Price (RRP) £79.99
The Amazon Fire TV has many of the same features as its smaller companion, the Amazon Fire Stick, but packs performance enhancements amongst other advantages.
Coming in at around double the cost of the aforementioned Fire Stick, the Fire TV provides an enhanced HDMI video output of up to 4K Ultra, and has a quad core processor, which improves processing power by 75% over the previous generation. Storage space remains at 8GB.
Other advantages of the Fire TV include high performance gaming, an ethernet port and a microSD slot, which allows for up to 128GB cards.
Output resolution has also increased to 2160p, double that of the capabilities of the Stick, but only streams at 30fps. 1080p content matches the stick with a 60fps stream.
Differences aside, the Fire TV promotes much of the same content as the Stick, with streaming services such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix, 4oD and Plex included.
Even if the buyer does not have a 4K UHD TV, the Fire TV will compensate by streaming content at up to 1080p instead.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon’s own streaming service, Prime, acts as the main subscription-based service available on the box. Thousands of movies and TV shows can be accessed through the service, with original programming such as Transparent and The Grand Tour available to those wanting an alternative to free TV apps and Netflix’s programming.
Gamers can purchase the Amazon Fire TV Game Controller to use with the box, and enjoy hours of gameplay from unique Ubisoft, Sega and Hipster Whale. Many of the games are free, and paid titles begin at just 59p.
The Fire TV also has Dolby Digital Surround Sound, with an enhanced volume level via HDMI of 7.1 (in supported apps). Dolby Digital is said to be arriving for Netflix soon, too.
The Amazon Fire TV learns what TV shows and movies the user likes, and pre-loads them in a feature called ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction). The more the TV is used, the more accurate ASAP becomes, catering for unique viewing preferences.
Although bigger than the Stick, Fire TV is also portable, and can be used anywhere there is a Wi-Fi connection, allowing users on the go to enjoy their favourite programming wherever they are.
Unlike many second generation boxes and devices at a higher cost, Amazon Fire TV provides a much more tuned viewing experience than the Stick, with significant advances in processing speed, features, hardware and picture quality, making the jump in cost worth the buy for those wanting a more comprehensive media system.