Amazon held a press event today to talk about their video business. Their big reveal was the Amazon Fire TV. It is Amazon’s foray into the set top box granting them direct access to consumers to sell more Amazon content and ensuring that Prime customers have a means of playing Amazon Prime content on the best screen in their house, the TV.
Amazon Fire TV costs $99 which puts it at the same price as Apple TV, Roku and other set top boxes but significantly over the Chromecast which was also mentioned in rumors swirling around today’s reveal. The Fire TV brings a powerhouse of hardware for that price tag.
It features a quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and a dedicated GPU. It allows display of up to 1080p content. With Ethernet and dual-band/dual-antenna Wi-Fi, your streaming experience should be smooth. The Fire TV is also another point of interest with its biggest feature being a microphone built into the remote for voice recognition in searching content. It allows connection to Amazon Instant Video and Amazon Prime Instant Video as well as popular services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Pandora, and others with more coming soon.
The Kindle Fire HDX can cast its display to be mirrored on your TV through the Fire TV or use the tablet as a second screen so you can see other information about what you’re watching.
The Fire TV uses the same fork of Android as the Kindle Fire, which enables it to play some Android games. An Amazon Fire Game Controller is an optional accessory for $39.99 that allows you to play more games. The Fire TV has a feature coming next month called Amazon FreeTime. It allows parents to control the device so that kids require a password to leave their approved content and can set a daily limit of how long they are allowed to watch.
The Amazon Fire TV is already shipping and available for purchase.