Amazon Fire TV

Last updated
Amazon Fire TV
Amazon Fire TV Logo.png
Amazon Fire TV with remote.JPG
Amazon Fire TV with remote (first generation)
Developer Amazon
Manufacturer Foxconn
Type Digital media player, microconsole
Release date
Introductory priceUS$99 [5]
Operating system Fire OS 5 "Bellini" [6]
System-on-chip used Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T [7]
MediaTek MT8173C (2nd Gen)
CPU Qualcomm Krait 300, quad-core up to 1.7 GHz (1st generation) [7]
dual-core ARM Cortex-A72 up to 2 GHz and dual-core ARM Cortex-A53 up to 1.573 GHz (2nd generation)
Memory2 GB LPDDR2 RAM [7]
Storage8 GB internal [7]
Display 1080p and 4K [7]
GraphicsQualcomm Adreno 320 (1st Gen) [7]
PowerVR GX6250 (2nd Gen) [8]
Sound Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound [7]
Connectivity HDMI, Bluetooth 4.0, Bluetooth 4.1, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac), 10/100 Ethernet, Fire game controller [7]
Power5.5 mm DC [7] (6.25 V 2.5 A power adapter [9] )
Current firmware6.2.1.2
Dimensions115 × 115 × 17.5 mm (4.53 × 4.53 × 0.69 in) [7]
Mass281 g (9.9 oz) [7]
Related articles Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Ouya
Website amazon.com
Amazon Fire TV at a retail store AmazonFireTV.jpg
Amazon Fire TV at a retail store

Amazon Fire TV (stylized as amazon fireTV) is a line of digital media player and microconsoles developed by Amazon. [10] [11] [12] The devices are small network appliances that deliver digital audio and video content streamed via the Internet to a connected high-definition television. They also allow users to access local content and to play video games with the included remote control or another game controller, or by using a mobile app remote control on another device.

Contents

The device comes in two form factors: Fire TV Cube, a set-top box with embedded Amazon Echo smart speaker (which effectively replaced the original, discontinued Fire TV box models [13] [14] ) and the Fire TV Stick, an HDMI plug-in stick with lesser specifications than the contemporaneous generation boxes. [10]

The first-generation Fire TV device featured 2 GB of RAM, MIMO dual-band Wi-Fi, and a Bluetooth remote control with a microphone for voice search. It supported 1080p streaming and Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound but was dependent on internet bandwidth of the user. Unveiled on April 2, 2014, the Amazon Fire TV (1st Generation) was made available for purchase in the US the same day for US$99 and was launched with a video game called Sev Zero. [5] The second-generation version was released in 2015, adding 4K resolution support. [15]

In September 2018, Amazon announced the Fire TV Recast, a digital video recorder which works with an HD antenna to record shows for later viewing on a Fire TV or an Amazon Echo Show device. [16] It is designed for use with over-the-air TV services and is a part of the cord-cutting movement. [17]

Fire TV hardware

Original model

First generation

The first Fire TV (codenamed "Bueller" after the eponymous character from Ferris Bueller's Day Off ) [18] [19] offers HDMI audio, with support for Dolby Digital Plus and 7.1 surround sound pass-through, along with an Ethernet port and a USB 2.0 port. According to Amazon, the Fire TV is designed to outpace competitors like the Apple TV and Roku in performance: The 0.72-inch-thick box features a 1.7 GHz quad-core CPU (Qualcomm Snapdragon 8064), 2 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage, along with a dual-band wireless radio for 1080p streaming over 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and a 10/100 ethernet connection. The company said that it does not intend the Fire TV to compete with gaming consoles; instead, its gaming capabilities are geared toward people who do not already own a console but may play games on a smartphone or tablet. It has a dedicated controller accessory. [6]

Second generation

Amazon released a second-generation Fire TV, codenamed "Sloane", [18] in late 2015. The 2nd generation now features 4K resolution support, improved processor performance, and a MediaTek 8173C chipset to support H.265 (HEVC), VP8, and VP9 codecs. Wireless hardware upgrades includes a dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi with 2x2 MIMO and Bluetooth 4.1. [20] [21]

Third generation

The third-generation Fire TV, also known as the Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD and Alexa Voice Remote, was released in 2017; it eschews the previous set-top box design for a small, diamond-shaped "pendant" reminiscent of the Fire TV Stick, which is hung from a short HDMI cable. It contains a slower processor, but more RAM than the second-generation Fire TV, and also has support for 4K resolution streaming, Dolby Atmos, and HDR10. [22] [23]

Production was discontinued in 2018 in favor of the current Fire TV Stick. [24]

Fire TV Cube

First generation

The Fire TV Cube was released in June 2018. It is similar in function to the third-generation Fire TV, but also includes embedded Alexa functionality similar to the Amazon Echo smart speaker line, and can use HDMI-CEC and an IR blaster to control other devices with voice commands. As its voice functionality is integrated into the device itself, the Fire TV Cube does not include the voice remote. [25] [26] The device uses a 1.5 GHz quad-core ARM 4xCA53 processor, 2 GB RAM, and 16 GB storage. [27]

Second generation

A second-generation model was unveiled in September 2019, featuring a hexa-core processor, "Local Voice Control" (which allows client-side recognition of common voice commands to improve response time), and support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+. [28] [29]

Fire TV Stick

First generation Fire-TV Stick with remote (without voice search, codenamed "Inigo" ) Fire-TV Stick and Remote.jpg
First generation Fire-TV Stick with remote (without voice search, codenamed "Inigo" )

First generation

On November 19, 2014, Amazon released a smaller version of the Fire TV called the Fire TV Stick. Codenamed "Montoya", [18] it has a dongle form factor that plugs into an HDMI port, and maintains much of the functionality of the larger Fire TV. [30] Its hardware is slightly different, it has 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage, weighs 0.9 oz. (25.1 g) and it uses a Broadcom BCM28155 1.0 GHz Cortex-A9 processor and a Broadcom VideoCore IV GPU. Wireless hardware includes a dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with 2x2 MIMO and Bluetooth 3.0 [21] [31] The Fire TV Stick is bundled with a remote control, in either of two variants; one with voice search on the remote and one without Alexa.

Second generation

Second generation Fire-TV Stick with Alexa remote (with voice search) Fire-TV Stick 2016 (2. Generation) + Alexa Remote.jpg
Second generation Fire-TV Stick with Alexa remote (with voice search)

On October 20, 2016, Amazon released the Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, codenamed "Tank". [18] [32] Other than the new remote, the updates include MediaTek MT8127D Quad-core ARM 1.3 GHz processor with a Mali-450 MP4 GPU, and support for the H.265 (HEVC) codec. Wireless hardware upgrades includes a dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi with 2x2 MIMO and Bluetooth 4.1. [21] It retains the 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage and weighs slightly more at 1.1 oz. (32.0 g). [33] [ non-primary source needed ]

In January 2019, the second-generation Fire TV Stick was re-issued with the updated remote from the 4K model. [22]

Fire TV Stick 4K

In October 2018, Amazon unveiled the Fire TV Stick 4K, codenamed "Mantis", which succeeded the third-generation Fire TV. [34] It is upgraded to a 1.7 GHz quad-core processor and supports 4K output, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, and hardware-accelerated MPEG-2 decoding. It also includes an updated voice remote that contains an infrared emitter and buttons for controlling TV power and volume (which can also be controlled with voice commands). The remote is backward compatible with previous Fire TV models, and also sold separately as an upgrade. [35] [36]

Software

The Fire TV series runs Fire OS, [37] which is derived from Android Open Source Project source code. [38] It supports voice commands via either a remote control with an embedded microphone, or integrated microphones inside the device (as is the case of the Fire TV Cube), and can also be controlled with Alexa via Amazon Echo smart speakers. The devices support various Amazon-owned services, including Prime Video, IMDb Freedive, as well as other major third-party services such as Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, Apple TV, HBO, Spotify, and others via Amazon Appstore. [23] [37] [39] [40]

The "X-Ray" feature allows users to view contextual information related to Prime Video content (such as biographies of actors and other trivia), using face recognition, music recognition, and IMDb data. [41]

Models

ModelFire TV BoxFire TV StickFire TV BoxFire TV StickFire TV BoxFire TV CubeFire TV Stick 4KFire TV Cube
Fire TV Generation1st1st2nd2nd3rd1st3rd2nd
Release dateApril 12, 2014November 19, 2014September 29, 2015October 20, 2016October 25, 2017June 21, 2018October 31, 2018October 10, 2019
MPN B00CX5P8FCB00KAKPZYGB00U3FPN4UB01ETRGSPAB01N32NCPMB01NBTFNVAB079QHMFWCB07KGVB6D6
StatusDiscontinuedCurrentDiscontinuedCurrent
OS [42] Fire OS 5 Fire OS 6 Fire OS 7
Android Version [42] 5.17.1 9
System Version [42] 5.2.7.26.2.6.87.2.0.6
CPUMaker Qualcomm Broadcom MediaTek Amlogic MediaTek Amlogic
Family Snapdragon 600 Quad-core ARM big.LITTLE ARM Cortex-A53 ARM Cortex-A73
ModelAPQ8064TBCM28155MT8173CMT8127DS905ZMTK8695 [43] S922
Cores4x Krait 300 @ 1.7 GHz2x ARM Cortex-A9 @ 1.0 GHz2x ARM Cortex-A72 @ 2 GHz and

2x ARM Cortex-A53 @1.573 GHz

4x ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1.3 GHz4x ARM Cortex-A53 @ 1.5 GHz

4x ARM Cortex-A53 @1.7GHz [44]

4x ARM Cortex-A73 @ 2.2 GHz and

2x ARM Cortex-A53 @1.9 GHz

Width 32-bit 64-bit 32-bit64-bit32-bit64-bit32-bit
GPUDesignerQualcommBroadcom Imagination Technologies ARMImagination TechnologiesARM
Family Adreno VideoCore IV PowerVR MaliPowerVRMali
Model320Capri VC4 GX6250 450 MP4450 MP3IMG GE8300G52 MP2
OpenGL ES3.02.03.12.03.2
Vulkann/an/a1.0n/a1.11.0
OpenCL1.1 embedded profilen/a1.2n/a1.22.0
Hardware Decode Support [21] MPEG-4, H.263, H.264MPEG-4, H.263, H.264, H.265, VP8, VP9MPEG-4, H.263, H.264, H.265MPEG-4, H.264, H.265, VP9MPEG-4, MPEG-2, H.263 H.264, H.265, VP8, VP9
RAM 2 GB LPDDR2 1 GB LPDDR2

(512 MB system, 512 MB video)

2 GB LPDDR3 1 GB LPDDR3 2 GB1.5GB DDR42 GB DDR4
StorageInternal8 GB NAND Flash 16 GB8 GB16 GB
ExternalUSB up to 128 GBNoUp to 128 GB microSDXC NoMicro USBNoMicro USB
Microphone NoMic button on remote
Networking Ethernet RJ45, 10/100 Mbit/sUSB-to-RJ45 adapter (separate) [45] RJ45, 10/100 Mbit/sUSB-to-RJ45 adapter (separate)USB-to-RJ45 adapter (included)USB-to-RJ45 adapter (separate)USB-to-RJ45 adapter (included)
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0

HID, SPP Profiles

Bluetooth 3.0

HID, SPP Profiles

Bluetooth 4.1

HID, HFP, SPP profiles

Bluetooth 4.1

A2DP, AVRCP, GAVDP, HID, IOPT profiles

Bluetooth 4.2 + LE

A2DP 1.2-SRC, AVRCP 1.0-TG, HID 1.0-Host, HOGP 1.0-Host

Bluetooth 4.2Bluetooth 5.0 + LE
Wi-Fi Dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n

2x2 MIMO

Dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

2x2 MIMO dual-antenna

Dimensions115 mm x 115 mm x 17.5 mm84.9 mm x 25.0 mm x 11.5 mm115 mm x 115 mm x 17.8 mm

4.5" x 4.5" x 0.7"

85.9 mm x 30.0 mm x 12.6 mm

3.4" x 1.2" x 0.5"

65.0 mm x 65.0 mm x 15.0 mm

2.6” x 2.6” x 0.6”

86.1 mm x 86.1 mm x 76.9 mm

3.4” x 3.4” x 3.0”

38 mm x 142 mm x 16 mm86.1 mm x 86.1 mm x 76.9 mm

3.4” x 3.4” x 3.0”

Power Supply6.25V, 2.5A, 16W, DC5V, 1A, 5W, DC15V, 1.4A, 21W, DC5V, 1A, 5W, DC5.2V, 1.8A, 9W, DC5.25V, 1A, 5W, DC [46] 12V, 1.25A, 15W, DC
Power Plug5.5mm (outer) x 2.5mm (inner) (Coaxial power connector) USB micro-B Cable and USB A-Type Power source3mm (outer) x 1mm (inner)USB micro-B Cable and USB A-Type Power sourceUSB micro-B Cable and USB A-Type Power source4mm (outer) x 1.7mm (inner)

Reception

Dan Seifert from The Verge reviewed Fire TV on April 4, 2014, giving it an 8.8/10 rating and largely praising its functionality and future potential. [47] Dave Smith from ReadWrite wrote, "Fire TV aims to be the cure for what ails TV set-top boxes." [48] GeekWire editor Andy Liu's review is headlined "Amazon's Fire TV sets a new bar for streaming boxes." [49] Ars Technica praised the device for specifications that surpassed competitors, good build quality, and a microphone works very well if you use Amazon content. The reviewer disliked the fact that its media browser puts Amazon content in the front, which makes other applications less convenient to use, limited game selection with many games not optimized, and only 5.16GB of free space, which limits the number of games that can be installed. [50]

Main competitors

Some notable competitors include Roku, Apple TV and Chromecast.

See also

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Official website