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Review: Amazon's Fire TV makes iterative improvements in set-top streaming - Page 2

post #41 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

Except to change the inputs from your TV to your Apple TV.

 

I still like the physical buttons on the remote better, especially for channel surfing, Guide info and muting or volume adjustments. If the iPhone goes to sleep, you have to enter your password and look at the screen to make any selection. Kind of a hassle (Touch ID would simplify it if you have that). No look, no login is better in my opinion. I personally only used Remote app once to test it when it first came out so I'm just speculating on the awkwardness of the operation. I don't use it.

It's a matter of taste I suppose, but it sounds a bit like what Blackberry users used to say.

 

I can't use dedicated remotes wether it's IR or BT, I need to be able to control all my equipment and don't want to use several remotes. I now use Roomie Remote; works great and will work even better if the next Apple TV would sport IP control.

post #42 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

I'm trying to figure out what makes this such a big improvement.

oh it has voice control. doesn't work outside of searching Amazon. If you try to use it in something like Netflix you don't get Netflix hits but Amazon ones. So that's basically a fail of an interesting idea.

it's 802.11n despite ac being out so that's no better than everyone else.

it supports 7.1 sound in the hardware but what about the content. Something tells me that most of it is likely still 5.1 so is that a huge deal.

it doesn't need line of sight for the remote. Neither does an Apple TV if you are using a device like an iPhone which many folks are cause the silver remote is a pain in the ass.

it supports Amazon Prime/instant video rather than iTunes. Well that's a parallel issue not an improvement one. Folks highly invested in Amazon aren't likely using iTunes much if at all anyway. And vice versa probably

you can download games to it. Like six games and they either require an iffy experience via the remote or getting a bluetooth controller so that's a wash against using airplay off your device

so what exactly are these "iterative improvements" the headline speaks of

Plus my AppleTV gives me access to my own movie library. This is huge for me. Amazon's box appears to have no access to local movies whatsoever. 

post #43 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post
 

Why not just use your iOS device for the remote? I think if Apple did this, that would make a lot more sense. You're very limited as to what you can do with a dummy remote anyways (IR or BT). Yes, I know everyone doesn't have an iOS device so they would have to make some kind of remote, but I think they should make it so if you used an iOS device that it makes the AppleTV so much more usable vs a standard remote with a few buttons. 

 

Holy crap this bit of the movie is loud!

 

Grab my iPhone, press the Home button, swipe to activate, either finger it or enter code, select Remote app, visually locate volume controls, turn it down.

 

Or, grab a conventional remote, locate the volume control by touch and turn it down in about the time it takes you to activate the backlight on your iDevice.

 

If iOS units were in an "always on" state they would be better, but even then you still have to look at them to find the right control, something you presently do by touch without even thinking about it with your conventional remote.

 

iOS remotes are, in my experience, awesome in theory, kinda meh in practice.


Edited by Lorin Schultz - 4/7/14 at 4:38pm

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

Reply
post #44 of 49
"A short introduction video explained how to use the remote and offered a brief tutorial on Fire TV's card-based GUI before slipping in an ad for Amazon Prime. Since we ordered the unit through our Prime account, the device came pre-configured with passwords and preferences in place, much like the purchase of a new Kindle. "

What's the point of outfits like Amazon (and Google) working so hard to collect, keep, and collate personal information about their clients, enabling a feature like this-- and then using it to show you an ad for a service they know you already subscribe to?

Being able to collect such information should be revealing how ineffective advertising really is (and has always been) and how for many consumer products it constitutes an indefensibly high portion of the cost of bringing a product to market. (Of course this isn't costing Amazon much except its customers good will.)
post #45 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

Holy crap this bit of the movie is loud!

Grab my iPhone, press the Home button, swipe to activate, either finger it or enter code, select Remote app, visually locate volume controls, turn it down.

Or, grab a conventional remote, locate the volume control by touch and turn it down in about the time it takes you to activate the backlight on your iDevice.

If iOS units were in an "always on" state they would be better, but even then you still have to look at them to find the right control, something you presently do by touch without even thinking about it with your conventional remote.

iOS remotes are, in my experience, awesome in theory, kinda meh in practice.

Speaking of loud movies. Every now and then you change your channel or input to find that the new audio is much lower or higher than you want. If it's lower it's just an inconvenience but it's much higher it can cause pain until you can change it.

I wonder what it would take to create a wireless microphone that sits behind or near where you sit in your living room that can determine the volume within a range. Not all volume, but be tied to the source output so it knows what to expect to hear and then uses an algorithm to gauge the proper range of compression* and then adjust well before you could even start pressing the down volume of a remote in your hand.

* Not sure if I'm using the proper terminology.

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #46 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Not in my house.

You're not aiming right.
Post from mstone to Benjamin Frost - "Perhaps that explains your lack of mental capacity. If I was your brother, I probably would have repeatedly smashed the side of your head with a cricket bat."
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Post from mstone to Benjamin Frost - "Perhaps that explains your lack of mental capacity. If I was your brother, I probably would have repeatedly smashed the side of your head with a cricket bat."
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post #47 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Speaking of loud movies. Every now and then you change your channel or input to find that the new audio is much lower or higher than you want. If it's lower it's just an inconvenience but it's much higher it can cause pain until you can change it.

I wonder what it would take to create a wireless microphone that sits behind or near where you sit in your living room that can determine the volume within a range. Not all volume, but be tied to the source output so it knows what to expect to hear and then uses an algorithm to gauge the proper range of compression* and then adjust well before you could even start pressing the down volume of a remote in your hand.

* Not sure if I'm using the proper terminology.

 

You are using the correct terminology.

 

A compressor wouldn't be difficult to implement, what IS difficult is preventing it from sounding awful. Anything inexpensive enough to be incorporated into a typical home entertainment system is likely to be either ineffective or too basic to remain acoustically "transparent" -- i.e. the frequent, abrupt volume changes wind up being more distracting and annoying than the loud bursts.

 

Some home theatre receivers have compressor circuits built-in but I haven't bothered looking into how well they work, or even HOW they work so I have no idea if they're any good or not. If you're curious, it might be interesting to look into them.

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

Reply

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

Reply
post #48 of 49

Neatly storing an ATV out of sight without hampering the remote signal is easily achievable. One of our ATV 2s sits on a lower shelf of a floating (wall mounted) media stand, because that tv is up high near the ceiling. However, the other ATV 2 is out of sight - hooked to the back vents of another TV via an inexpensive plastic holder found on eBay.  That ATV pokes up @ .5 inch over the top of the set, which means it is at eye level and receives the remote signal just fine. Our old 160 gb ATV1 was big enough to require its own zip code, so it was a no brainer to find a way to hide at least one of the little hockey pucks for a cleaner, uncluttered space. Any device larger than the ATV would seem an aesthetic and unnecessary step down. 

post #49 of 49

Plus, my ATV gives me XBMC and more than a few other choice viewing options.

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