Amazon has announced its “newest Fire TV set-top box, a flat, plastic box that plugs into your TV and offers a variety of internet video content, now supports 4K Ultra HD video, a claim that Apple can’t make with its own set-top box. (You’ll have to be watching 4K content, on a 4K TV, to really reap the benefits of this, but at least the option is there),” Lauren Goode reports for The Verge. “Amazon has also brought “Alexa,” the popular cloud-based assistant found in the enigmatic Echo speaker, to the Fire TV through its voice-enabled remote control. ”
“There are some notable performance enhancements to the box as well. It has a 64-bit quad-core MediaTek processor and a GPU that’s twice as fast as the first-generation box. It supports 802.11 MIMO Wi-Fi technology, which is supposed to offer faster, more reliable Wi-Fi video streaming,” Goode reports. “This new box costs $99.99.”
“The box has 8 gigabytes of internal storage, but is expandable up to 128 gigabytes through a microSD slot,” Goode reports. “Finally, Amazon is taking casual gamers seriously: the company is also putting out a gaming-specific edition of the new box, which comes with a redesigned gaming controller, a 32-gigabyte microSD card, and two free game downloads, for $140. All of these open up for preorder today and will ship in October… Netflix, Showtime, WatchESPN, HBO Go, Hulu, Vevo, and of course, Amazon’s own original content, can be streamed on the boxes, and it’s adding a bunch more by year-end.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Wonderful for passive streaming, the 4K is the draw (not for us, though, as we already get Amazon, Netflix, and other 4K content directly through the apps in our Sony 4K Ultra HDs) versus the 1080p offered by Apple TV, but the Apple TV App Store will simply be unrivaled, to say nothing of the expected Apple Internet TV bundle(s) that loom, hopefully (right, Eddy?), just over the horizon. And, of course, Apple TV’s Siri Remote offers a glass touch surface with accelerometer and gyroscope for motion control. Amazon offers nothing like it.
No 4K is a bit of a let down. Finding 4K content is a chore. Right now, we’re mainly stuck with Netflix or Amazon and their limited 4K choices to feed our 4K Sony Ultra HD TVs. Oh, well. Perhaps the hardware is capable and Apple can simply add 4K content at a later date once 4K TVs become more prevalent? – MacDailyNews Take, September 2, 2015
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