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Amazon Launches 'Fire TV' Media Streaming Box with Voice Search, Game Support, and More

In line with earlier rumors, Amazon today announced the Fire TV, a new media streaming device that will compete with the Apple TV, Google Chromecast and the new Roku Streaming Stick.

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The Fire TV is set-top box with a bluetooth remote that supports voice search. Internal hardware includes a quad-core processor with a dedicated graphics processor and 2GB of RAM. It supports 1080p via HDMI and features dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi with MIMO for fast video downloads. Amazon claims it Fire TV hardware is three times as powerful as its competitors.

The Fire TV streams Amazon Prime Instant Video titles as well as content from third-party providers such as Netflix and Hulu. Owners can browse through popular movies and TV shows on Amazon Instant Video, with personalized recommendations and a watchlist making it easy to find and save content. A new ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) feature learns what movies and shows you enjoy and gets them ready for you to watch. The more you use the Fire TV, the better it gets at predicting your media choices.

Setting it apart from its competition, Amazon also bundles games into the Fire TV device with support for a $39 wireless Fire game controller. Well-known gaming studios such as Disney, Gameloft, EA, Sega, Ubisoft and Double Fine are partnering with Amazon to bring their titles to the Fire TV device. Amazon also is launching its own gaming studio, with the tower defense game Sev Zero debuting as the studio's first official game.

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Extras packaged into the Fire TV include photos with slide shows and X-Ray that provides IMDB details for movies and TV shows on a second screen device like the Kindle Fire HDX. Music services such as Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and Amazon's own Music service will debut on the Fire TV starting next month with support for X-Ray, which will display song lyrics.

Not just for adults, Amazon added its FreeTime service, which offers parental controls and personalized profiles for children. A $2.99 monthly option for a FreeTime Unlimited subscription adds unlimited access to programming from Nickelodeon, Sesame Street, PBS Kids and more.

The Fire TV will ship today from Amazon with a $99 price tag.

Top Rated Comments

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22 weeks ago
Coming soon: controlled Apple TV leaks in order to deter interest
Rating: 25 Votes
22 weeks ago
"My cable box is three times as powerful as your cable box, bruh"
Rating: 19 Votes
22 weeks ago
oh look a new Apple TV....

Hang on, wait a sec ..... :eek:
Rating: 17 Votes
22 weeks ago
It should be called the Amazon FirePlace with relaxing screensavers that crackle! :)
Rating: 17 Votes
22 weeks ago
Amazon totally beat Apple to the punch on this one. This is exactly what I have been waiting for the Apple TV to become.

If I wasn't so thoroughly invested in the Apple ecosystem, I'd definitely choose this over the current-gen ATV. Apple really needs to step up, fast.
Rating: 13 Votes
22 weeks ago
Coming soon.... Apple sue's Amazon for creating a competitor to Apple TV that is square with rounded corners. :D
Rating: 11 Votes
22 weeks ago
I see Plex installed in one of The Verge pictures. Already better than the ATV... for me at least. :p
Rating: 10 Votes
22 weeks ago
Should have called it "The Bandwagon".
Rating: 10 Votes
22 weeks ago
Are you kidding me now? That's it, everyone's doing everything?
Rating: 8 Votes
22 weeks ago

That thing doesn't look ergonomically friendly like my Apple TV. That Fire TV box has sharp edges. :rolleyes:


Is this important to a set-top box- how ergonomically friendly is looks? My :apple:TV 3 is almost invisible on a shelf of my A/V stack. No one could readily tell if it's ergonomically friendly or not (probably can't even see it except for the little white light).

Sure, we love our stuff to be "pretty" but what's probably much more important to most is how well does it work, how much can it do (that we want it to do), how much will it cost to do what we want it to do, etc. In short, the guts and companion service is probably more important than the pretty shell.

Personally, competition is good-to-great. I hope this thing is fantastic such that it might motivate Apple to take their incarnation much more seriously. All these other guys already have much desired benefits we covet in Apple's little box. We're quick to put them down (because what else can we do for anything that doesn't have an Apple logo on it) but elsewhere we'll post wishes for Apple to implement some of the very same (differentiating) features & benefits. Why does a Roku have so many choices of streams/channels? They're a relatively tiny company vs. Apple but wow are they loaded with sources of content. Does this Amazon version bring Android app versions of popular games? Why hasn't iOS games made it to Apple TV?

It seems like those (bad, old, evil, incompetent, trolls, idea-thieving, _________, etc) other guys know how to focus on building each part of their businesses out, rather than getting overly focused on 1-2 things while deeming other, high-potential opportunities as "hobbies". Whining about it doesn't get us anywhere. But competition might. I hope this thing is HOT and sells really well. Maybe it will wake the distracted giant?
Rating: 8 Votes

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