Amazon officially announces the Amazon Fire TV

Talk about the Amazon Fire TV at AndroidForums.com!

[UPDATE]: Don’t forget to check out more Amazon Fire TV coverage, including details about pricing and availability, more on their gaming aspirations, everything you need to know about Fire TV and a comparison chart that pits the Fire TV up against the rest of the competition!

Amazon’s Video press event is currently underway, and the company has just announced a solution that should help quell all the pitfalls of most companies’ video streaming options. They’re calling it the Amazon Fire TV, a device made to inspire change ina market that doesn’t always get the attention and care it deserves.

amazon_fire_tv

This small media box packs a lot of power, with Amazon opting for a quad-core CPU and GPUs that are found in today’s most powerful smartphones. Here’s a full list of its specs:

  • Quad-core CPU and GPU (make and model TBA)
  • 2GB of RAM
  • dual-band WiFi
  • Shorter than the height of a dime
  • Based on Android and HTML to make porting apps easy

Amazon says that combination is important to offering an experience that has a smooth user interface, which is one of the frustrations they want to solve compared to other products. Comparable devices tend to skimp on specs to keep costs down, but that typically comes at the cost of smooth performance.

Amazon Fire Features and Content

Amazon will undoubtedly look to push their own collection of video through Prime Instant Video and Instant Video rentals and purchases — you will be able to browse and buy content from Amazonright from the Fire TV — but they won’t be the only sources of content.

amazon fire tv banner

The Amazon Fire TV will support apps and games all the same, making it easy for developers to port their wares over.

The platform will be open for any content provider to port their apps over. Some confirmed music apps are iHeartRadio, Pandora and TuneIn. For video? Apps like Netflix, Hulu+, ESPN, HBO Go and NBA GameTime will all make an appearance, as well as tons more.

Voice will be a big part of the experience, as Amazon will allow you to search their catalog by simply speaking out the name of whatever you’re looking for. You could say something like “Along Came Polly” and have it pop right up, or do a general genre or topic search to get a list of all the movies and shows related to whatever category you’re looking for.

Other features include Amazon FreeTime for parental controls, second-screen experiences for delivering info about whatever you’re watching, and ASAP which can predict what you might want to watch so you can just turn the box on and go.

Amazon Fire TV Gaming Controller

And this is where Amazon finally introduces their gaming initiative. For an extra $40 (which comes with 1,000 Amazon Coins — roughly $10 — to help get your games collection started), you can get yourself a nice controller that can be hooked up to the box to play some of the many games Amazon’s looking to feature.

One of those games is Minecraft, which Amazon tells us has been specifically crafted for their platform (no pun intended) and not ported from others. They’re also talking about Gameloft’s Asphalt 8, and an endless running game themed after Monsters Inc.

amazon fire tv game controller

Amazon will also push games of their own, such as a new third-person shooter called Sev Zero. There’s no telling if this is the game that ex-Killer Instinct developer Double Helix was acquired to work on, but we at least have confirmation of Amazon’s reasons for purchasing them.

The controller won’t be the only thing you can play games with, though. Some games can be used with the remote that comes packaged with the Fire TV, while others can be controlled using a controller app on your smartphone or tablet.

Pricing and Availability

These are the details you’re likely waiting for. Amazon is offering all of this at a very attractive price point of just $99, and it will be available starting as early as today. You can find it for sale right here. Don’t forget to add $40 for that gaming controller, if you want that. Stay tuned to Phandroid for continued coverage of the Amazon Fire TV throughout today!

Continue reading:




  • Chimphappyhour

    Going to have too many things plugged into my TV soon.

  • Lauren Berns

    Google Play movie support? Google Music Support?

  • Cael

    Chromecast is only $35…

    • AbbyZFresh

      And how many apps do Chromecast have again?

      *crickets*

      • Cael

        Then talk to the apps because they can add support at ANY time now.

      • mintblackberry

        Plex is supported on chromecast, and itself supports tons of channels. Playon is adding support to chromecast, they also provide channels.

      • vawwyakr

        Quite a number now, Crackle, Rdio, Vudu recently updated with support. After Netflix, Hulu, Google Play and Youtube I haven’t really had that much need for others but more is always better for sure. What app are you wanting?

  • Ian Woloschin

    The height of a dime? Maybe you mean the diameter of a dime?

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    Do they say if it will be infected with adware? That’s going to be the deal-breaker for me if so.

    • Nate

      Good question. I’d like to know the answer.

      • J Cav the Great

        me three

  • Nate

    Could this be the reason most of the 2014 Blu-Ray player models don’t have any Amazon apps?

    “Shorter than the height of a dime”

    This can’t be right…

    • David Le

      the height of a dime standing up, not thickness

  • phinn

    I’ll have to keep an eye out for root. I’d like to hear about how it replaces OUYA for Emulators, XMBC (although i see that it supports Plex), Chrome, etc. Glad it runs Android though.

    • xsirxx

      I second this! If I can use XBMC and emulators and especially drivers for joysticks that I have to put on my android stick then this will be very nice. And if they could integrate the voice search with XBMC, I would be in heaven!

  • vawwyakr

    I have lost all interest in supporting Amazon’s offerings in this area. Their blatant lack of support for normal Android devices with video service has completely turned me away. I have 100s of dollars in videos that I bought on Amazon and never watch now after re-buying them off Google play so I could actually watch them on the devices I wanted. I really hope this thing is a miserable failure.

  • Jurk

    I dislike Amazon’s hardware ventures. They’re trying to be Apple (locking down their devices and content) by standing on the shoulders of Google (Android).

  • steveb944

    Hmm. To get rid of my Google TV for this, that is the question. I’ll have to wait to see the game catalog to decide.

    • ratnok

      No Google Play Movies, Music, or even YouTube. No sale.

  • MIKEEEEE

    i have used them all. roku, google tv, vizio costar, sony dvd player and now chromecast. i will use chromecast until it screws up. right now it works great and it’s the best streaming device yet.

  • http://www.DavidPat.com David Pat

    by the number of comments on this site, I can tell this thing won’t be that popular.

  • rarnedsoum

    Just like Roku.
    No Youtube, no thanks.

    • freakdageek

      roku *has* youtube, though

    • EarlyMon

      According to Amazon, it has YouTube.

  • Paul Guy

    Oh, goodie, another set-top box joining the ranks already populated by Roku, Google TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, Boxee (I know folks who still have them), Xbox, Playstation, blu-ray player, cable boxes, HTPC’s, XBMC devices…
    Wonder how long it’ll be until Amazon pulls their video app off other platforms now, too.

  • KvinlonWeldon

    Amazon Fire TV Sale **854
    GOTO:
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CX5P8FC/?tag=2014-2-20

    Save on Amazon Fire TV Clearance Event. Amazon CL1130 Free Shipping On Orders $25 & Up!

    Amazon, Amazon Fire TV Sale, Amazon CL1130, CL1130 Amazon

  • domahman

    Lenovo TV will have K1..if you are planning to upgrade your TV.

  • EarlyMon

    The TBA processor is a Snapdragon 8064 (aka the S4 Pro quad, same one as found in the Nexus 4) running at 1.7 GHz.

  • xXAaronSXx

    I’m actually about to add another Roku and would consider this but no Vudu is a deal breaker for me. I’ve got quite a bit of purchased content there. Also, if Amazon pulls their Instant Video from Roku, there’s no way I’m renewing my subscription.