A few days ago we reported that blogger Dave Zatz, uncovered an FCC filing by Amazon indicating that a new Fire TV could be on the way. Considering that the original Fire TV was no longer for sell on Amazon it led us to believe that they definitely had something up their sleeve. Today Amazon decided to make it official with the release of their new upgraded Fire TV.

 

Fire TV (MSRP: $99)

Amazon Fire TV - 4K

Hardware

The new Fire TV boasts a number of hardware upgrades over its predecessor including an all new quad-core MediaTek processor which Amazon states is 75% faster than the previous Fire TV’s. The little black box also holds 2GB of on board memory, built-in bluetooth, a dedicated graphics engine as well as 8GB of built-in storage. If 8 isn’t enough for you, then you can add a 128GB microSD card for more storage. To help increase the stability of the Fire TV’s network connections it now features dual band 802.11ac WiFi.

 

Improved Video Streaming

To help improve video streaming, the new Fire TV will support High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) which is twice as efficient at encoding video files than current industry standards. The end result is that Amazon will be able to deliver 1080p video faster and more efficiently to customers.

 

4K Support

Perhaps the biggest selling point of the new Fire TV is its support of 4K Ultra HD video which is something that Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Roku lack. It’s no secret that UHD media has been hard to come by, however Amazon has been steadily cultivating a library of 4K video the past few months and this may be why. Of course, you’re not restricted to just Amazon media. Netflix, which is an available app on the Fire TV, also has a growing list of 4K videos which are readily available to Netflix subscribers.

 

Voice Commands Now With Alexa

The Fire TV’s new voice remote is now augmented with Alexa. Alexa is Amazon’s cloud based voice service which is designed to respond to your questions and feed you information. Alexa is an adaptable learning system which adjusts itself to your speech patterns and personal preferences.

 

TV & Movies Galore

Amazon Prime users get access to all Amazon’s video and music offerings. However beyond that, Fire TV supports a vast community of TV apps from major broadcasters such as HBO, ESPN, Showtime, ABC Family, TNT, The Food Network and more.

 

Fire TV Gaming Edition (MSRP: $139)

Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition

Amazon is also releasing an all-new Fire TV gaming edition which is specifically targeted towards casual gamers. The system features the same specs as the standard Fire TV, but it also includes a re-designed ergonomic game controller, two free games and a 32GB microSD card for additional storage.

 

All-in-all, the new Fire TV is a definite upgrade over it’s predecessor. The Fire is currently the only streaming box that supports 4K video. Even the newly re-designed Apple TV lacks 4K video support. With the holiday season quickly approaching this could give the Fire TV a slight edge.

 

The standard Fire TV edition will have an MSRP of $99 and the Gaming edition will have an MSRP of $139 when they both go on sale October 5th. However, if you want to get a jump on the holiday rush both are available for pre-order on Amazon.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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