Amazon recently surprised us with its Fire TV set-top box, offering a native solution for customers to stream movies, music, and even play games. Fire TV will only set you back $99, and in my opinion, it’s just what Amazon needed. Instead of relying on third-party streaming solutions, Amazon now has the power to take its media services in a new direction. Take a look at our overview video above to see Fire TV in action.
Amazon’s Fire TV is packaged very similar to the Kindle Fire HDX and includes the Fire TV set-top box, a remote with two AA batteries, a power adapter, and a quick start guide. Unfortunately, you’ll need to provide your own HDMI cable. Amazon is also selling a Bluetooth gaming controller (available for $39) that can be used to play select titles from Amazon’s app store, but don’t expect this to replace a traditional console.
The Fire TV experience is very easy to navigate. In my opinion, the user interface is clean and simple. You’ll have access to Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, Showtime, YouTube, and much more. There’s nothing overwhelmingly exciting about Fire TV, but if you’re an Amazon customer or a Kindle owner, you may fall in love with what it provides.
One notable feature is the voice search-enabled Fire TV remote. Simply hold down the microphone button on Fire TV’s remote and say the name of a movie, song, actor, genre, or pretty much anything else you can think of and let Fire TV do the rest. This results in a much easier way to find the content that you’re looking for without jumping through menus and using a remote or an app to enter search terms.
As far as build quality goes, Amazon’s Fire TV is almost identical to Apple TV. The shape may be different, but the material is very familiar. I’m convinced that Amazon sourced the exact same plastic material used on Apple TV, but that’s definitely not a bad thing. It’s nice to know that it will hold itself together for a while. Fire TV also features a quad-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 processor, Adreno 320 GPU, 2GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage, though you’re only able to use a little over 5GB for movies, music, and apps.
Aside from the exclusive features mentioned, Fire TV is no different from many other set-top boxes on the market, but it’s definitely a great addition to the Fire line of devices. Check out the hands-on and overview video above and let us know what you think about Amazon Fire TV. For more details about Fire TV, head over to Amazon’s official product page.