If you have any familiarity with cutting the cord, you have probably used or played with Amazon’s Fire Stick or Fire TV. These products are extremely easy to use and priced very aggressively to compete with the more generic Android boxes available on the Internet.
Amazon has, however “upped the ante” with the new iterations of its flagship product. Amazon is planning on releasing two new Fire TV models later this year which will include built-in Alexa functionality. Amazon’s new Fire TV model offers additional features that might entice existing users as well as those that have yet to experience the simplicity of the Fire TV.
Amazon’s All-In-One Fire TV
The first option priced between the existing Fire Stick and Fire TV is an HDMI dongle that resembles the Chromecast. The primary difference being its shape (square) in comparison to Google’s video streaming product. The new dongle plugs into the HDMI port in a similar fashion to the existing Fire Stick and is priced to fall in between the Fire Stick and the more expensive Fire TV.
New Fire TV Device Specs
The specs are great too. The new dongle offers 2GB of RAM, 8GB of Internal storage and a 1.5GHz processor which exceeds what is currently available in the Fire Stick. Perhaps most interesting, however, is that even this lower-end device (priced from $20 to $40 above the Fire Stick) will offer support for 4K and HDR content.
The Fire TV, however, is where the real magic happens. Similar to the new mid-tier Fire Stick replacement, the new Fire TV will also support 4K and HDR content, however, what really makes it interesting is its integration of Alexa.
Alexa integration is not new on the Fire TV – previous versions have had it through the voice remote, but the new Fire TV takes it to another level with integrated far-field microphones and an integrated speaker.
The overall look and feel of the Fire TV now incorporate a lot of the same design aesthetic that has become familiar to us from the Amazon Echo and the Echo Dot. In fact, the new Fire TV looks a lot like an Echo Dot that has been transformed from its normal cylindrical shape into a cube.
From a functionality point of view, the Fire TV will allow you to control your TV with or without the remote, including powering it on, changing the channel and increasing or decreasing the volume. Similar to the Echo Dot, the top of the unit will have the same hardware buttons to control the device (mute, increase or decrease volume etc.) and the box will also incorporate an IR blaster allowing the control of older style TVs.
Expected price for the new Fire TV is upwards of $100 with a yet to be announced release date.