Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Amazon Fire TV trumps Apple TV for $99!



For years speculation has surrounded an Amazon streaming device. Not so much if, but when. Today the company tardily unveiled its Fire TV during a live media event in New York City.

The new Android-based streaming device apes the Kindle HDX form factor sans built-in screen, boasts triple the processing power of Apple TV, Chromecast and Roku, and features voice search FTW.

Voice search works with the bundled Bluetooth remote's microphone. With Fire TV you simply speak the title, actor, or genre into the remote and you're done. It's a simpler solution to Microsoft's Kinect.

X-Ray for Movies & TV by IMDb brings second screen integration much like Xbox SmartGlass. You’ll be able to look up actors, music, or other IMDb-provided details, as the content plays on your TV. Amazon says that X-Ray will add support for iOS devices later this year.

Amazon is not only taking on Apple, Google and Roku, but has Ouya in its sights too. As rumoured, a dedicated controller accessory is available to play games on the Fire TV. The diminutive set-top-box will play games like Minecraft, Asphalt 8 and a few other games at an average price of $1.85. Thus beating Apple to the punch in offering apps and games.

Fire TV will host lots of apps aside from Prime Instant Video. Including Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, YouTube, Crackle, Showtime Anywhere and many more.

Amazon Fire TV ships from today in the US for $99. There's no word on an international release and that's where Apple TV dominates.

The streaming wars just got more intense. However, do consumers need another box?