After much anticipation and a little delay, Amazon finally released their streamer yesterday. It’s called Fire TV (FTV). FTV, at $99, competes with the Roku, Apple TV, and, to a lesser extent, Chromecast and Ouya. I predict it will kill them all. Let’s look at the specs (click to enlarge)…
For less than $100, FTV has impressive specs. With a quad core cpu, 2G of memory, optical audio out, and wired/wireless ethernet, FTV is a pretty expensive box. Amazon is probably not making much money on the hardware and this is going to be a problem for competitors that rely on hardware sales to pay the bills.
Then there’s the software. FTV streams almost all of the important stuff — Netflix, Amazon Instant, HuluPlus, WatchESPN, ShowTime, Crackle, and YouTube. Not enough? Install the Plex app and enjoy hundreds of internet streams via Plex. Plus it does flash.
And the accessories. ATV comes with a bluetooth remote and a bluetooth game controller is available.
Chances are pretty good that your PS3 controller or Kindle keyboard will pair with FTV. It’s also, apparently, pretty easy to side-load apps.
And everything else. In advance of yesterday’s presser, Amazon quietly reduced the prices for their Kindle Fire products. These tablets are a great FTV companion. The Fire can be mirrored to FTV or used as a second screen as Amazon extends X-Ray to television. Free Time for television lets parents their kids’ use of FTV. An integrated microphone allows for voice activated media searches.
The Fire TV comes with a one year warranty. Compare that to the 90 day warranties of the other products.
All of this is wrapped in a beautiful gui and coupled with Amazon free apps and media. If you have been considering a media streamer, Fire TV looks like a winner.