After few months ago, news broke that Amazon was working on an Android STB. The company has now launched Amazon Fire TV media player featuring Qualcomm Snapdragon 8064 quad core Krait processor with 2GB RAM, and supporting Amazon Prime Video, as well as a host of other popular online video and audio streaming services such as YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Vimeo, Pandora, and more.
- SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 8064 quad core Krait 300 processor @ 1.7 GHz with Adreno 320 GPU. (Part of Snapdragon 600 family)
- System Memory – 2GB LPDDR2 @ 533 MHZ
- Storage – 8 GB internal
- Video Output – HDMI 1.4b output, w/HDCP. Resolution: 720p and 1080p up to 60fps
- Audio Output – HDMI, optical SPDIF
- Video Codecs – H.263, H.264, MPEG4-SP, VC1
- Audio Codecs – AAC, AC-3, E-AC-3, HE-A, PCM, MP3, Dolby Digital Plus, 5.1 surround sound, 2ch Stereo and HDMI audio pass through up to 7.1
- Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual-band/dual-antenna 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (MIMO), Bluetooth 4.0 (profiles: HID, HFP 1.6, SPP),
- USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port
- Dimensions – 115 mm x 115 mm x 17.5 mm
- Weight – 281 grams
Amazon also included specs for the “Fire TV Remote” provided with their box:
- Communication Protocol – Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR with support for the following profiles: HID, HFP 1.6, SPP
- Buttons – Voice, 5-way Directional, Back, Home, Menu, Rewind, Play/Pause, Fast Forward
- Dimensions – 38.3 mm x 139.9 mm x 16.1 mm
- Weight 68 grams with batteries (45.5 grams without batteries)
- Power – 2x AAA Batteries (included)
The remote supports voice search thanks to two digital microphones.
Amazon Fire TV will come with the aforementioned remote, 2x AAA batteries, a power adapter, and a Quick Start Guide. An optional Game Controller is also available. The device runs FireOS, an highly customized Android firmware based on Android 4.2.
Amazon has also provided a comparison table including Fire TV STB, as well as what the company considers as its main competitors, namely Roku 3, Apple TV and Google ChromeCast.
When it comes to hardware, Fire TV is clearly ahead, so if the firmware is right you should have a very smooth experience. Fire TV appears to have support for most of popular online U.S. video and audio services, lacking only HBO GO, and support for a greater amount of games, but it’s quite likely they put aside some others strong points of the Roku, Apple TV, and ChromeCast. I can’t really comment here, as I have never really looked into Roku or Apple TV in details.
Together with Fire TV launch, Amazon also announced FireTV SDK to let developer brings apps to their new device. All information you need should be available on Amazon Developer’s Fire TV page.
Fire TV is available and shipping now for just $99 on Amazon (US only), and the Game Controller can also be pre-ordered for $39.99 with shipping scheduled for the 7th of April. You may also get a free 30-day trial of Netflix and Amazon Prime when you purchase Fire TV.
Thanks to CSilie for the tip
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.