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April 2nd 2014 11:31 am

Amazon's new Fire TV

Amazon's video event is currently underway, but they just unveiled the Amazon Fire TV, a new set top box that features a quad core processor, 2GB of RAM, and a dedicated GPU. Admittedly, that's an incredible amount of power for a device dedicated to streaming digital content.

It'll be interesting to see what happens with it. It sounds like it's based on Android, so it'll be easy enough to port apps over. Are we seeing the first viable content and app platform in the streaming media space? Seems like there's enough power here to support games and even 4K content. It also seems like it nails some of the things that the Google TV never could (outside of the recent Chromecast).

How do Apple and Roku respond to this sort of thing? Or does it even matter?

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Some other thoughts: No idea what CPU it's running (probably some sort of Snapdragon), but one would presume that an Apple TV with an A7 chip would run circles around this. I'm really interested to see what Apple does based on this.

Amazon's device is pretty intriguing. I think the potential of bringing apps to your television is pretty huge and no one has quite figured it out yet.
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What fire runs is already the equivalent of the A7 (same as the kindle hdx). Apple can come out with a box running A8, but the increase would be negligible and hardly noticeable. Fire is near instantaneous. You're not going to get much faster than that. I don't really think it matters what Apple comes out with. Apple users will buy it even if the upgrade amounts to practically nothing. I personally can't see why one would have bought Apple tv over a roku 3 in the first place since roku is better in every way, unless you own nothing but Apple and had to stream some things from your phone or tablet (assuming that all content you own is in Apple products).
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I find interesting that Amazon is talking up "services" and "games" as if they negotiated content deals when the device is just leveraging their existing Android store.
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I am at a place where I don't have anymore HDMI ports! I have a Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV and of course the DVR and DVD. I barely use the Roku and Apple, since a lot of the content I want to stream works with Chromecast, so while I like what Amazon has, it's just not in the cards for me right now.
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I like this because its a way to watch Amazon's video service. I have been paying for prime but have not really used the instant service since i have not been able to watch on the TV directly. Since it will have Amazon, Netflix and Hulu the only other box i think i will need is the Apple TV for the iTunes content i have.

I also like that they are sell the game controller separate from the box. I ordered the box and will be playing with it here in a day or so.
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First impressions on this box.

It’s small and very compact but has a solid weight to it.

It’s fast and smooth when moving through the menus and the content. The Voice Search is responsive and quick to find results. It is not a universal search though. It didn’t find any results that were on Netflix but it did find an item on Hulu once but I was not able to get it to do that again when I tried for the same show.

It has more apps on it then I 1st thought beyond Hulu, Netflix, Amazon store, and Pandora. I want to go through and see if there are more apps for stuff like watching podcasts or YouTube. It does have a Vimeo app. When searching for a music artist it did find content for them on Vimeo.

The remote is nice and is comfortable in the hand. I have to say so far it’s the remote that I think is its best item. I like it much more than the Apple TV Remote.

It doesn’t feel cheap but I don’t think it’s something worth the 99 bucks they are charging. I didn’t play any games on it so I am not sure how that will work especially since I don’t have the game controller.
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If the rumors are true we will see an updated Apple TV this year. I like the Apple TV as it is for the most part. I think it needs to have a UI clean up but other than that its always had the content i was looking for. I would like to see a Universal search though.

As for Roku, Not sure what they can do. They already have more apps, more form factors and a good amount of content. I believe they even have an Amazon player (not sure about this one). The thing they seem to be lacking is the marketing push that the Amazon Fire Box will have behind it.
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Yes, the Roku has an Amazon Instant Video app and it works great. As that is now the only way I am watching streaming content, the FireTV does look pretty compelling. In my case, though, the headphone jack on the remote of the Rokus 2 and 3 is enough of a feature that Roku effectively has me "locked in" unless I can confirm that the FireTV would work with my LG Tone headset somehow and not exhibit any audio lag at all in the process.
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