(Image Credit: The Verge)
For long, it had been rumored that Amazon has a set top box in the works and many years we waited, but to no avail. An Amazon set top box was not in sight.
The rumors fluctuated in magnitude and recently, the rumor mills were churning again. Rumors started floating around about the Amazon set top box, but this time, something was different. This time, the rumors were real!
Yes, Amazon has unveiled the FireTV, which with a quad core processor underneath paired with 2GB RAM, it is top notch and up par and even above many smartphones.
(Image Credit: Gizmodo)
All that power is required to run that extremely image focused UI which while looking attractive, also takes up considerable resources. However, Amazon has packed it with lots of grunt and it is expected that the device will run smoothly without any hiccups.
In addition, the FireTV has dual band MIMO ( Multiple In Multiple Out) WiFi so that you have optimal internet performance. Wouldn’t it be really frustrating if your device was as fast as a rocket and slowed down when streaming videos?
This device is really thin and we mean it: This device is about the thickness of a dime and has a bulge where it stuffs in all the connectivity options such as HDMI, Ethernet, optical audio, etc.
It comes with it’s own small slim remote which connects via Bluetooth.
To make this device THE best, Amazon says it focused on three drawbacks of the current generation of devices while creating the product: Search, Performance and closed ecosystem.
As we mentioned at the top, Amazon seems to have taken care of the performance section, what about the other two?
Well, the FireTV runs a custom OS based on Android and HTML, so technically it is open and Android apps can be easily ported to it due to it’s Android core.
It comes with compatibility for all the essentials: Netflix, Pandora, Hulu Plus, Crackle and much MUCH more.
Plus, Amazon’s OS is extremely easy to use, so easy that anyone can pick up and start using it from the get-go.
Amazon’s OS has another nifty feature, called ASAP which is triggered by pressing the Play button on your remote. If triggered, it will start playing a random video from your collection.
Also much like the Online shopping prediction service, Amazon’s OS will be able to predict what you like and will suggest you more shows to watch .
Kind of a standard for streaming set top boxes, streaming of photos from a phone is also possible.
The FireTV also has a feature called X-Ray which fetches information about Actors, movies, etc leveraging the use of IMDB’s large database on your smartphone or tablet screen.
To keep parents without worries, the FreeTV has a kids mode called Freetime, where only content tailored for kids is shown, nothing else.
Now that you have your couch needs covered, what about search? Amazon has some neat tricks up it’s sleeve when it comes to the search section.
(Image Credit: The Verge)
Normally, TV addons with voice recognition have the microphone in them, thus making you shout across the room to do mundane things. Amazon has cleverly embedded the microphone in the remote itself, meaning you don’t have to shout out like a crazy animal to just do anything.
There’s no shouting across the room at your TV, which is irritating,” Amazon’s Peter Larsen said.
While, for long rumors about Amazon’s set top box and Amazon’s Gaming console remained separate, recently, the rumors suggested that Amazon’s set top box will be the Amazon Gaming Console.
Should you get bored from season marathons (Which we doubt), Amazon has also stuffed the set top box with the ability to play games, with numerous games from developers like EA, Disney, etc coming in next month.
You can either play those games with the remote itself (Which we wouldn’t recommend) or buy a $40 Amazon controller to play games as they were meant to be.
An image was leaked recently which showed Amazon’s gaming controller and Amazon’s controller does look pretty damn similar to the leaked photo.
If you opt in to the Amazon Gaming controller, you are rewarded with 1000 Amazon Coins which can be used to buy games.
WIth many big titles such as Minecraft (Yippee!), Asphalt 8, etc coming to the FireTV, it seems you will have a hell of a collection to choose from when you buy it.
And you don’t have to rob a bank to buy some great games, games’ prices average at under $1.85 apiece!
Following the footsteps of Nintendo, Amazon is also going to be making it’s own games, for the Kindle Fire and the FireTV.
You can buy it starting today, price details are below.
The FireTV is shaping up to be pretty awesome and will go on sale for $99, in the same league as the Roku and the Apple TV. Already the FireTV looks like the better device in the market and seems to be the one that deserves the prestiged spot under your television.