With the Amazon Fire TV, Amazon the world’s largest e-shop, stepped into the realm of set top boxes. Media streaming services such as Youtube, Netflix, Pandora, Hulu Plus and Amazon’s own Prime Instant Video are becoming more and more popular by the day. The Amazon Fire TV is the company’s solution for streaming a large variety of digital content to your television.
What is Amazon Fire TV?
Amazon Fire TV is a small sized, plug and play set top box that connects to your High Definition television. Connect the streaming device to the internet and a large amount of services that cover content ranging from video, music, photo’s to games become available.
With Amazon Cloud Drive users can store and stream their photo’s, music and personal videos from the cloud
ASAP, a unique feature for the Fire TV, predicts content the user is likely to be interested in allowing you to discover and instantly begin streaming content with the press of a button.
Compatible with the Kindle Fire HDX the Amazon Fire TV can “mirror” content from the tablet to the big screen and vice versa.
The Amazon Fire TV doesn’t take up a whole lot of space with its dimensions of 4.5″ x 4.5″ x 0.7″ (115 mm x 115 mm x 17.5 mm) and weighs just under ten ounces. Outfitted with a quad-core processor, 2GB of DDR2 Memory and the dedicated Adreno 320 graphics engine. Spec wise the device is a lot more powerful than its direct competitors like the Apple TV and the popular Roku 3. Amazon Fire TV certainly is powerful enough to deliver high quality streams. In addition the included remote offers Voice Search, a feature that allows users to search for content with the press of a button.
With 8 GB of internal memory there is also room to install apps and games that are compatible from the Amazon app store. There is the ability to “side-load” apps although this means the experience wont optimized for use with the Fire TV.
Connect the Amazon Fire TV via HDMI directly to your HD TV/display that is capable of 1080p or 720p at 60/50Hz. The media box also comes integrated with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Optical Audio out, Ethernet and USB 2.0 port.
It seems that the Amazon Fire TV will appeal the most to those who have already invested in the Amazon eco–system or are on the fence. The fact that a lot of these streaming services, including Amazon Instant Video, aren’t available in most countries outside of the US doesn’t concern me much (setting up a proxy is easy enough to not keep me from enjoying these services).
When you are a subscriber to Amazon Prime a slew of content like movies, TV-shows are available at no extra cost. The openness of the platform makes it a great choice if you are interested in content from different services, with HBO Go being the glaring omission.
For me personally a big point of interest is the ability to play my personal files and although Fire TV doesn’t natively supports playing locally stored media, the supported PLEX app is a great workaround to achieve this.
Rather than positioning the Fire TV as a game console Amazon chose not to market it as such. Better said, the company isn’t necessarily emphasizing the gaming side of this device. The remote doubles of as a joystick or for an additional $40 a gamepad can be bought that allows you play smartphone quality games out of the Amazon App store.
Currently there are around 133 games that are specifically optimised for the joypad, Amazon aims to have around thousand games compatible with the device by the end of May 2014. It remains to be seen if appealing titles such as Minecraft pocket edition, The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us have the pull to entice gamers to buy the Fire TV, but Amazon’s position is quite different than that of the ill fated OUYA.
The Amazon Fire TV is now available from the Amazon store, if you buy the device via this affiliate link Amazon rewards me with a small commission with no extra cost for you. However you are under no obligation to do so, it is just a nice way for me to buy a soda and keep bringing you articles
Are you interested in streaming devices like the Amazon Fire TV? If so, what features does it need to tide you over? Show your support for articles by sharing them through social media (Twitter, Google+, Facebook etc.) or by telling your grandmother about what you’ve read. You can weigh in your thoughts in the comment section or contact me directly on twitter @italkgame
Disclaimer: MakeSmartTV.net is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com