Amazon Fire TV 2015 Features Mediatek MT8173 Cortex A72 & A53 Processor

Last year, Amazon launched the Amazon Fire TV box based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor for $100. The company has recently introduced an upgraded model powered by Mediatek MT8173 quad core processor (2x Cortex A72, 2x Cortex A53), and with support for 4K videos, while keeping the same price tag. Fire TV 2015 specifications: SoC – Mediatek MT8173 quad core processor with 2x ARM Cortex A72 cores @ 2.0 GHz and two ARM Cortex A53 cores @ 1.6 Ghz, and a PowerVR GX6250 GPU System Memory – 2GB Storage – 8GB internal storage + micro SD slot up to 128GB Video Output – HDMI up to 2160p30, 108060, 720p60. HDMI CEC and HDCP 2.2 support Video Codecs – H.265, H.264 Audio Support Codecs – AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, Dolby Atmos (EC3_JOC) Dolby Audio, 5.1 surround sound, 2ch stereo, and HDMI audio pass through up to 7.1 Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1 …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Nvidia Shield Android TV vs Apple TV vs Roku 3 vs Fire TV vs Nexus Player – Video Capabilities and Features Comparison

Since Nvidia released the Shield Android TV box, I’ve heard several people saying Nvidia raised the bar and even disrupted the TV box market by bringing a powerful HTPC and gaming console to the market for just $199. The company has now released OTA 2.0 firmware that improves HTPC capabilities, including under Kodi and Plex, and the box supports for 10-bit HEVC, H.264, and VP9 @ 4K, and audio pass-through for HD audio codecs such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master. As part of the release announcement, Nvidia also compared the Shield TV media capabilities to the ones of other US centric media players, namely Apple TV (2015), Roku 3, Amazon Fire TV (2015), and Nexus Player. Since it comes from Nvidia, it was also going to show the Shield TV in a good light, but I’m very surprised to see that Apple, Amazon, Google, and Roku would ship a device without MPEG-2 support… Maybe most people just stream videos …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

$5 Amazon Dash Buttons Can Be Hacked as WiFi Logging Buttons

Amazon launched Dash buttons earlier this year in order to allow Amazon Prime customers to order products by simply pressing them. The small WiFi enabled buttons only cost $5, and looked like a nice thing to hack. And that’s exactly what Ted Benson did, and managed to use them to log his baby’s patterns like the number of time he poos, or wakes up at night by pressing some buttons, and storing the results in a spreadsheet. The hack does not involve any firmware or hardware modifications, and instead he noticed that the Dash was disconnected and sleeping, except when the button was pressed. So all he does is to detect ARP requests from the Dash using some Python code relying on Scapy library, and when the MAC address matches one of the dash MAC addresses (hard coded in the Python program), data is sent to a Google Spreadsheet using a tools called Magic-Form. Here’s a quick demo. Just one …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Amazon Introduces $39 Fire TV Stick to Compete with Chromecast, Roku Streaming Stick

Amazon has decided to put Fire TV media player functionality into a low cost HDMI TV stick called “Fire TV stick” to offer an alternative to the likes of Google Chromecast, and Roku Streaming Stick. The device is based on a Broadcom BCM28155 dual core processor with the same VideoCore IV GPU/VPU found in BCM2835 SoC used in the Raspberry Pi. Fire TV stick hardware specifications: SoC – Broadcom BCM28155 (Capri) dual core ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 1.0 GHz with VideoCore IV GPU/VPU System Memory – 1GB RAM with half reserved to the system, and the other half dedicated to video. Storage – 8 GB internal storage Video / Audio Output – HDMI 1.4b output, w/HDCP 1.4. Resolution: 720p and 1080p up to 60fps Video Codecs – H.264 Audio – AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis Connectivity – dual-band/dual-antenna 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (2×2 MIMO),  Bluetooth 3.0 (HID, HFP, HPP profiles). Other part of Amazon website indicates …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Amazon Fire Phone Features a Camera Array for Dynamic Perspectives, and Firefly Real-Life Object & Audio Recognition

Amazon first phone has been rumored for a few months, and yesterday Jeff Bezos finally unveiled the Fire Phone powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor @ 2.2 GHz, with 2 GB of RAM, a 4.7″  720p display. It also supports 3G and LTE cellular connectivity, and beside a 13MP rear camera, and 2MP front camera, it also features a specialized camera array with four sensors to offer “Dynamic Perspective” and show different information depending on the position of the phone. Beside the hardware, the most notable feature is Firefly an augmented reality application that can recognize objects you may want to buy, and automatically link them to the Amazon store. Let’s go through the hardware specifications first: SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad core CPU @ 2.2 GHz with Adreno 330 GPU System Memory – 2GB RAM Storage – 32 GB or 64 GB Display – 4.7″ HD LCD display, with 1280 x 720 resolution, 590 cd/m2 brightness (typical), 1000:1 …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Amazon Launches $99 Fire TV Android Media Player Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon Quad Core SoC

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. Let’s go through the specifications first: 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, …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Amazon Kindle Fire Source Code Available

After Android 4.0 source code release, it’s a good week for open source, as Amazon has also opened Kindle Fire source code as it had to comply with Android Open Source Project (AOSP) license has some point. Source code for other Kindle products is also available. The source code for the Kindle Fire is tarred in a file named Kindle_src_6.2_11185402.tar.gz which is quite a large download (809 MB).  The file contains 4 directories with the source code for the Linux kernel (2.6.35), a modified version of Android 2.2, the bootloader (u-boot) and x-loader, first-level bootloader for OMAP SoC. I’m not sure many people will work on this version, as Android 4.0 source code for OMAP4 (The processor used in Kindle Fire) is available and has been ported to Galaxy Nexus and TI OMAP4 low cost development board (Pandaboard). So we could see Android 4.0 (ICS) running on Kindle Fire in the near future. Memory optimization may have to be done …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet Powered by TI OMAP4 Processor

Amazon unveiled its first Android tablet yesterday called the Kindle Fire. The Kindle Fire seems to have similar hardware specifications as the RIM PlayBook. The Amazon tablet is powered by a Texas Instruments OMAP 4 dual core processor, features a 7″ capacitive touchscreen, using IPS (in-plane switching display) technology with 1024×600 resolution,  8GB of flash storage, WiFi support, a Micro-USB port, top-mounted stereo speakers and a stereo headphone jack. The Kindle Fire apparently lacks a microSD or SD slot, does not support 3G and does not have camera. It measures 191 x 119 x 11 millimeters and weighs 413.9 grams. When Wi-Fi is disabled, the battery will last for up to eight hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback. The good news is that it will be sold for 199 USD.  It’s 100 USD cheaper than the (already cheap) Archos 80 G9 with a similar hardware, although the Archos Tablet features a front camera and a larger …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon