Today Amazon is launching their first set-top box to tackle the living room. Many people thought the Fire TV was going to be a dongle, but it is a set-top box much like an Apple TV or Roku box. It packs some impressive hardware and really beats out the competition in terms or performance and features.
Powering the box is a quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM. Almost all other set-top boxes and streaming devices like the Roku 3, Apple TV and Google Chromecast have only 512MB of RAM. This should eliminate any type of lag and Amazon claims the device is three times faster than solutions from Apple and Roku. For connectivity you have a standard HDMI port, optical audio, Ethernet and a USB port.
The Fire TV will run Android (Amazon skinned of course) and HTML much like Amazon’s Fire series of tablets. There is an included remote for easy navigation and built-in microphone for voice commands. As far as content goes you will of course have access to Amazon’s streaming service, Instant Video, but Amazon has teamed up with a good amount of partners including Hulu, MLB.tv, the NBA, Netflix, YouTube and Vimeo. We are not sure if all of these apps will be available at launch, but will be made available over time.
Amazon also announced the Fire Game Controller. It will be priced at $39.99 and comes with 1000 Amazon Coins to buy games with. The average cost of a game for Fire TV is said to be only $1.85 and there are over 1000 free-to-play titles as well.
The Amazon Fire TV is available starting today at just $99.