For a while, you haven’t been able to buy Amazon Fire TV on Amazon because it was gone. Amazon Fire TV, while it was available, allowed you to see free streaming TV shows, videos, and movies. I thought that probably meant they were giving up to Roku 3 and Google Chromecast and turning their attention elsewhere.
It would be understandable. Roku is the premier streaming media player for watching free streaming TV shows and movies and Google’s Chromecast is just plain cheap. Amazon Fire TV stick competes better with Google Chromecast for seeing free streaming TV shows and movies, but it definitely doesn’t compete with Roku 3.
Well, I was wrong. Amazon has just announced a brand new Fire TV that is certain to narrow the gap between it and Roku 3 if not totally closing it. Yes, I’m wrong a lot and it’s frustrating, but in this case everyone will benefit from it.
The difference between the previous version of Amazon Fire TV and Roku 3 was mostly the channels. Roku 3, having been around for a while, was able to negotiate with most all of the big players in streaming TV and movies to add them to their extensive list of channels; more than 2000. Amazon Fire TV was coming along at 1600+, but wasn’t there yet. Some of the key channels were missing.
Also, Roku 3 has Sling TV and Vudu which are popular with many users and not available on Amazon Fire TV.
Roku 3’s voice search is a great feature that had also not been available on the Amazon Fire TV streaming media player.
Roku 3 is also has been faster than the Amazon Fire TV by virtue of a quad-core processor that simply has outperformed Fire TV’s dual-core.
All that is about to change as Amazon has announced the newest version of their Fire TV, available in about 3 weeks, and it has plenty of features to make you think twice about the Roku 3. Also, if you’re already an Amazon Prime member, Amazon Fire TV is definitely the best way to see Amazon Prime video, TV, music, and movie content right on your TV.
Take a look at all the new Amazon Fire TV has to offer and see if it’s the best streaming media player for your needs!
Free Streaming TV Shows: Hottest New Streaming Media Player
4K Ultra HD Streaming
Right off the bat, you just have to say that the Amazon Fire TV support 4K Ultra HD streaming and you have my attention. It’s true that there isn’t a whole lot of 4K programming to get excited about, just having it kind of future-proofs the Fire TV for some time to come.
When you do latch onto some 4K streaming media, the results are of course fantastic. With about 4X the resolution of full HD 1080p, the extra detail and crystal clear picture are immediately noticeable. It’s worth noting that none of the other streaming media players, including Roku 3, Apple TV, and Chromecast, support 4K Ultra HD.
With Amazon Fire TV you will enjoy the most TV shows and movies in 4K Ultra HD including classic movies like The Way We Were, critically acclaimed TV shows like Orphan Black, blockbuster movies like Captain Phillips, Moneyball, and more titles are being added all the time on Amazon Video. You can also watch Amazon Original Series including Transparent, Catastrophe, and Man in the High Castle. Stream Netflix favorites including House of Cards in 4K Ultra HD.
Just a note in case you didn’t catch on. You have to already have a 4K Ultra HD TV in order to enjoy streaming 4K Ultra HD content.
New Amazon Fire TV Video
If you don’t have a 4K Ultra HD TV, not to worry, Amazon Fire TV is already built to support the latest High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) and over the coming months will deliver more 1080p HD streams from Amazon Video with approximately 2X more efficient encoding than the current standard. The coding allows Fire TV to deliver high-quality video streams with less bandwidth. With Fire TV you will be able to experience more high-quality 1080p streams from Amazon Video.
Finally, Amazon has given Fire TV 75% more processing power thanks to an all-new quad-core processor delivering a more responsive interface, near-instant search results, smooth gaming, and ultra-fast streaming.
You also get the latest Wi-Fi support for dual-band 802.11ac, a dedicated graphics engine, 2 GB of RAM, and expandable storage up to 128 GB (microSD card not included).
Amazon Fire TVs previous channel deficiency has disappeared as well. You now get to search and choose from over 3,000 channels, apps, and games, and you get access to all your favorite subscriptions and streaming services. With over 250,000 TV shows, movies, and live TV shows to choose from, you will never run out of things to watch and listen to.
You don’t have to give up any of your favorites like with the previous generation of Fire TV. You get instant access to Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO NOW, and Hulu. You can even watch live TV using Sling TV which includes ESPN, AMC, HGTV, TNT, Food Network, ABC Family, and much more.
You can even play your favorite games through Amazon Fire TV like best-selling titles from Mojang, EA, Disney, and Ubisoft many for FREE. Top games available include Lego Star Wars, Pac-Man 256, and Minecraft. There is even a brand new Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition designed specifically for game play.
Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition Video
Sharing your photos on your HDTV has never been easier than with the brand new Amazon Fire TV. Any photos or videos you take on your phone or tablet can be automatically uploaded to Amazon Cloud Drive where they are immediately available to show on your HDTV. With your Amazon Prime membership you get enough FREE storage on Amazon Cloud to store your entire photo and video library.
Alexa Comes To Fire TV
Something that Roku 3 had that Fire TV did not was voice search. True, it wasn’t great, but it was available. Fire TV just upped their game by integrating their cloud-based service known as Alexa into their device allowing you to check sports scores, weather, play music, search TV shows, movies, actors, genres, and more. We have Alexa, and it is amazing as a standalone device and it’s easy to imagine using Alexa on Fire TV will be better than Roku 3’s voice search. In addition to being able to search all of Amazon video, music, app, and game catalog, you can also use it with Hulu, HBO GO, Crackle, Showtime, and Starz.
The new Amazon Fire TV Voice Remote has a built-in microphone to use with Alexa virtually eliminating the awkward typing you used to have to do. Thanks to Alexa, once only available on Amazon’s standalone Echo the Fire TV’s voice search actually works reliably. Alexa is a cloud-based service so whenever Amazon makes improvements and adds new features to its capability, you get to immediately enjoy all of the improvements on your Fire TV.
Alexa also learns. The more you use Alexa, the smarter it gets. Alexa learns to adapt to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preference to improve your experience each day.
Amazon Fire TV is the perfect companion to your cable subscription which you can use to stream on-demand content through a variety of apps like HBO GO, Showtime Anytime, and WatchESPN just to name a few. Just download the apps, enter your cable account information and start watching.
Bump It Up A Notch With Prime Membership
Then there are all the benefits of being an Amazon Prime member. Through Prime Video you can watch literally thousands of movies and TV episodes like The Americans, Justified, and Downtown Abbey at no additional cost. Also access your favorite HBO shows like The Sopranos in the HBO collection.
Amazon Originals are exclusive shows, available to Prime Members, created by Amazon Studios. This includes from Bosch to award-winning series like Transparent, and great kids shows like Tumble Leaf and Creative Galaxy. All of the Amazon Originals content is available exclusively on Amazon.
Millions of Songs
What about music? There are literally millions of songs available through Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Spotify in addition to the Amazon Music Library.
With an Amazon Prime Membership you get access to even more on Prime Music which has Prime Playlists and ad-free listening to over a million songs including ones from Daft Punk, Pink, Bruno Mars, Blake Shelton, The Lumineers, Bruce Springsteen, and Madonna. Depending on your mood, activity, artist, or decade, you may choose to listen to one of over 1,000 Prime Music Playlists.
7.1 Surround Sound
Combine stunning 4K Ultra HD video with amazing Dolby Audio sound you can enjoy surround sound and consistent quality via HDMI up to 7.1.
Amazon has outdone themselves with their new ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) Technology which learns what Amazon movies and TV shows you like and gets them ready for you to watch in advance. The more you use Fire TV, the better ASAP works by dynamically adapting to your viewing habits.
Explore Movies and TV Shows Faster
Want to explore for more movies and TV shows? Use the IMDb-based X-Ray on Fire TV where you can learn about character backstories, see related trivia, and jump to your favorite scene or skip opening credits.
Get peace of mind with Amazon FreeTime which helps parents create custom profiles for up to four kids by choosing the movies, TV shows, apps, and games that they can access and by setting up daily screen limits and place restrictions on certain types of content.
Amazon Fire TV Lineup Video
Display-mirroring is now available on Fire TV which allows you to share whatever is on your mobile screen directly to your HDTV without an app from your Motorola, LG, or Google device. Or “fling” content from any supported mobile apps like YouTube, Spotify, and Netflix to your Amazon Fire TV which frees your device for other tasks.
With built-in Bluetooth 4.1 support you can use your Bluetooth-compatible headphones to listen privately in Dolby Audio virtual surround sound without disturbing others in the room.
Here are the new Amazon Fire TV’s specifications:
- Dimensions are 4.5L x 4.5W x 0.7D inches and it weighs in at only 9.5 oz.
- Its new faster processor is a MediaTek Quad-core running at up to 2 GHz
- A new dedicated Power VR GX6250 GPU provides blazing fast graphics processing
- Fire TV comes with 8 GB of internal storage and is expandable with a microSD card up to 128 GB
- It comes with 2 GB or RAM
- It’s got an all new Wi-Fi suite using a dual-band, dual-antenna, Wi-Fi (MIMO) supporting 802.11a/b/g/n/ac for faster streaming and fewer dropped connections
- Available ports include a DC jack, HDMI-out, 10/100 Ethernet, a microSD slot, and USB 2.0 port
- Output resolutions supported include 2160p up to 30 fps and 720p and 1080p up to 60fps
- Amazon Fire TV comes with a 1-year limited warranty with service included
Free Streaming TV Shows Comparison Chart
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