Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Amazon's FireTV is a reality, ready for pre-order, searchable by voice

Amazon announces the AMAZON FIRE TV

Fire Tv,Amazon's "tiny box" that you connect to your HDTV to easily enjoy "Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, low-cost movie rentals, and much more" (including WatchESPN) is even ready for delivery.  Didn't I just read that Amazon denied the rumors?

  The only surprise for me was that instead of the usual pre-ordering, it's available in one day to people who can't wait the usual Prime two days if ordered within ~4 hours from the time I'm typing this but I'm never in that much of a hurry for any product.  And 2-day Prime shipping (+ the program's InstantVideo + downloads and Kindle-book loans) is fast enough.

They offer an HDMI cable with it for $6 if you don't already have one.  If you don't, I'd get the one they are suggesting, as it's a decent price and they will have tested it together.  HDMI cables vary in effectiveness.

I'm editing to add that they have a separate page for "What's on" or available for the new Fire TV unit.

  They also suggest an Amazon Fire Game Controller for $40 currently (which needs batteries and those are suggested also, in their purchase box.  Their description of what you can do with this:
'...In addition to using the Fire TV remote and the Fire TV app available starting next month, you can also choose the Amazon Fire game controller, which enables more high-intensity and complex gaming with dual analog sticks and a complete assortment of controls. Simple and comfortable to use for hours, the Fire game controller pairs with Fire TV via Bluetooth.

The Fire game controller also intelligently manages power by automatically going to sleep when not in use, and waking at a touch of a button, so you get up to 55 hours of gaming on a pair of AA batteries. You can pair multiple game controllers with a Fire TV so the whole family can play together in the same room. ... The Fire game controller can also be used as a remote, with fast forward, rewind, play and pause, so you can control all your movies and music on Fire TV. The Fire game controller is available today for $39.99, and comes with a free copy of Sev Zero
[an Amazon's original game] and 1,000 Amazon Coins (a $10 value) for purchasing games.
They also have a page now for Fire TV apps: Apps for Android.

I'll just get this off by reproducing Amazon's wording, so people who've been interested can see what Amazon has to say about what they've actually done, and this one will be of interest to many.

   The VOICE-search is the thing that got my own interest, as I hate doing searches with the remote control, and I already have good experiences with the quality of Amazon's streaming of video and music. Here is what they're describing at their product page.  I'll add more detail later.

For $99:
The Features You Expect from Amazon
Amazon Fire TV is a tiny box you connect to your HDTV. It's the easiest way to enjoy Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, low-cost movie rentals, and much more
  •  Your partner in Prime—The best way to enjoy unlimited access to over 40,000 Prime Instant Videos on your HDTV, including Amazon exclusives like Downton Abbey and Justified
  • Massive selection—Over 200,000 TV episodes and movies, millions of songs, and over a hundred games
  • Voice search that actually works—Simply say the name of what you want to watch and start enjoying in seconds.
  • Tiny box, huge specsFast quad-core processor, 2 GB of memory, dedicated GPU, plus 1080p HD video and Dolby Digital Plus surround sound
  • Easy to set up and use—Pre-registered to your Amazon account so you can enjoy favorite titles and personalized recommendations
  • Instant streaming—Exclusive new feature ASAP predicts what movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and buffers them for playback before you hit play
  • Perfect for parents—Amazon FreeTime lets you easily limit screen time and create personalized profiles just for kids (coming soon)
  • Great for gaming, too—Play blockbuster titles like Minecraft-Pocket Edition,The Walking Dead, and Monsters University, plus free games and Amazon exclusives. Paid games start from just 99 cents

At the moment, I'm not sure how much will be on it right away but here's what Amazon says it will do:  This is a small preview of the comparison chart with Roku, Apple TV and Chromecast that you'll get a larger version of at Amazon if you click on "Show me" on the Fire TV product page.

So, for now, if interested, take a look for yourself, as there are too many details for one blog space, and I'm reading info from other sources that I'll add later today.

Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

Send to Kindle

(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
If interested, you can also follow my add'l blog-related news at Facebook and Twitter
Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!


  1. Andrys,
    I'm out here in SF this week at the MS Build conference -- so my focus is more on MS than Amazon, but I did get the PR and looked at the Amazon product pages. As you alluded to -- it's a little bigger than I thought it would be. Price seems OK to me -- as does the available content. One thing you can do with Chromecast is mirror your PC screen on your TV -- I didn't dig so deep into it to determine whether it could do that -- OTOH Miracast is available on some KF's.

    1. Yes, it can mirror and 'fling' as well. I need to do a follow up with added detail. The apparent solving of the 'delay' problem is no small thing - good hardware for that money.

      How long will you be here?

    2. Till Saturday 3pm. In Petaluma/Antioch all Friday. Friday night at hotel near SFO.

    3. Wow, Petaluma's pretty far from SF... Will contact you though.

  2. The H/W specs are impressive, and the size isn't as big as I initially thought. Some analysts are likening this to a mini game player. A lot of the FireOS 3.0 features like second screen come to the Fire TV essentially for free just because Fire TV is built on top of Fire OS.

    1. Yes to all of that, Edward. I included a smaller version of that comparison chart because it is a pop-up that's only 'On Demand' so I wanted to make sure people could see that it was there.
      -- Impressive. I actually bought one right away (being a tv/couch potato) although I normally wait a bit since there are plenty of people reporting first impressions.

  3. Great article Andrys. For those who live outside US like me, you can access Netflix, Hulu and similar media stations on your amazon fire tv by using UnoTelly or similar tools.


NOTE: TO AVOID SPAM being posted instantly, this blog uses the "DELAY" feature.

Am often away much of the day, and postings won't show up right away. Posts done to use referrer-links may never show up.

Usually, am online enough to release comments within a day though, so the hard-to-read match-text tests for commenting won't be needed this way.

Feedback and questions are welcome. Thanks for participating.

Technical Problems?
If you're having problems leaving a Comment, Google's blogger-help asks that you clear the '' cookies on your browser's Tools or Options menu bar and that will fix the Comment-box problems (until they have a permanent fix).

IF that doesn't work either, then UNcheck the "keep me signed in" box -- Google-help says that should allow your comment to post (it's a workaround to a current bug).
Apologies for the problems.

TIP: There's a size limit. If longer than 3500 characters or so, in a text editor, make two posts out of it.

[Valid RSS]