Archives For Fire TV

Long-time digital media developer Jon Maddox, who you may know as half the team behind the stellar Channels app and DVR software that maximizes HDHomeRun network tuner hardware, weighs in on the Amazon Fire TV Recast DVR competition:

Folks routinely ask for streaming box recommendations. And, for a few years, I took the position that Roku and Fire TV were largely equivalent and indicated the decision should come down to content and app preferences. Need Kodi? Amazon is the answer. YouTube? Roku. Etc. However, the math changed last fall when Roku refreshed its lineup with smartly integrated volume-control capabilities. For many with streamlined configurations, a Harmony is unnecessary or overly complex (with additional clutter) — whereas simply adding some CEC and IR control to an expensive streamer may be exactly what the doctor ordered for increased efficiency. Well, today, Amazon ups the ante with similar from the $50 4K Amazon Fire TV Stick… and then some.

Continue Reading…

Amazon Fire TV Cube Reviews

Dave Zatz —  June 21, 2018

Amazon Fire TV Cube has arrived … and the reviews are in! The streamer essentially mates an Amazon Fire TV with an Echo Dot and some Logitech Harmony-esque IR blasting capabilities. When first announced, I was enticed (especially given the introductory pricing) – but Amazon’s increasingly cluttered presentation and conspicuously missing volume buttons gave me pause. Not to mention, I’m currently down on always-listening voice assistants — whereas the more economical, yet sufficiently powerful, Amazon Fire TV ships with a perfectly suitable Alexa-powered, push-to-talk voice remote. But let’s see what folks who’ve actually put the hardware through its paces have to say:

The Verge: Alexa turns out to be a good match for your living room

The speaker is not as powerful as a standard Echo, but it’s not designed for playing music — the Cube will route any music requests to your TV’s speakers or your soundbar. Most of the time, Alexa’s responses will also route through the TV’s speakers, but it will use the Cube’s speaker if the TV is off or set to another input. […] And in my experience of testing the Fire TV Cube over the past few days, its Alexa-based voice control system works more often than it doesn’t. But I’m not throwing my remotes in the garbage just yet.

Continue Reading…

While Best Buy often functions as an uncompensated showroom for online sales, given massive Alexa and Fire TV displays, the big box store is clearly a valued Amazon retailer. As such, the two companies have announced a significant partnership expansion that sees Best Buy replacing Roku on Insignia house-brand sets with the Fire TV experience. Also, interestingly, Best Buy will not only sell these televisions in-store but optionally through Amazon.com for the first time.

Continue Reading…

Amazon Fire TV: Echo Edition

Dave Zatz —  September 13, 2017

As Apple continues to rest on its laurels, despite trailing the pack, Amazon is prepping an all-new Fire TV that mates their well-regarded video streamer to full-featured Alexa voice control. Like the Amazon Echo Dot, the incoming flagship Fire TV will incorporate a far-field microphone array, for always-listening capabilities, along with speaker output and the possibly iconic lightbar. Beyond the merged functionality you might expect, the new Fire TV seems likely to pick up a few Logitech Harmony Hub-esque remote control tricks given the included IR blasters… with hopefully a better reception than seen from the Xbox One. While timing and pricing remain uncertain, I’m willing to bet this tricked out 4K HDR 60fps digital media adapter will likely clock in lower than Apple’s $149 1080p aTV.

Amazon Fire TV Going OTA?

Dave Zatz —  June 3, 2016

fire-tv-2015-hd-antenna-bundleAs Rovi indicates TiVo could move away from retail hardware, it appears Amazon is preparing to offer over-the-air capabilities on Fire TV … which dovetails nicely with uncovered support to display live channels within the AFTV interface. The Fire TV would obviously need some sort of network tuner, a la HDHomeRun, or a USB accessory, like the Xbox One, to pull in the signal via antenna. Of course, most televisions offer similar tuning capabilities. But accessing all our video content from a single interface offers some benefit… especially given Amazon’s search and voice capabilities. Having said that, for many, OTA content without DVR recording capabilities is a non-starter. Could that, too, be on the docket via USB storage or a subscription cloud service? In any event, piping in antenna television locally, as Sling intends to do with AirTV, is an excellent way to round out the video experience without worrying about retransmission licensing challenges that plague Sony’s PS Vue and the MIA Apple TV streaming service.