Amongst popcorn aromas and home-theatre decor, today, Amazon announced Fire TV: a streaming set top box that aims to deliver just about every video streaming service in a compact, powerful package.
Addressing the media at today’s announcement in New York, Amazon.com’s Peter Larsen, Vice President of Kindle, identified three problems with today’s internet-enabled set-top boxes—search, performance, and a closed ecosystem—and detailed how Fire TV solves them.
Granted, search and content ecosystems are well within the purview of Amazon. But performance? That’s where Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processors come in.
Sporting a Snapdragon 600 processor with quad-core CPU, the Fire TV has all the base capabilities you expect from a device that lives in your living room: Full HD 1080p streaming video, 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus surround sound, and a lighting-fast, ultra-stable dual-antenna Wi-Fi connection.
With three times the processing power of other set-top boxes, the Fire TV features silky-smooth menu navigation and content browsing. And utilizing the additional performance on tap, Amazon have introduced ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction), which automatically predicts, buffers, and stores the shows you want to watch—all you need to do is hit play, and they instantly start.
But this is Amazon, the everything store. And the Fire TV is the everything box.
Foremost of which is the new voice search. Just press a button on your remote, and the Fire TV can find John Malkovich’s entire body of work at the utterance of his name, or get Team Umizoomi up and streaming almost as fast as you children can yell “Umizoomi.”
In addition to the massive library of movies and TV shows available through just about every video streaming service on the planet; the dedicated Qualcomm Adreno GPU opens up the Fire TV to the gaming world. Available today are staples such Minecraft, The Walking Dead, NBA2K14 and more than 100 other games. In addition, the GPU will power Amazon’s first foray into video games: Sev Zero.
Additionally there’s Second Screen—allowing users to mirror music, movies, and photos from their Kindle Fire HDX (also powered by Snapdragon processors) to their TV. And unlike the set-top boxes that came before, Fire TV will feature X-Ray: A second screen experience, powered by IMDb, that provides viewers with relevant information—such as cast and crew bios, soundtrack credits, trivia, character backstories, and more—as their movie or show plays. Currently, X-Ray is available for Kindle Fire HDX users, with support for iPhone and iPad later this year.
Amazon’s Fire TV is available now for $99.