Amazon Announces New Fire TV with 4K Video and Alexa Voice Support

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, Sep 17, 2015.

  1. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief
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    We called it! A week ago we shared a rumor that Amazon was soon to release a new Fire TV that would have support for the Echo's Voice AI, Alexa. We were one of the first publications to share that part of the rumor, and it turns out we were right. Along with their new Fire tablets, Amazon announced a new Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. The Fire TV includes support for the voice-assistant Alexa found in the Amazon Echo. (To clarify, Alexa on the new Fire TV will only help viewers discover content and queue up media. It can't set timers or alarms yet, but the full feature set is expected to come early next year.)

    That's not all that is new on the next generation Fire TV. It will also now support 4K TVs, and has a new HEVC (high efficiency video coding) function, which provides for higher quality 1080p streams at lower bit rates. Amazon hasn't even raised the price on the new one either. The new Fire TV will still retail for $99.99; although there is a "gaming pack" version for $139.99 which comes with a Fire TV, gaming controller, 32GB microSD card and two games (Duck Tales andShovel Knight). That version is only available in the US.

    We're still not finished though. Amazon has a new Fire TV Stick as well. The new Fire TV Stick now includes a Voice Remote and a new game controller with voice control and a headphone jack. It will retail for $49.99. The new Fire TV will begin shipping on October 5, and the Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote launches on October 22.

    But wait! We've saved the best for last. Amazon said they will be pushing out the new Fire OS 5 to the first generation Fire TV, so that it will also have built-in support for the Alexa voice assistant! Awesome!
     
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  2. Powarun

    Powarun Member

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    Love the last bit of news. I have been looking forward to them integrating Alexa into the Fire TV. Lets just say the more you use it, the more you want out of it.
     
  3. cr6

    cr6 Super Moderator
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    Being that we just purchased a new 60" plasma over the summer, upgrading from the FireStick to the set top box really wouldn't benefit us, since it will likely be another couple years until we purchase a 4K set. 1080P still looks amazing, even on larger screens. It would have been nice if they upgraded the hardware for the Firestick, but honestly we're still really happy with ours "as is". No complaints whatsoever.
    So instead of purchasing a new FireStick, I'll just purchase a voice remote for 19.99 for my current model, this way I can utilize the Echo features on my current device.
     
    #3 cr6, Sep 17, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
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  4. akhenax

    akhenax Silver Member

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    I find the Fire TV stick lacking in two departments:
    1. Power/Performance
    2. Wireless range
    3. Interface

    The thing lags. When I wake it up from sleep, it lags like there is no tomorrow. Also, it strains to get a good wireless signal from my router less than 30 feet away.

    I still like it, but these are it's shortcomings. A new FireTV stick with beefier components would really be nice. I also wouldn't mind being able to put a custom rom on the thing, I hate the Fire TV interface.
     
  5. cr6

    cr6 Super Moderator
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    We're experienced no lag with ours and have no buffering issues. Ours stays connected to our apartments WiFi which is located in the clubhouse about 60ft away, on the other side of our building, so yeah color me impressed.
    Since the only thing I have to compare the interface to is my smart BD player, it works great for us. We love the whole package and it's our main source of entertainment. We rarely watch any regular network tv anyone. Plus Prime offers most of this falls new shows, so that's a huge plus.
     
  6. kixfan

    kixfan Senior Member

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    I have no lag or issues with my Fire TV Stick. I do agree 100% that the user interface sucks! I also hate that it is geared for (understandably) Amazon Prime Video. Since I can't afford $100 for prime it's just a waste of most features for me. The game selection is bad too. Not sure if using the controller they sell would make it better or not. I only chose this over Chromecast because I had amazon credits to use and I read that it had higher storage capacity/more available games.
     
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  7. akhenax

    akhenax Silver Member

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    Maybe I should try a factory reset to see if the lag continues. In any case, 90% of everything I see on the screen is Amazon Prime related, which is a tot. pita!
     
  8. cr6

    cr6 Super Moderator
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    Sounds like you haven't really spent much time settting up your FireStick. There are numerous apps that allow thousands of tv shows and movies completely unrelated to Amazon. Such as HBO Go, Hulu, Netflix, Showtime, Kodi, Sling, Cinemax etc just to name a few....everything is right there, you simply need to set it up for your viewing habits. The more you customize it, the more relevant programming is more easily available. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent just digging through all the available content. Once I set up my Watchlist & Recents, it's all just a few clicks away.
     
  9. kixfan

    kixfan Senior Member

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    I have Netflix, Hulu, Screambox, and a bunch of the free ones. I lost access to a lot of the free ones when I cancelled my DirecTV. Without the login credentials from DirecTV a lot of them no longer work. Kind of defeats the whole cutting the cord thing.
     
  10. akhenax

    akhenax Silver Member

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    I have installed Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, and some free stuff as well. I also installed Kodi but didn't like it, so I configured Kodi to launch the FiredTV launcher instead. I think there's a way to circumvent launching the main launcher, and substitute it with FiredTV. I've spent much time on configured the Fire TV stick, but would prefer a more Roku or Nexus player like interface.
     
  11. kixfan

    kixfan Senior Member

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    Did you ever figure out how to mirror your phone to the TV using this? It was a selling point for me but I haven't figured out how to set it up yet.
     
  12. akhenax

    akhenax Silver Member

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    Hold down the home button for 5 seconds, and a menu will appear. Select Mirroring from the menu. On your phone or tablet, enable mirroring. If your devices are on the same wifi network, they will see each other.
     
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