Amazon Fire TV and Fire Game Controller

Fire TV is possibly the best single set-top box available, but it still can’t be everything to everyone

In what has been colloquially called the "battle for the living room" (or as I like to call it, the battle for your HDMI inputs), competition is heating up but hasn't exactly hit a flash point. Modern products in the small set top box space like the WD TV Live, Boxee Box and Google TV never really caught on, and even the "big" successful players like Roku and Apple TV have relatively small sales numbers in the grand scheme of television watchers today. Whether it's out of complication from yet another box, the inherent redundancy of having several boxes that all do most of the same things or the price of more hardware and subscription services, these little set top boxes have yet to break though.

But if there's one thing Amazon knows how to do, it's create products that can find mass appeal with the general consumer. With the announcement of its new set-top box, Fire TV, Amazon is betting that it can get a good number of people to buy this $99 thing, and pay another $99 per year to deliver more Amazon content to it. And then pay still more for premium movies and TV shows and apps that aren't free as part of Prime. Building on the experience of launching the relatively successful Kindle Fire line of tablets, there's indication that Amazon can do just that. The real question is: has Amazon figured out something that Roku and Apple have not?

In this ever-hyped fight for a foothold in the living room, is Amazon's Fire TV offering a sure-fire hit? Read along with us and see what this little box can do.

Category-busting hardware, both inside and out

Amazon Fire TV Home Screen

The impending success of the Fire TV isn't really tied to the internal specifications of the box in particular, but it is interesting to note the amount of power available in this little guy that you just don't find in its competition. The internals of Fire TV land right in between what you'd find on Amazon's last-generation Kindle Fire HD and the current-gen Fire HDX — a Snapdragon 600 processor, Adreno 320 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, Bluetooth 4.0 (for controllers and remotes) and dual-band MIMO a/b/g/n Wifi. That means this little box that's roughly the size of a Kindle Fire HD 7 folded in half is capable of outputting 1080p video at 60fps, with Dolby 7.1 surround sound, while also downloading a few games in the background and pulling in information from IMDb for X-Ray without breaking a sweat. See if your Apple TV can do that.

It's faster than any other set-top box, and it looks good doing it

But that's just an example. What Fire TV's internal hardware can really offer is an insanely fast and responsive interface that is unlike anything you'd normally expect to show up on your TV. It's faster than other cheap set-top boxes, it's faster than my Xbox 360, it's faster than a cable box — and it actually looks good doing it. Whether you're playing back video, navigating the interface, switching between apps or playing graphically-intense games, the Fire TV never once skipped a beat in my time with it.

Cable companies, take note: Fire TV is how it should be done.

Fire TV ports

The design of the Fire TV is extremely simple, with a single white light on the front indicating that it is turned on, and a handful of ports on the back for getting it integrated into your entertainment center. You have a power plug, HDMI, optical audio (a rarity in this class of box), ethernet and a USB port (which doesn't seem to be of much use unless you're trying to hack into the thing), though most probably won't touch any but the HDMI and power. A simple "Amazon" logo adorns the top of the box recessed into a matte black finish, while the other edges have a glossy black finish. It's a classy, and most importantly unassuming, box that could slip into any entertainment center out there.

The remote is comfortable, easy to use and connects flawlessly over Bluetooth 4.0

The remote — which is incredibly important because Amazon does not yet have remote apps for Android devices — is basic but well-appointed to do anything you'd want to with the Fire TV. It's rounded in the back, which is slightly odd when you toss it on a table and it wobbles but makes it considerably more comfortable in the hand than your average TV remote. It has standard back, home and menu buttons — lest you forget you're running Android on here — along with a nice D-pad toggle, dedicated media playback controls and a single-function voice control button at the very top.

Amazon even includes the required AAA batteries for the remote (and AA for the controller if you buy it), and packs everything up in a "frustration-free" type of box. The one thing not included is an HDMI cable, but Amazon would be happy to sell you a 6.5-foot long Amazon Basics one for just $5.99.

A Kindle Fire, but for your TV

When Amazon announced the availability of its very own Android Appstore, everyone was mildly confused. When the company then announced the Kindle Fire running a completely customized version of Android, dubbed Fire OS, it all made a bit more sense. With the announcement of the Fire TV running the same Android-based Fire OS and apps from the Amazon Appstore, it has now become blatantly clear that this Android initiative inside of Amazon was not a lost cause — it's all part of a play that is much bigger than just mobile devices and basic mobile apps.

Fire TV is to set-top boxes what the Kindle Fire HDX is to multimedia tablets

The simplest and most effective way to describe Fire TV is to explain that it is to set top boxes what the Kindle Fire is to multimedia tablets — but not just because of the shared specs and industrial design. Sure the Fire TV is technically a streaming media box that serves up content from the Internet and plays games, but the main aim of this box is to get you to spend more money at Amazon. Whether it's through "free" movies and TV shows via a paid subscription to Amazon Prime or on a pay-per-view basis buying individual movies or TV episodes, the best thing that the Fire TV can do is serve up Amazon media. Just like when you're shopping for shampoo or bird cages on Amazon.com, the Fire TV interface makes sure you're about one click fewer away from buying something than you think you should be. Two quick clicks on the remote, and you just bought a season of Game of Thrones.

The best example of Amazon's intentions with Fire TV is the excellent and much-advertised Voice Search feature. Controlled with a dedicated button on the remote, Amazon's Voice Search works across apps, games, movies and TV, and is nearly 100 percent perfect for recognizing my voice — so perfect that it often didn't even give additional suggestions of what it thought I said, it just knew exactly.

Using voice control is simple: Press and hold the button on the remote control. Speak. Let go when you're done.

Here's the rub, though: Voice Search primarily works for Amazon's own content, and although Amazon claims it works for Vudu and Hulu Plus as well I never received a search result for either one in any of my Voice Search requests. When it comes down to it, that makes sense — Amazon can search its own catalog a lot better than someone else’s.

Fire TV Amazon Recommendations

If you want to watch a movie that is likely on Netflix, you'll need to Voice Search for "Netflix," or open the app manually, then search from there with the old school text type-in method. That is a pain, I agree, but once you're in these third-party content apps, the experience is actually quite good. Each of the partner apps available at launch works pretty well (although Watch ESPN is a tad sluggish), and it's clear Amazon did some work with the developers to make sure they were ready to have a TV-scaled interface rather than a mobile one. These are all just Android apps that you can already find in the Amazon Appstore on your Kindle Fire, simply adapted for the Fire TV, but there's nothing wrong with that. They work, and they're huge content draws for potential customers.

Dozens of great content apps are available, but this will never be a complete list to everyone

While many of the big names — Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, ESPN, Pandora, TuneIn Radio, BloombergTV, Plex, RealPlayer Cloud, (the list goes on) — are included and even printed on the Fire TV box, there are some glaring omissions. HBO Go isn't here, nor is a single piece of content from Google Play (as you would expect), apps from major cable companies or even Amazon's own music service. Presumably any media app that's currently available for Android could be brought over to the Fire TV, but Amazon and the app developers have to work together first to make it Fire TV-ready and get it on the box. It’s impressive to see how many content sources Amazon has available right from the start, but it’s never going to be a complete list for every person out there.

A stealthy entrant in the micro console gaming space

Amazon Fire Game Controller

Android games look great on Fire TV, and have all been optimized for the big screen and $39 controller

With the purchase of a $39 Amazon Fire Game Controller, Fire TV transforms into a formidable competitor in the micro console gaming space. The same clout that the Amazon Appstore brings to the media side of the Fire TV is also responsible for bringing great Android games to the platform. Popular titles we all know and love like Riptide GP2, Polar Bowler, Deus Ex, Asphalt 8, Badland and Virtua Tennis are all here, as well as some first-party titles from Amazon's own game studios like Sev Zero — a fantastic first-person shooter combined with tower defense — that really show off what this console can do. Amazon says there are over 100 games available at launch, many of which are optimized to work perfectly with the Fire Game Controller, averaging under $2 each to buy.

It's worth noting that some games can be played with the remote control, but a proper gaming controller makes it much more fun.

Considering the size of the game library available in the Amazon Appstore today, it could only be a matter of months before we see thousands of titles available in the Fire TV game store, and that's a pretty enticing proposition. Even just looking at what's available on the Fire TV today has us excited, though. Games look great and provide performance on par with what you'd expect from a modern phone or tablet hooked up to a TV. They play in 1080p, work while also listening to music from another app in the background (Pandora even shows track listings when new songs play) and launch or close with ease.

If you don't have a desire for AAA titles, the Fire TV could be the casual game console you're looking for

The Fire Game Controller itself is nothing to write home about, and the only thing that keeps it ahead of another Bluetooth controller — which pair to the Fire TV just fine — are the dedicated video playback and navigation controls, which mean you can move through the entire Fire TV interface without also having the standard remote out. All of the buttons and joysticks work well for gameplay (although the D-pad is a bit soft), and the most important part is that the games are coded properly to take precise input from the controller.

If you're not worried about having your game content locked up in the Amazon Appstore, and don't have the need (or space (or money)) for a dedicated game console to play AAA titles like a PS4 or Xbox One, the Fire TV could be the casual game console you're looking for. Make sure you have your expectations set for the quality of games that will be available, and you won't have any problem spending a few hours relaxing with a casual game or two on this box.

It's hard to say 'no' to this $99 set top box

Amazon Fire TV

Amazon has done a lot correctly here, and has clearly made a convincing case for the Fire TV to be the set top box of choice for a good number of people. For someone who wants to buy just a single set top box and cover as many bases (aka media sources) as possible, the Fire TV can definitely be that go-to choice — so long as you're part of, or willing to be part of, the Amazon ecosystem for nearly everything you do. Even though third-party content sources are available, nothing that Amazon doesn't directly control should be taken as a given on the Fire TV.

No single set top box can be all things to all people though, and the Fire TV does have its faults. The universal Voice Search isn’t all that universal, the app offerings are full but not complete and the games show promise but aren't going to steal playing time from your dedicated game console if you're anything but a casual gamer. That being said, the Fire TV is a whole lot closer to being that “perfect” set top box than any other in the past or present, and for that reason it’s going to be well worth the $99 purchase that so many will make throughout 2014.

 
There are 91 comments

anthony438 says:

This is tempting. I'm currently using a PS3 for Netflix and Amazon Prime these days. I was thinking about getting a Roku, (so I could get my !@$!@ games back from my kids,) but....

mdwright1032 says:

Fire Tv not only is the fastest box out there but also does the most. I play a ton of games on my Fire Tv using my moga pro in "b" mode. IF you want a speedy box that has a ton of great games you can't go wrong.

DavidJ726 says:

I tried Netflix a while back with their 30 day free promotional offer, but couldn't find any of the shows I was interested in, What's to say this will be any better? Also, it looks like Amazon has teamed up with other providers (Hulu, Netflix, etc..) to provide content, so will a separate subscription be needed to for those providers as well?

You have to pay for Netflix or Hulu+ (etc.) to watch that content on the box, just like any other box. Unlike the Xbox, however, you don't have to pay a monthly subscription for the box just to run those apps. For example, Amazon Prime isn't required to install Netflix on the Fire TV.

slackerjack says:

The ps3 has no such requirement...and for the same price as a fire TV, controller and a year of prime...you'd have one helluva better gaming console, media streaming device...with a bluray player to boot
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You have to pay for Netflix to use it on a PS3, just like any other box including the Fire TV. Of course the apps are always free, but you have to have a subscription to the service.

slackerjack says:

I meant the Live sub fee, but yes...all subscription services require a fee...of some sort

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Right, but the Fire TV doesnt require an additional subscription to use Netflix. So your point on the PS3 being superior doesn't really hold.

barkomatic says:

The Fire TV can't play games nearly as well as the PS3 or PS4, nor does the Fire TV have a blu-ray player for movies on Netflix that must be shipped on disc.

Warrenisit says:

Who still gets discs shipped to them?

mdwright1032 says:

Fire TV is a fraction of the cost of a PS3 and not fair to judge it against a 200-400 dollar console.

worknman says:

'The Fire TV can't play games nearly as well as the PS3 or PS4'

Once they root it (assuming that hasn't been done already) and/or I can side load emulators on it, that's all the gaming I'll ever need :)

You are comparing apples with oranges, Fire tv is geared towards a different market, therefore if you and anyone else are going to compare it with the PS3, PS4 and Xbox one you are bonkers. Fire TV is a stream only device hence why it does not need a Bluray drive.

WolfpacDAR says:

This.

yankeesusa says:

What? You get free Netflix if you use the Amazon tv box? How does Netflix make money then?

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Think you're misunderstanding. You have to pay for Netflix on Fire TV, just the same as you do on your computer, phone, PS3, Roku or anything else. You just don't have to pay any additional box-specific subscription (like on an Xbox) to use it.

TheDu9du says:

Andrew remember you can't fix stupid. It may be better to just let it go.
by the way when are these gonna be given away? maybe in contests?

You could get a refurbished PS3 for about $180, so that could be close to the Fire TV with controller. And you do have the benefit of using only one HDMI input on your TV. I hope Sony does something with the next version of Google TV and their BluRay players. That would be good for me.

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slackerjack says:

I'm sorry...I still can't get my head around it.

On the media front: For $35 you can get a Chromecast and have 100% of the same media content...and more given that HBO go and others are supported.

On the gaming front: With the fire TV..for one year of prime....and the gaming controller...you're spending 260...which could buy you an Xbox 360/ps3...and have a far far more capable gaming console with access to thousands of games...And not be locked to one "if Amazon wanta to" system in terms of content. Want Asphalt 8....nah nah man...you gotta wait to get it on the store. In addition...a ps3 for example...gets you access to all the streaming content (and more...hello YouTube) with no yearly cost.

So at the end if the day, you have a $100 set top box offering you the same media content as a $35 memory stick. A $40 controller that let's you play mobile "games"... That you still have to pay for. And $90 subscription fee that you still have to pay to get access to some other content...but only some content because the rest is at retail.

Pass

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anthony438 says:

If it wasn't for Prime, I'd agree with you - we have both a Netflix and a Prime subscription, so Chromecast is out for us, sadly

slackerjack says:

You can stream prime from a laptop...just not a phone or tablet.

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anthony438 says:

True, but my laptop isn't usually handy. I dare not have it on my lap, as it runs at about the same temperature as the core of the sun itself. Doing so would guarantee that my kids had NO future siblings.

slackerjack says:

Fair enough...I didn't know you're laptop was also a geothermal hazard :)

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Chromebook. Lol. It boots in under ten seconds.

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Grahaman27 says:

Do you have prime?

via moto x.

ChuckG73 says:

I have Chromecast and love it, but because I need to go pull out my Pixel to cast a lot of content that can not be sent by my phone it is not a stand alone device. I am waiting to see what Android TV is all about and it looks like a Chromecast and Android TV might be the perfect duo or who knows maybe another dud.

Mathman85 says:

Any Roku box can run both Amazon Prime and Netflix apps... as well as Redbox Instant, Hulu, etc... and the newest ones can run YouTube, as well. You can find the older Roku 2 XS (if you don't need YouTube) for $40ish, and the newest top-of-the-line Roku 1 occasionally goes on sale for $75ish.

Sorry, the media content for the Chromecast just isn't comparable. There are more and more Chromecast-enabled apps every day, but there are easily a dozen more high-quality content apps on Fire TV (with more on the way) that havent shown up on Chromecast. Sure you can cast tabs from a laptop and make up the gap, but that's hardly the same experience that you get from using them natively on the Fire TV.

And I'm not sure why you keep bringing up the PS3. There's Netflix and YouTube on the Fire TV, along with dozens more media sources than the PS3, and it's about 1/10th the size and power draw of that huge box. If you have no need to play high-end games (in which case you shouldn't be buying a PS3, but a PS4), there's seriously no reason to go buy an old console that'll still cost you more than $99 to do less than what the Fire TV does.

slackerjack says:

You're presupposing that people care about the app itself. If you're like me...I could give a damn about the app...I want access to the content (movies).

And I'm sorry...the ps3 is a far more capable and still FAR more high end than a fire TV...mobile games have come a long way...but not that far....you can cite me all the exames of progress you want...but the hardware and developer support isn't there to provide a game as good looking as say...God of War 3 (which is what...5years old)...not in the same ball lark, not on the same playing field...not even the same sport. Mobile gaming is and was stuck squarely in the ps2/Xbox one era. The biggest achievement managed is native 720/1080 native resolution support...but the geometry and shader limitations relegate those high resolution images back to the early 2000s in IQ...anyone telling you different is selling you something. Gaming on the kindle TV may be high end for mobile...but its still low end compared to even last gen efforts (of which...some are really good and still stand up today). At the end of the day...for gaming...the ps3 is still a far better choice...having access to hundreds of high quality games...where the fire TV has access to 10,s...

But to your point...if someone was interested in "high end gaming"...with a little media streaming to boot. I'd say the money they spent on a fire TV+controller+1yr of prime service (were at what 260 after tax(ish)...would be better spent put towards that ps4...keep up the Netflix (and get 70% of the same content) and end up with a far note competent set top box that offers a gaming experience on oar with even modern PC gaming (sans the ludicrious 4k boxes of course)
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reddragon72 says:

You know that Amazon Prime is not required. Also note that the box is 99 and any BT or USB(like the USB adapter for Xbox 360 or Logitec 720 controller) will work.

Deke218 says:

I'll pass. Chrome Cast does all I need of it. I'm not a big gamer but when in the mode for some mindless enjoyment, my PS3 comes in handy.

DrLouie says:

Has anyone tried Plex on the Fire?

thamenacing1 says:

Yep. Plex on the Fire is just as good if not a little better than the Roku and definitely a better experience than the Chromecast. While I like the convenience of the Chromecast, I tried streaming a 1080p movie the other day and it kept pausing trying to play catch up.

Same movie on the Fire or Roku...no problem. So to me, the Fire is about experience more than available content.

DrLouie says:

Thanks for the response.

guriz3 says:

The hdx has a snapdragon 800 not 600.

Right, which is why I note that the Fire TV specs land between that of the HD and the HDX. Older processor, but more RAM and the new Wifi chips.

guriz3 says:

Aha, i'm sorry for being an ass lol.

If people only want to stream Prime, Netflix, Flixster (love that), etc. and aren't casual gamers, save $50 and buy a Roku Stick. Recently bought one and love the little guy. Slow to boot but gets the job done!

Could or would Google block the Amazon remote app from the play market?

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redragn5 says:

I don't know that amazon would submit it to Google Play - would make more sense to just have it in their app store since if you're using Fire TV you have to use Amazon's services anyway

sunburned says:

I understand this is a Google nutswinging site mainly, but stop comparing Chromecast to any media box. I'm not going to fiddle with my phone every time I want to watch a show or movie on my TV. Send over a youtube vid or something basic, sure, but not as a dedicated media player by any means. I use PS3 for this kinda stuff on my living room TV, but I will probably have a Fire TV in my bedroom pretty damn soon. We're big into Amazon Prime, so its a good fit. I wonder if they'll ever have HBO GO on there, because that's kind of a big deal to a lot of people, including my fiancee. Might have to wait until Android TV comes out to compare before I pull the trigger.

scottyhifi says:

I have to agree. I have had my Chromecast for 2 weeks, mostly for HBO GO. My kids love casting Minecrat videos from their iPads and being able to watch GoT in HD is awesome. I just don't think it can replace a true media box with a real remote. Having to fumble around on a phone/tablet/laptop to start, stop and pause is not an ideal way to relax on the couch. Give me a Google TV box with casting built in and I will leave my Roku in a heartbeat.

ScottJ says:

Why are you fumbling? Do you have some sort of disorder?

Touchscreen interfaces via phone or tablet are way better than any remote control.

gatorboi352 says:

False.

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Is it a Chromecast and Fire combo going forward Andrew?

Both are still plugged into my TV. The only loser right now is my Xbox 360, which can't be plugged in concurrently because I have a bum HDMI port on my TV :P .

gatorboi352 says:

So hook your 360 up via Component?

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That'd involve digging out component cables :P .

Thanks. I'm thinking of doing similar when I get my flat set-up (plus when Fire is available in the UK). I'll need to check to see how many HDMI ports I actually have.

Missy101 says:

Any news on rooting? I know with the kindle fires you can install a different launcher/Google play, and if that was possible on the Fire TV, then that would make this a definite buy for me.

I'd consider if it had the WWE Network.

Mike-Mike says:

I bought the Fire TV to stream WM30, then realized the WWE Network app is "coming soon"

I used the Roku2 to watch WM30, but I have been using the Fire TV to do everything else, Netflix, Hulu, Prime, and Plex

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goosew says:

Can't wait for this to be rooted with a custom recovery.

halmo20 says:

My search for perfect set top box may have ended.... And here is why..
I have Fire TV, WDTV Live, Roku2, 3, and Chromecast... and I travel a lot...
I want/need a box that can do popular apps (netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Youtube.....) and play contents from local network that I can use at home and on the road at hotels..

WDTV Live: I can play local stuff from network, but that's about it...
Roku: Great app experience but no local stuff. Can't connect to hotel internet (no internet browser to log in to hotel Internet)
Chromecast: same as above
Fire TV: Great app experience. Local stuff from network OK with XBMC!!!. Hotel Internet OK with sideloaded Firefox!!!

Joe H. says:

Roku play local stuff just fine. With either the SD input or PLEX. Plex does that same thing as your WDTV

halmo20 says:

Local stuff over SMB network share.. I don't really wanna go through PLEX with server running and stuff,,, just wanna be able to access NAS. Roku only plays very restricted file formats off of SD. I need robust AVI, MKV support.

Havohej says:

Plex does not support Direct Play when you have subtitles, making it unusable on a small NAS because you need a beefy machine to do the transcoding..

seanjenkins says:

No

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Looks like they want you to cancel cable - think about it this box is a one-off payment and you get access to tons of titles and streaming services with probably more to come and subscribing to all of these is cheaper than cable! All we will need in the future is an internet connection as calls can be done through the internet, texting through instant messaging and television through streaming services its actually a very tempting switch as the price of cable is on average £700-£1000 a year depending on the package but you can get BBC, iTV, Channel 4 and 5 on catch-up plus sport with BT Sports supporting the Chromecast I don't see why the fire isnt gonna have support in future wow Amazon has aced entertainment in your living room.

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benhaube says:

This is very tempting, but I would like to wait and see what Google does first. It would be in my interest,I think, to have a STB that was part of the same ecosystem as my phone and tablet, and I would also like to see the Chromecast functionality built in so I don't need two different inputs.

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Joe H. says:

I still think Roku is the best out right now. They have so many more "channels" or services than any of the competition.

lucas710 says:

Can't wait to see this thing rooted and romed ;)

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TomW093 says:

Does this support DLNA?

ScottJ says:

As said before, I already have four devices connected to my home theater that can play Amazon video content:

XBox 360
Panasonic Blu-Ray
TiVo
Samsung SmartTV

All of these devices also stream YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora etc. I also have a Chromecast. I have no need for the new Amazon box and I'm a long-time Amazon Prime member. If they can't entice me they are going to have a tough sell for people less tied into their ecosystem.

plunder says:

Any news on roll out in other markets, such as GB?

Awesome A C

Not that I'm aware of.

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popezaphod says:

I am trying Prime and am frustrated that in order to watch some new shows I have to pay over $1.75 an episode to watch them. That is ridiculous. Tixatl here I come.

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DrewDT says:

I would consider this if I could use it with my Harmony One remote. I have too many devices and want to unify them with one remote for most used features. I am able to use the Roku 3 with my Harmony.

dougau says:

I don't suppose we'll ever see Google Play Movies supported.

Don't see that ever happening no.

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dually says:

Can you not login to the YouTube app and access your YouTube purchases or rentals?

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gatorboi352 says:

" Cable companies, take note: Fire TV is how it should be done."
Oh I'm sorry, does it support live sports? No? Irrelevant to 90% of the market. Take your geek glasses off for a second and realize this fact of life.
Another fact of life? 90% of anyone that is looking for a streaming device and are in the market for one, are looking for one for a single reason: to stream NETFLIX. Period. And 30 dollar blu ray players achieve this feat just fine. I know, I bought my in laws 2 of them.
This, like any other streaming wanna be do it all box will ultimately faulter due to the fact that only enthusiasts will ever pick one up. Amazon can afford this, but it doesn't mean it will ever make another.
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sunburned says:

Pretty sure he was talking about the user interface, not making the Fire TV an actual cable box. The Comcast UI has remained unchanged over the last decade or more and it's terrible. The remote is terrible. The size of the box is terrible.

I'd love to see the UI on the Insignia BR player you bought your inlaws. Bet those will last maybe a year before you'll be back at the store buying them a replacement.

gatorboi352 says:

Really if you want the best of the streaming world, gaming world and "casting" world all in one package right now today, your best bet is a Wii U. Netflix, Amazon and Hulu support. The best browser not on a computer, the richest catalog of games and Off TV GamePad functionality. For $300 ($200 refurbished from Nintendo Online Store).

Comparatively, if you want the "full" experience from Fire TV, you're looking at about a cool $260.

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OTACORB says:

Fire TV is fast and the pre-loading of some content make it start the video much faster than most boxes. However, Amazon is a little late to the game. Speaking of games, I do not nor will I ever use this for games, so there goes about 60% of the appeal. Now with that said, I just did a return authorization and this baby is going back. There is just so much more on Roku that Amazon is out of the game as I said before they even get started. I wanted to try it for myself, but you can bet Roku and Apple will both release new versions that will meet or exceed this and they will actually have more channels and likely more games. If Apple would open Apple TV to all the games on iOS, I'd say goodbye Fire TV.

dually says:

I just ordered one of these. It sounds perfect for the bedroom, but not the main screen in the house, as long as you can build an htpc and install Linux on it for about $300.

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Love my new fire TV more than my Roku 3

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jrb363 says:

Meh...I'm sure it's nice and all but with my PS3 (x2), 360, HTPC, Gaming PC, Wii U and soon to own PS4 I have no need for this. Next!

Devlyn16 says:

Just curious if Amazon has any additional features in place to prevent kids from ordering paid content.

In typical Amazon fashion, the Fire TV has good parental controls. It's actually the first screen that shows up when you turn it on for the first time after the introduction video.

amazebawlz says:

but can you hack it?

endaugust says:

Great hardware specs! But no HBO GO? No go!

They should add freeview or freesat options then its a must have !!!
Posted via Stock Nexus 4*

Kylie85 says:

It does seem that most of the content is geared towards making a purchase on Amazon, which I am not a fan of. I do like how it has more apps and potential access than any of the other boxes, the search feature just isn't that great in my opinion. I also think that Roku and some of the other internet streamers are quite limited with what they offer when comparing against the Amazon's Fire TV due to the potential app selection they can access.

Something that more closely relates to Amazon's Fire TV is probably an Android based internet TV streamer. There are several products out there, but one product for example has done a comparison against the top products and it is Sungale's Smart TV Box. If you would like to see how it compares, check out their website here: www.cloudtvbox.com

Da Fuq says:

Great. Now all I need is a TV.

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Richillion says:

I think I'll wait for the Apple TV refresh

gotta get me one of these!

sparker04 says:

100 for the box itself isn't a bad price but the additional subscriptions costing that much doesnt make me want to get it really.

Nvidiafanboy says:

Have it and love it but the hard drive size sucks! I have already run out of space multiple times. For using something as a cord cutter box full time it needs more space, 8 GB is not enough room at all. Now with that said, I would still buy it all over again. Nothing for this price comes close.

Posted via Android Central App

Bruceb777 says:

I love the Fire TV, it has lots of content and enought HBO series to last me a life time. I also subcribe to NetFlix and l have a hard time comparing them. So I keep both. And since I like Wrestling I subcribe to WWE Network. It has its problems but all the PAY PER Views are Free. And they have 10 or 12 a year so big big savings there. So for 28 dollars a month I get all the movies and wrestling I can handle. Screw all those big cable providers, I dont need 300 stations. Although I wish CNN would charge me 5 dollars a month for there content. I miss that part of cable. I rarely ever watch Network tv.