or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPod + iTunes + AppleTV › Amazon takes on Apple TV with new $99 fireTV streaming & gaming set-top box
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Amazon takes on Apple TV with new $99 fireTV streaming & gaming set-top box

post #1 of 190
Thread Starter 
Already a content creator and seller, Amazon will now enter the set-top box business with the new $99 fireTV, launching today with video streaming and gaming capabilities, taking on the likes of the Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast.





Amazon unveiled the fireTV, its new 1080p HDTV accessory at a media event in New York City on Wednesday, boasting that with a quad-core CPU and 2 gigabytes of RAM, it's three times as powerful as existing devices on the market, all while being about as tall as a "piece of popped corn," the company said. And at $99, it's the same price as Apple TV.

"Tiny box, huge specs, tons of content, incredible price--people are going to love Fire TV," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. "Voice search that actually works means no more typing on an alphabet grid. Our exclusive new ASAP feature predicts the shows you'll want to watch and gets them ready to stream instantly. And our open approach gives you not just Amazon Instant Video and Prime Instant Video, but also Netflix, Hulu Plus, and more. On Fire TV you can watch Alpha House and House of Cards."

Unsurprisingly, the device will tie into Amazon's ecosystem, with Prime Instant Video content available to stream, as well as any content purchased through the online retailer. Amazon has 10 original shows coming exclusively to Prime Instant Video, featuring stars such as Jeffrey Tambor in "Transparent" and John Goodman in a second season of "Alpha House."

Compatibility will also be available at launch with Netflix, Hulu Plus, Showtime Anytime, and WatchESPN and more, with other video providers are planned to be added in the future. Also included is music support from Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn.

The fireTV will support third-party apps, as its custom operating system is based on Android and HTML.




The fireTV comes with a remote control that has an integrated microphone that allows users to search with their voice, allowing users to find content based on actors' names, programming titles and more.

The set-top box also integrates with Amazon Cloud Drive, allowing users to push content such as photos to their television set. And established Amazon features from the Kindle Fire and Kindle lineups, such as X-Ray for content information and Free Time for parental controls, are also part of the fireTV.

fireTV will serve as a game console as well, featuring a dedicated controller with a typical dual-joystick design that is now available for $39.99.




In its presentation, Amazon called out the Apple TV, citing a customer review who was disappointed by the AirPlay Mirroring functionality offered by racing title Asphalt 8. A fireTV version of Apshalt 8 was later shown, using the dedicated controller rather than an iPad or iPhone.

Other titles showcased for fireTV included Minecraft and Monsters Inc., while Amazon also showed off its own custom third-person shooter titled Sev Zero. The company said the average price of a paid game on its storefront is $1.85, while over a thousand games are free to download.

Connectivity on the fireTV includes HDMI, optical audio out, Ethernet, and USB. The system is based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8064 with a 1.7-gigahertz quad-core processor, along with a Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU. It includes 8 gigabytes of internal storage, and features dual-antenna 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.

post #2 of 190
1) Lots of pros and cons with this device but I think Roku's days might be numbered.

2) Respectable that they put HBO GO on the list even though they don't support it.

3) Neither the Roku, Apple TV, nor Chromecast feel sluggish so making it quad-core with 2GB RAM with that GPU is strictly for gaming, which I feel is a waste as I believe most won't game with the device (even if the oddly high-priced, $40 controller was included). I think it would have been better to create two models: one for the non-gamer which could come well under the Roku 2 and Apple TV, and this one for gaming.

4) The amount of NAND seems surprisingly low at 8GB and I'm not seeing an SD Card slot, which would actually come in handy on such a device. People complained about the Apple TV having 8GB NAND and it doesn't have any games you can play. I question how Amazon's ASAP is going to work.



Edited by SolipsismX - 4/2/14 at 9:39am

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply
post #3 of 190
Has some nice features, but not sure I would pay $99. If it came free or at a discount with my Prime subscription, then OK.
post #4 of 190

God I hope Apple updates the ATV UI this year. Can't stand the hideous icons with the glossy overlay (ala iOS 6).

post #5 of 190
Your move, Apple.

How many times in the past two years has Cook said, "We've got amazing new products in the pipeline..."?

Definitely a bunch of market-appeasing, gasbag bromides at this point. They sound no different than any other vaporware-producing has-been.
post #6 of 190

I feel that Apple dropped the ball here. They sat back, not introducing new features such as gaming, which has allowed Amazon to step in.

post #7 of 190
"Huge specs"

LOL. As Weird Al once said, "it's all about the Pentiums."

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #8 of 190
That's a pretty impressive $99 streamer. I don't see anywhere that Amazon has skimped on it hardware-wise either. A better remote than any of their competitors, excellent internals for the box itself and a tiny form-factor. Then add in lots of content and even an upcoming child-friendly "FreeTime" content version that parents will probably love and I think Amazon may well have best-in-category at this point.
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #9 of 190
$MSFT is to cut Xbox one to $99 at next week's build conference.
post #10 of 190
Quad Core is marketecture.

802.11n is old stuff.


Apple will deliver a much better product IMO
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
Reply
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
Reply
post #11 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

How many times in the past two years has Cook said, "We've got amazing new products in the pipeline…"?

Several, but Apple also released amazing products during that time.

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply
post #12 of 190

Unfortunately Apple with it's US Centric view seems to have been chasing cable providers instead of simply opening the App/Channel store so that the content providers could do their job for them.

 

I can see non US customers dumping their ATV's very quickly once this comes out in their country, Apples support for the international market with the ATV is a poor joke. Pay 25% more and have no local content whilst the US Customers get everything, really pisses me off.

 

Waited years for Apple to do something about it and they just sat there....

iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
Reply
iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
Reply
post #13 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

That's a pretty impressive $99 streamer. I don't see anywhere that Amazon has skimped on it hardware-wise either. A better remote than any of their competitors, excellent internals for the box itself and a tiny form-factor. Then add in lots of content and even an upcoming child-friendly "FreeTime" content version that parents will probably love and I think Amazon may well have the market winner at this point.

Haha, we'll never know because Amazon doesn't reveal sales figures.

post #14 of 190

I'll buy one today if it supports the Time Warner Cable app like my Roku 3 does.

post #15 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post
 

Unfortunately Apple with it's US Centric view seems to have been chasing cable providers instead of simply opening the App/Channel store so that the content providers could do their job for them.

 

I can see non US customers dumping their ATV's very quickly once this comes out in their country, Apples support for the international market with the ATV is a poor joke. Pay 25% more and have no local content whilst the US Customers get everything, really pisses me off.

 

Waited years for Apple to do something about it and they just sat there....

When do u expect this in other countries? I mean Amazon videos & MP3s aren't even available in Canada yet.

post #16 of 190
This is an interesting product and pretty much what people were expecting for a next-gen Apple TV. I really hope Apple have got something to counter this in the pipeline - the sooner the better!
post #17 of 190
Game changer.
 
Where's the new Apple TV?
 
And still waiting for SolipsismX to prove his accusation:
"And yet they haven't loved Google Wallet which you claimed was the exact same thing and kept posting...
Reply
 
Where's the new Apple TV?
 
And still waiting for SolipsismX to prove his accusation:
"And yet they haven't loved Google Wallet which you claimed was the exact same thing and kept posting...
Reply
post #18 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by mubaili View Post

$MSFT is to cut Xbox one to $99 at next week's build conference.

Um, Build started today. 

post #19 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

That's a pretty impressive $99 streamer. I don't see anywhere that Amazon has skimped on it hardware-wise either. A better remote than any of their competitors, excellent internals for the box itself and a tiny form-factor. Then add in lots of content and even an upcoming child-friendly "FreeTime" content version that parents will probably love and I think Amazon may well have best-in-category at this point.

I don't like the use of an external power supply. One of the best design features of the ATV is the built-in PSU.

 

Remote seems to be bluetooth not IR. Not so great for people with certain Harmony remotes that only support IR.

post #20 of 190

I really like it. The voice search is awesome- really hope Apple carries that over.  Great product from Amazon.  Too bad they won't sell many of them and when Apple releases their next iteration- they'll crush them.

 

But I'd pick this Amazon box over Roku any day of the week (if the remote works as planned)

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini Retina, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini Retina, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply
post #21 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScartArt View Post
 

I feel that Apple dropped the ball here. They sat back, not introducing new features such as gaming, which has allowed Amazon to step in.

 
I expect Apple to announce something at WWDC, including an AppStore. I don't see how Amazon announcing something 2 months earlier is a big deal. Kindle Fire didn't stop Apple from selling a shitload of iPad minis.
post #22 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1) Lots of pros and cons with this device but I think Roku's days might be numbered.

2) Respectable that they put HBO GO on the list even though they don't support it.

3) Neither the Roku, Apple TV, nor Chromecast feel sluggish so making it quad-core with 2GB RAM with that GPU is strictly for gaming, which I feel is a waste as I believe most won't game with the device (even if the oddly high-priced, $40 controller was included). I think it would have been better to create two models: one for the non-gamer which could come well under the Roku 2 and Apple TV, and this one for gaming.


The Roku is here to stay- it streams porn
 
Where's the new Apple TV?
 
And still waiting for SolipsismX to prove his accusation:
"And yet they haven't loved Google Wallet which you claimed was the exact same thing and kept posting...
Reply
 
Where's the new Apple TV?
 
And still waiting for SolipsismX to prove his accusation:
"And yet they haven't loved Google Wallet which you claimed was the exact same thing and kept posting...
Reply
post #23 of 190

I hope Apple is really getting something mindblowing ready to go. This covers most of the rumored features of the AppleTv update. Voice control, apps, gaming...

 

Between this and the Moto watch, there's a whole industry getting built around watching for Apple rumors and getting a decent product out based on the rumors before Apple does. 

post #24 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

Your move, Apple.

How many times in the past two years has Cook said, "We've got amazing new products in the pipeline..."?

Definitely a bunch of market-appeasing, gasbag bromides at this point. They sound no different than any other vaporware-producing has-been.

He also they'll be released in late 2013 and throughout 2014. It's only April.
post #25 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post
 

When do u expect this in other countries? I mean Amazon videos & MP3s aren't even available in Canada yet.

It's in the UK. Although the Amazon content may not be in your country there will be the ability on this box for local content providers to get in on the action, plus the channel list is far more extensive than what is on the ATV.

 

I wanted Apple to give a shit about the ATV and the users outside of America for years, I have owned each and every ATV with the hope that one day that might actually do something.

 

Once this baby is in the UK I am putting my ATV on eBay, as a pretty die hard Apple user it's sad. But I doubt Apple will miss me, it's not as if I'll be dumping my other Apple products.

iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
Reply
iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
Reply
post #26 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Quad Core is marketecture.

802.11n is old stuff.


Apple will deliver a much better product IMO

When? Apple dropped the ball here. Big time.

post #27 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post
 
 
I expect Apple to announce something at WWDC, including an AppStore. I don't see how Amazon announcing something 2 months earlier is a big deal. Kindle Fire didn't stop Apple from selling a shitload of iPad minis.

That will depend if it ships straight away. Amazon could have a 6+ month lead.

 

If Amazon get a third party app that gives AirPlay functionality and then a lot of business sales of ATV disappear. Companies want a single device to be able to support both Apple and Android devices to stream presentations.

post #28 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post
 
 
I expect Apple to announce something at WWDC, including an AppStore. I don't see how Amazon announcing something 2 months earlier is a big deal. Kindle Fire didn't stop Apple from selling a shitload of iPad minis.

True, but Apple could have and should have released the App Store for the ATV years ago when they launched the ATV 2. They seriously dropped the ball for no reason on this one. 

iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
Reply
iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
Reply
post #29 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Apple will deliver a much better product IMO

 

Perhaps.  The critical question is WHEN???

FEAR GOOGLE
Reply
FEAR GOOGLE
Reply
post #30 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Quad Core is marketecture.

802.11n is old stuff.


Apple will deliver a much better product IMO

Will they?  I've been waiting a year now for something better.  I was really hopeful for March.  I don't even know if we'll see anything in April seeing as how we haven't had a single rumor or pic yet about it.  The Apple TV is my favorite product- and the lack of updates to it's hardware is disheartening to say the least.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScartArt View Post
 

I don't like the use of an external power supply. One of the best design features of the ATV is the built-in PSU.

 

Remote seems to be bluetooth not IR. Not so great for people with certain Harmony remotes that only support IR.

 

Not a big deal if the device supports line of sight as well- not sure if it does (does the roku?).  Also- the draw to the remote is the voice search.  Something Apple could clearly have an advantage with by using Siri on iDevices in lieu of a remote.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by jakeb View Post
 

I hope Apple is really getting something mindblowing ready to go. This covers most of the rumored features of the AppleTv update. Voice control, apps, gaming...

Those 3 things I want very badly.  The side-by-side comparison of Asphalt 8 was a clear indicator of how much better a dedicated controller is.

 

If Apple comes in with an A7- w/o disabled core, 1gb (or more) Ram, 16gb SSD (or 8gb w/ upgradable options- or ideally but unlikely, 8gb SSD with Time Capsule storage capabilities), wireless ac, universal search via voice-remote (or, preferably, accessibility via iDevice)- even at $199, i'd be all over it.  They can even make a crippled version for $99 as secondary units if needed.

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini Retina, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini Retina, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply
post #31 of 190
It will lost money for Amazon, and Bozo will announce we will lost more money and start producing movies, the analysts all got excited and tells dumb day traders Bozo is so innovative and the stock will double in no time, and the guidance will triple...by next year, Amazon ran out of money losing ideas and start during Apple for monopoly and spin off the gadget to some hedge funds and the stock will shot up again....
post #32 of 190
Here come the spec chasers, so disappointed in Apple. So concerned that Apple doesn't chase every competitor. So concerned that Apple doesn't believe in "more is more."

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #33 of 190

Did Apple drop a ball? I can't tell from the comments so far

post #34 of 190
Meh.

Honestly, seems kind of me-too. Quad core means nothing to me- as others have noted, if it streams HD without stuttering, who cares? The gaming doesn't appeal to me personally - will it win any console players?

On the other hand, Amazon has access to content, which I think is the real critical ingredient here. I personally can't see content companies preferring Amazon to Apple, considering how the eBook market has been pwned at the expense of the publishers (much worse than anything Apple did with the music industry, I think). But CEO's can be odd ducks...
post #35 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

Game changer.

No, but I'll go with "ante upper"

post #36 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeb View Post

I hope Apple is really getting something mindblowing ready to go. This covers most of the rumored features of the AppleTv update. Voice control, apps, gaming...

Between this and the Moto watch, there's a whole industry getting built around watching for Apple rumors and getting a decent product out based on the rumors before Apple does. 

OMG and NFC too! What TV appliance is complete without it? Don't know why I need it, but just in case it's innovation! Who knows? Just throw it in so it shows up on the specs sheet!

It's very important that Apple out-specs and out-features everyone. Because otherwise doomed.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #37 of 190

I think the two really appealing features to me are voice search (if it works well) and also the game style controller. Even if you don't game at all these controller are far easier to zoom through Netflix if you are sitting in the dark while watching a movie like I tend to do. I absolutely love my PS4 controller remote for controlling video content.  It will also probably appeal to a lot of people who enjoy an occasional game but are not dedicated gamers by any means. These two features are the exact ones I suggested for a revised AppleTV numerous times. The next AppleTV does not need to reinvent the wheel, simply beef up the specs, add games/apps support and a game type controller that includes voice search. 

post #38 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScartArt View Post

I don't like the use of an external power supply. One of the best design features of the ATV is the built-in PSU.

Remote seems to be bluetooth not IR. Not so great for people with certain Harmony remotes that only support IR.

Actually, the fact that the microphone is on the remote means you can't use any third party remote and retain full functionality.
post #39 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by j1h15233 View Post

Did Apple drop a ball? I can't tell from the comments so far

Yes, only Apple dropped the ball. Roku and Chromecast get a free pass. And Microsoft better start dropping the price of the Xbox One because this Amazon thing has quad cores for $99! That's good enough to play Titanfall. Watch as EA and Ubisoft abandon the expensive consoles for the $99 quad core thing.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #40 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by iaeen View Post

Actually, the fact that the microphone is on the remote means you can't use any third party remote and retain full functionality.

Is there a reason a 3rd-party can't make a BT remote with a mic that is compatible with this device?

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPod + iTunes + AppleTV › Amazon takes on Apple TV with new $99 fireTV streaming & gaming set-top box