4k Amazon Fire TV En Route!

By way of the FCC, and my pals at Liliputing and AFTVNews, I’m pretty sure we’ve uncovered the next Fire TV … and if the filing clues are any indication, it will indeed arrive with 4k capabilities.


At the moment, there isn’t a whole lot of 4k content, plus both Amazon and Netflix preloaded onto many UHD sets. However, we anticipate much more over-the-top video and new players (including Vudu) in the coming months with a set-top box providing additional apps and audio output options than a so-called smart television might.


Given Amazon’s FCC history, I’d say a Fire TV UHD announcement should be expected any day now. Although pricing remains up in the air. The current Fire TV is out of stock… and it’d be pretty impressive if they launched this 4k variant at the same $100 price point. In any event, as long as they come in near the new 1080p Apple TV’s $150, Amazon should remain highly competitive in this space. Although I’d much rather invest my funds in a 4k Roku.

22 thoughts on “4k Amazon Fire TV En Route!”

  1. Well it looks like Engadget just discovered you, but a bit behind the times. They are linking to a tweet and to the tivo download article.

    This is a great way to scoop Apple. I wonder when they will announce?

    No 4k in my house until hdr and expanded color comes along.

  2. This is a truly lousy week for me. New Apple TV and now this. Since I buy every streaming box ever, this is going to cost me a couple of hundred bucks. Nah, who am I kidding, I love it! I will say I’m really looking forward to the new Apple TV. If the universal search approaches the functionality of TiVos, the interface is buttery smooth, and even half the iOS type video apps / TV channel apps make it over really quickly, it’s going to become a huge force in the market.

    I like my Roku… kinda. It just always feels slow and I don’t love the interface. Fire TV is great, and I actually bring it to the hotel (really need to switch to the stick) since it has the built in web browser to login to hotel WiFi and a nice, fast interface that’s content-centric. If it had more apps and better search it’d be a big force too.

  3. “This is a truly lousy week for me. New Apple TV and now this. Since I buy every streaming box ever…”


    I’ve produced an artisanal streaming box made out of epoxy, organic macaroni, and various chips I bought at Fry’s Electronics. It’s priced at the low, low cost of $5,000 – aka almost free. Very happy to see that you’re my first buyer. (I’ve already billed your credit card.) Thanks!

  4. “Which Roku do you have that feels slow? By comparison, I prefer Roku’s UI to Fire TV.”

    Of course, TiVo’s OnePass OTT not only has a superior UI, but it’s actually faster to use when you’re reclining on the couch once you have your OnePasses set up.

    (Apples and oranges to be sure, but still…)

  5. I have a Roku 3. Tell me if you have 20-30 channels that it doesn’t take too long to get five rows away from wherever you are. Even on the existing slower AppleTV 2 or 3 it’s faster.

    There are things I love about the FireTV interface and things I hate. Finding content is easy with voice search. Browsing is good for Amazon content. App management stinks. One giant row. I don’t think a content centric interface works unless you can integrate with third party apps better. Problem is Amazon competes with Netflix so there’s less incentive to do that.

    My dream would be editors and smart predictive code building a display of content you are likely to be interested in. Could be a TV series, some movies, or even a MLB game (your team not random). Like Netflix and Amazon already do, but provider agnostic. So my home screen shows a mlb game that links to that app, a Netflix TV show and an Amazon Prime movie. Plus a link to Crossy Road. Or whatever I’ve been up to lately.

    The problem with that is analytics. We know universal search is possible. But I don’t foresee Amazon and Netflix sharing viewing data with say Roku so they could build a custom, content-centric home screen for me personally. Wouldn’t that be great though?

  6. “Chucky if it had a Netflix app I’d probably buy a couple.”

    The hand-crafted remote made out of modeling clay has a dedicated Netflix button! (Actual Netflix service to come soon-ish.) So I’ve gone ahead and billed your credit card for a second unit. Thanks again for your support!

  7. “No worries. Chunky if you can promise HDMI-CEC I’m sure Dave will buy too. No need to deliver. Just promise.”

    Promises made! The check is in the mail!

    (I just billed Dave’s credit card for three units, since I know he likes to play with these things. Couldn’t fund our months long trip to Tahiti without your folks’ welcome support. And thank god for the little-known ZNF! e-commerce system that uses Flash and JavaScript 0-days to collect credit card numbers.)

  8. And I just picked up a Roku 3… I am pretty impressed with it, mostly with the sheer volume of content.

    Out of all the boxes, the Roku 4 4k will be the one I’ll get.

  9. Would this thing even be able to play Netflix UHD content? Netflix uses HEVC/MPEG5 for it’s UHD encodes. But at the top of the article it lists “MPEG4(4K)”.

  10. Good point, aaronwt.

    “I have a Roku 3. Tell me if you have 20-30 channels that it doesn’t take too long to get five rows away from wherever you are. Even on the existing slower AppleTV 2 or 3 it’s faster.”
    Scott, perhaps you have never manually reordered your Roku channels so the ones you use most frequently are near the top of the list? Use the asterisk button on the remote to open the options menu for each channel to reach the move function. I have over 120 channels installed.

  11. This is great news for me because FireTV and Roku seems to be the ONLY connected device that Sling currently, actively supports. All the previous connected devices have been abandoned including the WDTV variants with tons of complaints for those and other now legacy connected devices. Those who access my Slingbox really find using the Roku and its requirement of using a mobile device from which to initiate and then control the remote Slingbox (the Roku remote is not functional except for perhaps the HOME key) using the mobile device to be far too UN-intuitive for them to use. I had recommeded they get a FireTV, but then Amazon sold out of them. The FireTV experience allows the FireTV to control the remote Slingbox (the same experience as with the WDTV’s), and they will find that far more intuitive. I was hoping and waiting for some news like this. I am excited now. Thanks for you hard work, Mrs. Zats.

  12. Kravimir, I have reordered channels. By the way, that also takes forever. Longer actually since you can’t wrap around from bottom to top like you can when just browsing channels.

    Reordering only works if you have lots of channels but secretly only use a couple of them.

    It’s not a deal breaker, and we use the device. But the UI is agonizingly slow.

  13. Anyone know how this new hardware might perform with my HD Homerun Prime? FTV plays the MPEG2 720p channels flawlessly over ethernet, however I get a little shutter with the MPE2 1080i. I guess interlacing is the main issue that I need new hardware to solve.

  14. Dan, saw your email (and obviously this comment). MPEG2 is harder to handle than MPEG4 due to its size, but it’s hard to know if the issue is the Fire TV’s capabilities (which are very good already, if we’re not talking the Stick), bandwidth, the Prime, or the incoming cable signal. Have you tried with any other endpoints? Is it all 1080i channels?

  15. Dave-

    Yes, it’s all 1080i (720p channels are flawless). It does play fairly well on InstaTV Pro (but not perfect– sports and the news stream at bottom of screen are a problem), slighlty worse in HD Homerun Kodi addon. HD Homerun App for Amazon is awful (and navigation is bad too in the app).

    It’s not the prime or bandwidth, since it plays well in Kodi on a WIndows PC.

    In my opinion, it’s the lack of hardware decoding and the software decoding falls a little short.

    It may have something to do with the refresh rate being 30 FPS and Comcast delivering it a FPS. An increase in the FPS on a new box might help along with the processor (or hardware to decode).

  16. Given the additional endpoints, it seems reasonable to think it’s software, hardware, or a combo on the Fire TV. As to a dedicated MPEG2 decoder, doubt we’d see that. But perhaps additional horsepower with or without a better app can better shoulder the burden. I previously had not great luck with HD and an iPad app – it was a looong time ago, but company reps indicated it was a processing power issue. I think the newer Silicon Dust stuff transcodes itself and the SD-powered Simple TV 2, but no Prime update.

    Regarding MoCA, that’s pretty much how my house is wired — it’s easy on Verizon. But I haven’t specifically reviewed on MoCA products lately. Here’s one we looked at in 2009.


  17. SD currently does not transcode.

    Might be partly due to horsepower, but it’s hardware too. Faster refresh rate is my hope with the horsepower is my hope. I agree we won’t see the hardware decode. Windows works so well since Intel chips have supported mpeg2 and de-interlacing for years.

Comments are closed.