Amazon Debuts their Response to Roku – the Fire TV
Amazon will release the Fire TV for $99, starting today.
Dubbed the Fire TV, this box promises to be one of Amazon’s more powerful gadgets. It’s going to be running Android on a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon CPU with 2GB RAM, Bluetooth, 8GB internal storage, and dual-antenna wifi. It’s going to support 1080p video and Dolby digital surround stereo.
And it is reportedly so thin that it could qualify as a set under box. "Fire TV has three times the power and performance of Apple TV, of Roku 3, and of Chromecast," said Peter Larsen, VP at Amazon. "It is thinner than a dime. It fits underneath your TV, behind your TV. It fades seamlessly into the background."
I’m still looking for exact dimensions, but from the images available (via Mashable) I think he is exaggerating a lot. It’s not thinner than a dime; but it is less tall than a dime’s diameter. Note the USB, ethernet, and HDMI ports:
I don’t have a list of all of the compatible apps, but the names being bandied about so far include Netflix, iheartradio, Showtime, Hulu, MLB, Crackle, NBA, YouTube, TED, Disney, ESPN, and more. There’s also a report that a Plex app leaked in advance of the launch.
If that’s the Fire Tv in his hand then I was right ti estimate the size at four inches square:
And here’s the best feature (from Read Write): "This isn’t a closed ecosystem," Larsen said. "It has a ton of content. But how do you find this content? This is what you do on Fire TV: (speaks) 'John Malkovich.' You can now see all of the movies John Malkovich is in, and easily add any of them to my Watch List. There’s a microphone integrated into the remote control so I don’t need to yell across my living room."
The Fire TV is going to ship with video, but starting next month it will also have support for music apps. It will also ship with support for Kindle Freetime and X-Ray.
more details to come
Update: This is also going to be a gaming box, just like I expected on Friday. That controller which showed up at the FCC is going to be available as an optional accessory. Amazon is now saying that by next month the Fire TV will have thousands of games for customers to play. They’ll be able to play with the gaming controller or with the Fire TV’s remote (it’s a Wiimote-like controller). There’s also a mention of installing an app on their smartphone or tablet so it can be used as a controller as well.