1525574/ready-for-prime-time-amazon-fire-tv#post_24562622


Just ordered one to try out. Can anyone tell if it lets you stream video from your PC or network (NAS)?
Yes, via the Plex app.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lament  /t/1525574/ready-for-prime-time-amazon-fire-tv#post_24562908


Yes, via the Plex app.

Does that include downloaded amazon video files or do you have to use their stupid Unbox player still?
 

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Nice specs and features but just one last touch xbmc
.
 

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The question is will this stream Amazon better than a 50 dollar Roku 2. Also Dolby Digital Plus can't be sent over an optical connection but the optical connection has uses say for music streaming so you don't have to have the TV on all the time, which is why Apple TV's have them. Why Roku didn't add an optical out is a mystery.

Another thing that makes me wonder is lack of DLNA support. of this device. If this device was 50 dollars they have a winner at 99 dollars not so much so. Now if they has a deal with Prime and and a discounted box bundle that would change things.
 

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This unit looks like a decent step for Amazon into the likes of Roku and ATV3 etc. For me it is a no go for some very simple reasons -


Does not support DTS or for that matter any HD audio. Between my TV, TiVo and Blu Ray player, I pretty much have a full line of net services such as Amazon Prime, Netflix etc. I don't fancy bluetooth remotes as I prefer the traditional IR or RF set ups.


I do how ever look forward to some intelligent reviews on this new item with a contrast and compare to devices already in the market (again Roku, Chromecast and ATV etc.). Amazon should consider unloading these at half price for those that have Amazon Prime to keep them in the Amazon eco system (just strategic marketing practice).
 

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I recently upgraded my 2 Rokus to Roku 3 and love them, but I still ordered a Fire TV to try it out.
 

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The one missing feature that is most likely to push me away from this and toward the Roku 3 is the lack of the headphone jack on the remote control like the Roku 3 remote has. I've been looking for a device for my bedroom TV and being able to easily plug in headphones without cables or add on devices would be very welcome.
 
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