Can’t wait until October 5th for your 4k Fire TV fix? Best Buy has already started lining shelves with Amazon’s new model, clocking in at the same $99 (and potentially cheaper than the incoming Roku 4). And while I didn’t partake (today), I’m far more interested in Amazon’s streamer knowing TiVo support is just around the corner.
I assume many of us would prefer the HDMI dongle form factor in many situations. However, my experience with the Fire TV Stick wasn’t the greatest. Plus, beyond my Amazon-specific quirks, there’s really only so much you can cram into these sorts of gadgets before they melt and wireless reception will always be a concern. So, box it is — more power, more ports, and more clutter (unless you get tricky).
Beyond 4k, the beefed up Fire TV features a number of upgrades over its predecessor, like 802.11ac and a microSD slot for who knows why, while swapping out a Bluetooth controller for the greater range of WiFi Direct. Also, Fire TV 2 takes a page from Echo with Alexa. Yeah, the prior model had reasonably decent voice skills. But we anticipate all sorts of new capabilities via “Alexa” (which is expected to hit existing Fire TV boxes this month).