Amazon has today announced its second-generation Fire TV box. The new media player supports 4K Ultra HD, Alexa voice control, is 75% more powerful, and is available for $99.99. A new Fire TV Stick with a voice remote was also announced.
Amazon Fire TV with 4K
Amazon launched its first media streamer box last year. The new box is more capable and powerful but the most important upgrade is support for 4K Ultra HD.
The box looks unchanged but has more powerful hardware under the hood. Other new features include Alexa voice integration, HEVC support, and faster WiFi based on the ac standard (MIMO supported).
- “The team has packed an incredible amount of technology and innovation into a tiny package,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. - “The new Fire TV includes 4K support, more processing power, Alexa integration, the largest selection, and exclusive features—for less than $100. The new Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote brings voice search and Alexa integration for less than $50. These are powerful devices at incredible prices.”
4K content is available from Netflix, Amazon Video, and Prime Video. Amazon is also highlighting apps such as Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO NOW, Hulu, WatchESPN, SHOWTIME ANYTIME, Sling TV, STARZ PLAY, ENCORE PLAY, NBC News, Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, Vevo, Plex, A&E, YouTube. There are now over 3000 apps (800 games) available, says Amazon.
Amazon further says that its will start streaming 1080p HD content from Amazon Video in HEVC compression in the coming months to improve picture quality. The new box apparently has no support for HDR (high dynamic range).
Alexa voice control will work on the new Fire TV as well as the old box and Stick, which will be updated to Fire OS 5. Alexa lets you say things like “Alexa, play some jazz” or “Alexa, search for drama movies with Matt Damon”.
The new box, like the last one, supports games. According to Amazon it has 75% more processing power; “5x the processing power of the latest generation Roku, and 8x the processing power of Chromecast”. It comes packed with a 64-bit quad-core CPU, 2GB RAM and a dedicated GPU. The chip is made by MediaTek. If you want extra storage space you can connect microSD cards up to 128GB.
A new game controller for Fire TV has been developed for improved battery life, now 90 hours, an audio jack for connecting headphones, and voice search.
The new Amazon Fire TV is available for pre-order now for $99.99 with delivery on October 5. Amazon will also offer a Fire TV Gaming Edition that comes bundled with a game controller, a 32GB microSD card and two games (Ducktales and Shovel Knight) for $139.99. A 30-day trial of Amazon Prime is included in the purchase.
A new Fire TV Stick with voice control
Amazon is also introducing a new Fire TV Stick bundle that comes with a voice remote. The voice control lets you search for movies, TV series or games just by speaking to the remote. Besides that, it is unchanged.