Amazon Fire TV

Ships today for $99, gaming controller optional

If you haven't been able to decide yet between the myriad options for streaming boxes, Amazon has yet another new option for you: Fire TV. The new box, announced today, does TV and movies, music, and gaming. And not just from Amazon's own sources — most of the familiar third-party streaming sources that you know and love are included too. The Fire TV box is shipping today for $99.

Fire TV runs on Amazon's custom Android-based OS. Inside you'll find a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM (which Amazon says makes it three times as powerful as Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku), supports the requisite 1080p video output, and can do Dolby Digital Surround Sound over HDMI or optical audio out.

Like the dedicated set-top streamers, Fire TV includes a number of built-in apps. In addition to the obvious deep Amazon integration, Fire TV buyers will be able to stream Netflix, Hulu Plus, iHeartRadio, YouTube, Vimeo, NBA, MLN, Watch ESPN, Showtime, WWE, and more. Amazon's WhisperSync service will sync your position across devices, just like the current Kindle Fire service. The WhisperSync position data is also used to pre-cache your shows so you can start watching instantly without having to wait for the stream to buffer.

What's really cool is the remote. It's a basic seven-button + direction pad affair, connecting to the Fire TV via Bluetooth. But it also includes a microphone for voice controls so you won't have to yell at your TV across the living room to search for things by voice.

Like the Kindle Fire tablets, Fire TV leverages IMDB for Amazon's X-Ray feature. Music streaming will come next month, including Pandora, iHeart Radio, TuneIn Radio, and music that you've purchased from Amazon. X-Ray works with music as well, so as the song plays you can read the lyrics (that can be quite useful these days). There's also a FreeTime zone with a kid-friendly interface (not unlike what they've already done for the Kindle Fire tablets) and parent-customizable whitelisting, so television babysitting can be made even easier, especially so with all of the kids content that Amazon has acquired the rights to as of late.

And there is gaming. Amazon says they aren't looking to take on consoles with Fire TV, but instead people who don't yet have consoles. The Fire TV will use the game controller that was leaked a few weeks ago (will be available separately for $39.99 and includes 1000 Amazon Coins) and support thousands of games, including titles from Ubisoft, Gameloft, Disney, Double Fine, EA, and Sega. Amazon Game Studios will also be creating their own games for Fire TV. The average price of games will be about $1.85, with more than 1,000 free-to-play games also available.

Source: The Verge, Amazon

Press release:

Introducing Amazon Fire TV: The Easiest Way to Watch Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, and More on Your Big-Screen TV

**Powerful performance with 3x the processing power, 4x the memory, dedicated GPU, and dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi

Say it, watch it—use voice search to instantly find movies, TV shows, and more

New ASAP feature predicts which movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and prepares them for playback before you even hit play

Huge, open ecosystem of entertainment—choose from over 200,000 movies and TV episodes

Plus, Fire TV comes with access to games from EA, Disney, Gameloft, Mojang, 2K, Amazon Game Studios, and more**

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr. 2, 2014-- (NASDAQ:AMZN)—Kindle revolutionized reading by making it possible to think of a book and be reading it in less than 60 seconds. Kindle Fire put the world’s largest selection of movies, TV shows, songs, apps, games, books, audiobooks, and magazines in the palm of your hand. In each case, Amazon integrates the hardware, software, and the content into an easy-to-use, seamless, end-to-end service for customers. Today, Amazon is excited to unveil its newest innovation—Fire TV, a tiny box that plugs into your HDTV for easy and instant access to Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, SHOWTIME, low-cost video rentals, and much more. Fire TV also brings photos, music, and games to the living room. Meet Amazon Fire TV at www.amazon.com/Fire TV.

“Tiny box, huge specs, tons of content, incredible price—people are going to love Fire TV,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “Voice search that actually works means no more typing on an alphabet grid. Our exclusive new ASAP feature predicts the shows you’ll want to watch and gets them ready to stream instantly. And our open approach gives you not just Amazon Instant Video and Prime Instant Video, but also Netflix, Hulu Plus, and more. On Fire TV you can watch Alpha House and House of Cards.”

Amazon Fire TV features:

  • Voice search that actually works—simply speak the name of a movie, TV show, actor, director, or genre into the remote, and you’re done. No more hunting and pecking in an alphabet grid.
  • All the content—instant access to Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, YouTube, and more, plus the largest selection of videos for rent and purchase—over 200,000 movies and TV episodes from Amazon Instant Video. Plus, listen to music with Amazon MP3, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more.
  • Powerful performance in a tiny form factor—quad-core processor with over 3x the processing power of Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku 3, a dedicated GPU, plus 4x the memory of Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku 3 for exceptional speed and fluidity. Delivers stunning 1080p HD video and immersive Dolby Digital Plus surround sound. All of this comes in an incredibly small package—Fire TV is 0.7” thin and comes with a simple and sleek remote control with a built-in microphone.
  • Simple and easy to use—arrives pre-registered so you can start watching immediately out of the box.
  • An exclusive new feature called ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) predicts which movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and buffers them for playback before you even hit play—instant start.
  • High-quality, low-cost gaming—games like Minecraft, Monsters University, The Game of Life, The Walking Dead, NBA2K14, Asphalt 8, Riptide GP2, Despicable Me: Minion Rush, and more. The average price of paid games on Fire TV is $1.85. Play using your Fire TV remote, the Fire TV app for smartphones and tablets, or the optional Fire game controller.
  • Amazon FreeTime revolutionizes parental controls—parents can choose what their kids see and set time limits for types of content and times of day—no more negotiating for one more show before bedtime. Customers who subscribe to FreeTime Unlimited—Amazon’s all-you-can-eat content subscription designed for kids ages 3 to 8—will get unlimited access to thousands of movies and TV shows.
  • X-Ray for movies, TV shows, and music—see information about cast and crew, trivia, goofs, and synchronized lyrics.
  • See all of your photos and personal videos come alive on your big-screen TV—seamless integration with Amazon’s Cloud Drive.

Simple and Easy to Use, with Powerful Performance

Powerful Quad-Core Processor and Graphics Engine

Fire TV features a world-class quad-core processor with 3x the processing power of Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku 3, and a dedicated Adreno 320 graphics engine that processes 57 billion floating point instructions per second, for lightning-fast graphics and excellent fluidity. Fire TV comes with 2GB of memory, 4x the memory of Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku 3, so content loads faster and games run smoother.

Streams in High Definition 1080p with Dolby Digital Plus Surround Sound

With dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi, Fire TV streams in up to full-HD 1080p and supports HDMI and optical audio-out, enabling up to 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus surround sound.

Simple and Easy to Use

Fire TV comes automatically pre-registered so you can immediately get started. No complicated set-up, no hassle—just plug it in and start watching. All of your previously purchased movies and TV shows from Amazon, as well as personalized recommendations and your Watchlist, will be there waiting for you when you turn on Fire TV.

Designed to Disappear

Fire TV is designed to disappear. It is 0.7” thin, so it is easy to hide, and is silent even when running the most demanding applications.

Fire TV Remote

Fire TV’s remote is small, simple, and intuitive, with familiar controls. Search, browse, play, pause, and add titles to your Watchlist with ease. The Fire TV remote uses Bluetooth so there is no “line of sight” required, which means no reaching or struggling to aim your signal at a tiny target—store your Fire TV in a cabinet or behind the TV.

Voice Search that Actually Works

Gone are the days of searching for a movie or TV show by left-left-down-right-ing through an on-screen alphabet grid using your remote. Simply speak the name of a movie, TV show, actor, director, genre, app, or game into the remote, and the results will appear instantly. Voice search leverages the search data and expertise of Amazon.com and IMDb, and is optimized to understand Amazon’s video, app, and game catalog.

The Best Video Experience

Movies and TV Shows from Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, and More

Fire TV comes with instant access to all of the most popular subscription video services, including Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, VEVO, SHOWTIME, Crackle, YouTube, and more, with additional services like WWE Network, MLB.TV, WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH ABC, and Twitch coming soon.

Prime Instant Video, with Exclusives and Original Shows

Fire TV is seamlessly integrated with Prime Instant Video, Amazon’s subscription streaming service. With tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes, Prime Instant Video is the exclusive premium subscription streaming home for thousands of hours of video, including shows like Downton Abbey, The Americans, Workaholics, Justified, 24, Hannibal, Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob, and more. Prime Instant Video also includes shows from Amazon Studios, the original TV production arm of Amazon, such as Alpha House from Pulitzer-Prize winner Garry Trudeau and starring John Goodman, which debuted last year and quickly became the most watched show on Amazon since its release. Alpha House is now in production for its second season, and Amazon recently greenlighted six new shows, including The After, Bosch, Mozart in the Jungle, and Transparent, which will be available starting later this year.

The Largest Selection of Videos for Rent or Purchase

Rent or purchase over 200,000 movies and TV episodes from Amazon Instant Video, which has the world’s largest selection of videos to rent or buy, including new releases and blockbusters. Amazon is the only nationwide video service that offers rental and purchase, as well as a subscription streaming service, so you can find everything you want in one place—catch up on past seasons of popular TV shows with Prime Instant Video before purchasing the most recent episode of the show as it’s released.

Find the Lowest Price—Even if it’s Not from Amazon

Just like on Amazon.com, Fire TV integrates viewing options on a single page so you can always choose the lowest price. This is available starting with Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and Prime Instant Video, and will expand to other content providers so you’ll see all of your options in one place.

ASAP

You shouldn’t have to wait 10 seconds for a video to buffer after you press “Play”—it should start immediately. Based on your Watchlist and recommendations, the new ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) feature predicts which movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and prepares them for playback before you even hit play. This feature is smart—it is personalized based on your viewing habits and adapts as those habits change. The caching predictions get better over time, so ASAP will continuously improve as you use Fire TV.

Fling TV Shows and Movies with Second Screen

Fling Amazon TV shows and movies from your phone or tablet to your Fire TV using Second Screen. This turns your TV into the primary screen and frees up your phone or tablet to provide playback controls, a customized display for X-Ray, or simply a place to email, browse the web, and more, while you watch a movie. Second Screen is available on Kindle Fire HDX and will be available later this year from your iPhone or iPad. You can also wirelessly mirror your tablet display to your Fire TV with Kindle Fire, as well as other Miracast-enabled phones or tablets starting later this year. Fire TV supports standards like DIAL, so app developers can enable multi-screen experiences based on open technologies.

X-Ray for Movies and TV Shows, Powered by IMDb

Using Second Screen on your Fire HDX and later this year on your iPhone or iPad, you can see X-Ray information as your movie or TV show plays on Fire TV. With X-Ray you can see information about cast and crew, the names of songs as they play, as well as a list of all music in the movie or TV show, trivia items in context with the action on the screen, and character backstories so you can easily remind yourself of the character’s history. X-Ray is exclusive to Amazon and is powered by IMDb.

Amazon FreeTime—Revolutionary Parental Controls

Now you don’t have to worry about what your kids are watching on the TV—with FreeTime, a parent creates profiles for each child and selects the content they can see. Parents can create time limits based on type of content or time of day. When in FreeTime, the background color and fonts change to a kid-friendly design. Kids only see titles that have been selected by their parents for them, and those who can’t yet read can navigate visually to content based on favorite characters or topics—for example “Dora the Explorer,” “Princesses,” or “Thomas and Friends.” Parents who have already set up profiles and approved content on Kindle Fire tablets will find the settings are automatically synchronized on Fire TV, making it simple and seamless to get started.

Customers who subscribe to FreeTime Unlimited—Amazon’s all-you-can-eat content subscription designed just for kids ages 3 to 8—will get unlimited access to thousands of movies and TV shows. FreeTime Unlimited is available for Prime members to enjoy for a monthly price of $2.99 per child or $6.99 per family. Customers who are not yet Prime members can subscribe to FreeTime Unlimited for a monthly price of $4.99 per child or $9.99 per family. Amazon FreeTime and FreeTime Unlimited will be available on Fire TV starting next month.

Your Photos on the Big Screen

Fire TV makes it easy to view your photos and personal videos on your TV. You can set up and play slide shows, find specific photos, and choose your favorite album for the screen-saver on Fire TV. Photos or videos you take on your phone or tablet can be automatically uploaded to Amazon Cloud Drive, so they appear on your Fire TV within seconds.

Music in Your Living Room

Music from Pandora, Amazon MP3, iHeartRadio, and More

With Fire TV, you can listen to music from popular streaming services like Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn, and watch music videos from VEVO. Starting next month, you can also listen to your full collection of music through Amazon Cloud Player. Simply upload your music or purchase from Amazon and it will be stored automatically in your Cloud Player and available on Fire TV as well as on your phone or tablet.

X-Ray for Music

Lyrics display and scroll line-by-line automatically as the song plays, so you can follow along with songs. X-Ray for Music will be available starting next month.

Bonus—Great Games at Low Prices

Games from Top Developers

Amazon worked with game developers like EA, Disney, Gameloft, Ubisoft, Telltale, Mojang, 2K, and Sega to bring their games to Fire TV. Games available starting today include customer favorites like Minecraft, Monsters University, The Game of Life, The Walking Dead, NBA2K14, Asphalt 8, Riptide GP2, Despicable Me: Minion Rush, and more. Over 100 games are available starting today and optimized for Fire TV, with thousands of additional games coming next month with the Fire TV app, which brings controls for touch-enabled games. These are great games for such a small box and at such surprisingly low prices—the average price of paid games is $1.85.

Fire TV also comes with access to Sev Zero, a new game built exclusively for Fire TV by Amazon Game Studios. Sev Zero is $6.99 and is available for free when you purchase the Fire game controller. Learn more: www.amazon.com/pr/SevZero.

Fire TV runs the latest version of Fire OS “Mojito,” which is based on Android, so it’s simple for developers to port their services and games over to Fire TV.

Choose How to Play—Remote, Game Controller, or App

In addition to using the Fire TV remote and the Fire TV app available starting next month, you can also choose the Amazon Fire game controller, which enables more high-intensity and complex gaming with dual analog sticks and a complete assortment of controls. Simple and comfortable to use for hours, the Fire game controller pairs with Fire TV via Bluetooth. The Fire game controller also intelligently manages power by automatically going to sleep when not in use, and waking at a touch of a button, so you get up to 55 hours of gaming on a pair of AA batteries. You can pair multiple game controllers with a Fire TV so the whole family can play together in the same room. The integrated GameCircle button gives you instant access to leaderboards, achievements and friends with a simple touch of a button from any GameCircle enabled game. The Fire game controller can also be used as a remote, with fast forward, rewind, play and pause, so you can control all your movies and music on Fire TV. The Fire game controller is available today for $39.99, and comes with a free copy of Sev Zero and 1,000 Amazon Coins (a $10 value) for purchasing games.

The Features You Expect from Amazon

Fire TV is not a gadget—it’s a seamlessly integrated service that brings together the features customers expect from Amazon, including:

  • Whispersync—Amazon’s Whispersync technology saves and synchronizes your video and music library across all of your devices. Start watching a movie on your Kindle Fire or iPhone, and when you get home, pick up where you left off on your Fire TV. For games that support Whispersync, your place in the game will also sync across devices so you can always pick up where you left off.
  • Watch on over 300 devices—When you buy a movie or TV show on Amazon, you can watch it on over 300 devices.
  • Worry-Free Archive—Automatically backs up your Amazon digital content in the cloud so you never need to worry about losing your collection.
  • Top-Rated, World-Class Customer Service—When a customer shops on Amazon, buys a Fire TV, or buys digital content from Amazon, they know that they are also getting Amazon’s world class customer service. Customers with a Kindle Fire HDX can also use the Mayday button to receive free, live, on-device tech support.
  • Free Month of Amazon Prime—Amazon continues to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to bring Prime members new movies, TV shows, and books to enjoy at no additional cost. Prime members enjoy unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes with Prime Instant Video. Eligible customers get a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime when they purchase Fire TV.

Pricing & Availability

Fire TV is available starting today for just $99—order at www.amazon.com/Fire TV.

Eligible customers get a free 30-day trial of Netflix and Amazon Prime when they purchase Fire TV.

 

Reader comments

Amazon announces Fire TV, yet another streaming box

113 Comments

I am looking at the live stream and this is very compelling especially if you are an amazon prime member and live in Amazon, chromecast wins on flexibility but this wins hands down on unifying that experience. All the right apps are there, including sports as well as a strong focus on kids. If I was Apple though I would be worried as this seems to be a strong competitor to the Apple TV.

i think google should be a little nervous too with a relatively open android experience o this vs the chrome cast

Exactly. At $50 I would've had one ordered already, I'll pass at $75+...especially if I have to buy an extra controller and sh*t for the total experience.

Google needs an Android box or Android stick that allows me to do everything I can do with my Tablet or phone on my TV with a controller and keyboard. Third party android sticks of the past sucked pretty bad.

I would get the amazon box if there is a way to sideload Google play as I am already invested in the play market. Would be cool if the amazon box could sync to your phone too.

"but this wins hands down on unifying that experience."

Simply not true, the Chromecast is a far superior way of controlling media. Using Chromecast, me and my wife can send media to any of our TVs in the house with our phones, our laptops or any of our tablets. Google have provided a single simple API that allows ANY android app to use the Chromecast as a second display. This is ultimate unification. Using a remote control to control a device is so yesterday - I really don't want to have to find the remote to consume media, I'd rather just use the smartphone that I use to do everything else. A decent smart phone is a far superior controlling device.

Unifying the streaming experience means I don't have to go searching elsewhere for the content I want, not having to install different apps, that's why I said for people who live in Amazon in unifies the experience, my movies are here, my music, my pictures. I simply say what show or actor I want to see and it finds it. With the Chromecast you still have to know if the content you want is on HBO or Google Play or Netflix and open that app, then search and then stream. The beauty of the chromecast is that you can customise your experience for you as you and your wife have done and she may have different apps installed than you but Amazon's purpose is to not let you have to do that. Its a set top box after all, the chromecast is a streaming stick. And I am not saying that one is better than the other I don't know why people believe with every new device its a zero sum game and they have to proclaim their device is better than the other one. For value the chromecast is fantastic (I have two and a roku streaming stick) But Amazon is aiming much higher and they want you living and breathing Amazon, from their services to their devices. Maybe in the future they might even let you shop the Amazon website right from the device?

The remote controlled interface on your TV will never match the optimized touch interface on a phone or a tablet.

While I can appreciate your opinion, I think you need to realize that this only really "unifies" your experience, if your experience is pretty limited to begin with. No offence is intended with that statement, so hopefully you don't take it that way.

IMO, Chromecast solved several of the the key problems with devices like this:

1) I can only use services which the box's created decided to include. That list of streaming pretty light. There are a number of services which I have gotten used to using on my Chromecast which are an absolute deal-breaker for something like this now. Not to mention, if a new service starts up, I have to wait for an update to the set-top box's firmware before I can use that service. This could even take up to a year.

2) On-screen menus *suck*. Frankly, there's a reason that less than half of people with smart TV's actually have their TV connected to the internet. These menus are always aggravating when it comes time try and search for content.

Again, if you're intrigued by the box, then I encourage you to get one. My opinion doesn't mean that you shouldn't do what you want. But I think we've seen that there can be a better way that these set-top boxes. I want to see companies try something really different.

Or, better yet, just add Chromecast support to your app :)

First off I would not buy this device for many reasons the main one being I live outside of the US even though I have a Prime account. With my setup I can make some of the features work but I couldn't be bothered to serve another overlord after Google:)
My original point still stands when I said if you live in Amazon this might work for you. Many people who visit this site are not in that demographic and like me prefer the flexibility of the chromecast. I still appreciate what Amazon is doing and I know people who would be happy with this box. To get around the on -screen menus Amazon is trying voice search we will have to wait to see how that works out. While intrigued with the device I agree I think Amazon didn't go far enough, yep maybe they could have added chromecast support :)

Too bad the Chromecast only supports a few codecs so you will be very limited on which media you can actually play. Or you will have to introduce a middle man (read a server) doing the transcoding. What? I have no idea what I am talking about? Well, I am sitting here right now trying to implement a "Chromecast button" in an app and realizing all the limitations.

You dont need to by a controller you can play games directly from your phone and use it as the controller. There are a few out now and more coming down the line. No additional hardware needed not to mentio it works with iPhone as well.

You know with logic like that no one should have ever developed a car different from Ford back in the day. I think the shoe industry would be pretty boring and with only one TV on the market I think there would be one reeeeeaaaaly rich company out there. The point is competition man.... I've seen people say stuff like that before and it boggled my mind then. What you're saying is when one company makes something no one else should ever differentiate and try to compete, which is just silly. I have a Chromecast and love it to death, but this is going to be so much more. Eventually Google or Samsung or someone will be competing right along with them. And I don't think it's going to take long either!

No...different from a Roku, and a Smart TV and Apple TV and the streaming I can do with my Blu-Ray player and the other 100 set-top streaming solutions.

Well considering it's based on android and will be able to use the apps from the Amazon app store, there are plenty of opportunities for all kinds of things( games and such ). And the differentiating I was speaking of was against the Chromecast more specifically. And again... they see a market, a place to have their content used, and they see how many Kindle Fires they've sold. They've developed their own ecosystem of sorts and they will sell them.... lots of them. And guess what, they'll make lots and lots of money. Funny enough you're hearing all this from someone that doesn't even own an Fire product. It's just logic.... they're making the same attempt as many other companies out there, and that's to make themselves relevant.

Chromecast is the real innovator as it's changing how we are going to stream in the future. It won't be dedicated boxes. Amazon is just joining a long line of folks that offer a streaming box. They may sell a lot and make money. That's beside the point. They aren't innovating. They are just hoping their dominant market position in content will allow them to muscle out the other competitors such as Roku. The Chromecast meanwhile is in a class by itself with its low price and new streaming paradigm.

I'm an Amazon Prime member. I already have the ability to stream Amazon Prime videos with my XBox 360, my Samsung Smart TV and my Panasonic Blu-Ray player. I'm not even counting my daughter's Roku 2 which is in her room. My TiVo also does Amazon Instant but doesn't support Prime streaming. This new box does nothing for me. I'm not interested in adding more boxes to my already cluttered component shelves. Meanwhile, the Chromecast just sits there connected directly to one of my HDMI ports, always on, just waiting to receive commands from my Nexus 4 or Nexus 7, which offer far superior interfaces than any remote control.

The Amazon offering seems too little, too late. They should have innovated instead of just assuming their size and clout will win the day. When they came out with the Kindle and there were no real competitors it made sense. However, the streaming box market is already mature with at least one vendor, Roku, which has fantastic retail penetration.

I couldn't agree more. Chromecast is a game changer. I couldn't imagine going back to using a clunky old remote control to control my media.

I think you read way too deep into my comment. Chrome cast has competitors and I even looked into trying them out as well. My question isn't about competition. It's about streaming. I like the chrome cast because it's small and I do everything off my phone. No extra remote. With allcast I can download movies on my phone and they will play as well. And the best part. 35 dollars.

Now I'm not undermining people who want this device. I just want someone to sell me on why I would want this thing instead of just buying another ChromeCast

Posted via Android Central App

I'm not sure I want one of these, but here are some reasons that my household doesn't use our Chromecast that much.
There is no dedicated remote, except for a phone. I have several issues with that - 1) Battery life on the phone, 2) 3 kids who aren't old enough for a phone/device, but can sure use a stand-alone remote, but I don't want my phone hijacked the entire time they are watching stuff, 3) my phone is a company phone, so it locks with pin after 5 minutes, which means I constantly have to unlock it just to pause, rewind, etc. 4) when I'm not home, the kids can't watch anything as I have the phone.
I still use the Chromecast for my personal use, but it won't ever replace the need/desire for a stand-alone remote, at least until my kids get old enough to warrant having their own devices.
That's just my own personal viewpoint.

While you've got some valid points about them not being able to use the Chromecast when you're not home and such, I did want to point out one thing that I think you might misunderstand:

You should see no measurable increase in battery discharge speed on your phone as a result of using your Chromecast.

As for the rest, buy a Nexus 7 ;)

This thing will support many services that Chromecast doesn't, including MLB.TV and Amazon Prime. Plus it has a real remote :P

That's just the thing, though. Amazon won't support Chromecast because they would rather push this device. I don't want the walled-garden type of experience. That's why I have Android in the first place. There are a *ton* of services that Chromecast supports that this thing likely never will.

One of the *key* reasons Netflix has been so massively successul is that they realized early on that they needed to support every device possible.

I choose what services I use based on what hardware they support. Not the other way around.

'That's just the thing, though. Amazon won't support Chromecast because they would rather push this device.'

Then why are they on iOS, and practically every other piece of hardware (including Google TV), but not Android? Hell, even the Wii U has an Amazon app. Unfortunately, I don't own any of those other devices.

I definitely see the point. Its for those who are invested in the amazon ecosystem. If you own a kindle fire and have tons of movies and other media from the amazon store then this is a better option than the Chromecast.

Posted via Nexus 7 Razor Rooted (nexogen)

But the real issue is exactly what you said: Amazon is trying to push their ecosystem and *only* their ecosystem. Notice how they never made Amazon Prime work with Chromecast. I can guarantee you that this device is the reason for that.

You're exactly right, Nick: Amazon is trying to get the kind of ecosystem lock-in that Apple has.

Yep. I love my Kindle Fire and have a ton of apps, remember they offer a free one every day. And more importantly, my kids LOVE playing on it. They're just getting to the age where they've started to ask about "playing games on the TV" like their cousins do, and for $140 (with controller) this seems like a no brainer.

well at least it will look slick while it sits on your TV stand, while the chromecast does all the real streaming behind the tv.

I don't want another frackin thing to plug into my TV. Just give me access to the content I'm already paying for on devices that are already out there. I wish amazon would stop being so butt hurt over Google not giving them access to Google services on kindles and give android users access to prime content. If its as cheap as a chromecast I might consider it but I'm pretty sure I won't be renewing Prime next year with the price increase.

Tell me why you think it can't? There's nothing the Chromecast can do that any other streaming box can't, except come in under $50.

Now a question for you. Do you think the Chromecast can play Minecraft, Plants vs. Zombies 2 or Need for Speed? Because Amazon's box can.

One is not better than the other. They are for different markets.

Amazon's box offers second-screen control and integration right now?

By the way, I can play Angry Birds on my Roku 2. I also have games on my Samsung Smart TV. You know what? We never use either for games.

I'm never going back to using on-screen menus for streaming media. Ever.

The "Netflix" button on my fancy smart tv's remote has been gathering dust (metaphorically) since I go my Chromecast back in December.

Got my interest but I doubt it's coming to the UK anytime soon.. If it does come to the UK with iplayer, ITV player, 4od,demand 5 out the box and with a reasonable price I may opt for this.. Chromecast is great for the price but I prefer a dedicated ui and remote and the Amazon box if the leaks are right will support gaming aka like ouya

Posted via Android Central App on nexus 7 (2nd gen)

I don't like the old concet with a UI on the TV and a remote control - it's just not as comfortable as the new chromecast approach. I hoped they would show something new, and not just another Roku, AppleTV, SmartTV.

I totally agree. That up is crap once you get use to using a portable device with a robust touch interface. I have a ouya that runs plex and my cc. Will never use the ouya because using the mobile touch interface is just so much nicer.

Posted via Android Central App on my Note 3

Seems like a nice solution although I highly prefer how Chromecast works and think that is the future on media boxes. Still waiting for an Android TV box with HDMI pass-though and Chromecast built-in! Any Chromecast content on the TV without changing inputs!

The Google Nexus TV would be cool but I suspect unnecessary. All that needs to happen is integration of the CC into new TV'S then added support into the appropriate apps. If the cable TV operators integrated CC support into their tablet apps then tv is done and taken care of.

Posted via Android Central App on my Note 3

I just don't see the advantage over the Minix 7 neo. Other then Amazon prime content it can do everything the fireTV can do, and probably better.

Posted via Android Central App on my Note 3

Much higher price than expected, and they don't include a freaking HDMI cable, it's an extra $6... I will stick with my Vizio Co-Star that has the updated Amazon Video app, and YouTube.

This release kind of shocked me, I was seriously expecting a low cost dongle just like Chromecast with no remote, which would have enabled them to give them away free with a prime membership purchase or free with a Kindle. Google realized the price was a very important factor, the lower the price, the more you sell, and the better the apps and ecosystem is, which is why this box will be a flop.

The problem with that comment is real that the CC supports everything. It is the app the does or does not support the CC. I guess that is semantics.

There device had support because of android. Which is kind of ironic.

Posted via Android Central App on my Note 3

This is really the difference between hardware and software. Compatability for the FireTV is a result of Android OS. Not anything amazon is doing. For a app to support the CC the app needs to be updated to use the proper CC api's and such.

Think of it like this, who do you go to for a app to work on the CC. You don't go complain to Google. You request support from the app developer.

Posted via Android Central App on my Note 3

Yes. And your point is? There's already robust support for the Chromecast including all of the major streaming apps: Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Vudu, Crackle etc. It's only going to get better going forward.

My point was that talking about Chromecast compatability compared to the entire Android app store is kinda ridiculous.

Posted via Android Central App on my Note 3

This is why our prime memberships are going up. Screw Amazon. Until they release an Android app I am not renewing prime to pay for this stuff I won't use.

That and they recently lost prime access to almost all the content the GF and I watch, mainly HGTV type stuff. I love 2 day shipping, but that alone doesn't justify the new price for me, back to waiting 2 weeks for free shipping.

Will Amazon just make a Prime Video app that works on all Android devices already! They have one for almost everything else (iOS, Roku, XBox, etc.), why not Android?

I agree - I suppose their argument is that supporting Android would eat into their Kindle Fire sales, whereas iOS doesn't as it's a different (more expensive) market. Don't see it myself.

It does not appear to access personal content stored on a local network PC only content saved in the cloud, a big down side when compared to Apple TV.

It appears to have Plex coming soon, and does have a USB port for direct connect although they don't mention anywhere what you can do on the usb port.

Another redundant streaming hardware? What an awful idea. But then again, Amazon can just keep jacking up their Prime membership to compensate for all these experiments...

Google and Amazon really need to settle whatever beef they have... I'm tired of Amazon Prime not working with Chromecast or my Android devices. Outside of that, this is a relatively meaningless announcement for people who already have a similar set top box.

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Amazon has forked android in order to lock you into their ecosystem rather than Google's play store. They want you to buy content from them so you are stuck in their world and have no other options than to buy content from them, and by extension, hardware that can run that content

Yup. As I said above, I choose my services based on whether or not they support the devices I want to use. Letting the companies force us to do it the other way around, I'm going to need 35 HDMI ports on my TV in a couple of years.

The best option is a chromecast for 1tv and a roku stick for another. And you can interchange back and forth. And it comes out cheaper than the fire tv. Apple tv better do something amazing to compete.

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I see that screen mirroring is available to Fire users with other android devices "later this year" I wonder if/when Chromecast will allow us to mirror to our TV's?

Oh look just another reason why Amazon streaming will not come to Chromecast. I may be prime but if they keep raise the cost I will dump them as they make watching amazon video rather painful to do.

I'll stick with my Roku 3 rather than pay extra for a device centered around Amazon's ecosystem.. Their comparison chart is lame though the quad core processor and RAM means it's fast.. The Roku 3 is pretty darned fast too not to mention over 1000 channels WITHOUT requiring a Prime account ($100).. pretty cool though I have to admit.

too late in the game. And if you are making something like this why wouldn't you include the headphone jack in the remote like in Roku.

Grrr, if only chromecast had mlb.tv. I just bought my premium service and have been shopping for something like this because chromecast lacks support.

Totally agree. CC support would be good. You could also just do a mini pc based on Android. Like the Minix neo 7.

Since the Minix will run the regular Android app it will work.

Posted via Android Central App on my Note 3

Another vote for an Android app with Chromecast support. I rented a movie tonight and amazon was not in the running as it does not work with my Android devices or Chromecast. As a prime user, I would like it to be in the mix and convenient to access.

This is a dumb idea...nobody wants another device taking up another HDMI port with another stupid proprietary remote. This is just as stupid an idea as Ouya...

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Folks can knock this all they want, but Amazon will sell these and continue to boost their ecosystem. That is the whole point. Google is the one that allowed them to fork Android and create this situation. Now Amazon can do whatever they want. It's just like Apple you are either in or your out. I have no issues with Amazon doing their own box.

I have Chromecast and if folks are truly honest it can be hit and miss as to how well it really works at times. Perhaps that depends on the App being used, but I see many threads on various forums complaining about reliability of Chromecast. I have often times become very frustrated with it dropping out and/or freezing up. No its' not my internet because I have a 30MB down connection that is rock solid and my Roku box never has these issues. I personally just don't buy that most end users will adopt the Chromecast over a set top box type setup at this point and believe it or not most folks still like using remotes over Phones or Tablets to control their content. Amazon will NEVER release an app for Prime for Android.. not going to happen PERIOD!

Do you have to have a Prime account to use this Fire TV? I don't have cable, I use my xbox to stream netflix, hulu, vudu, but the important one is watch ESPN. Xbox charges $60 a year for the gold membership, but I really don't play video games anymore. Would to get out of paying that every year.

Chromecast is cool but his thing has more power and access to my Amazon Prime VOD content. This is the only set top box besides my cablebox that I have any interest in. I think Roku and Apple TV are a waste, and Chromcast isn't worth it since I already have a PS3 with Netflix and Amazon. But I like this to play Amazon games and because of the Mirroring possiblities. (Thanks Koush)