Amazon has announced the FireTV, a small television set-top box for streaming movies, TV shows and music. The FireTV probably get it’s names from the Amazon tablets aka Fire series of devices. The small footprint seems to be the trend since last year. In fact, in Singapore, we have local telco provider M1 with Vodoke has an IPTV solution using such Android tv devices but they are locked down to the apps available unless you jailbreak it.
Picture Courtesy of Mashable
Anyway, the FireTV isn’t something special if you are familiar with android tv boxes. It will sit in the centre of your entertainment living room. It will come with a small bluetooth remote with buttons for you to navigate. The plus is that it has a microphone for voice search. The box comes preinstalled with Apps for Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, WatchESPN, MLB.tv, NBA Crackle, Bloomberg TV and others will be supported at launch, and of course Amazon will have its own services on board, such as Amazon Prime Instant video and options to purchase and rent newer releases.
Fire TV also serves as a predictive engine called “ASAP,” which pre-loads content it thinks you are going to watch, so it can start without any buffering or load time. This feature learns over time and gets better at predicting preferences.
Beyond video, FireTV will stream music from users’ Amazon libraries and from streaming apps such as Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn. User can view photos as well, as long as they’re stored in Amazon’s Cloud Drive services. The main menu also shows a “games” section, but we’re still waiting for more information on that. Kindle Fire users can see information about what’s on the TV using Amazon’s “X-Ray” feature. Users will get a notification on their tablets, letting them tap to learn about actors and other information on a video, and see lyrics for music. FireTV’s components are similar to that of a smartphone or tablet, with a quad-core processor, a dedicated graphics processor, 2 GB of RAM and dual-band Wi-Fi. It supports 1080p video and offers Dolby Digital Plus Surround Sound via HDMI or optical output.