Amazon's Fire TV Cube aimed squarely at Apple TV 4K

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 7
Amazon on Thursday revealed the Fire TV Cube, its latest media streamer, poised to intensify competition with the Apple TV 4K.

Amazon Fire TV Cube


The Cube effectively merges the existing Fire TV with an Echo speaker. Users can not only issue typical Alexa voice commands, but control video playback as well as compatible receivers, soundbars, and cable and satellite boxes. Some devices and services support voice-based search and/or channel-changing.

Some example commands range from "Alexa, turn on the TV" or "turn up the volume" to things like "play 'This is Us'," "open Netflix," or "tune to CNN." A physical remote is included as well.

People with Alexa-compatible security cameras can use the Cube to view live feeds.

On a technical level the Cube is little different from the Fire TV apart from its speaker and microphones, though storage is doubled to 16 gigabytes, and an Ethernet adapter is bundled rather than sold separately.

Amazon Fire TV Cube


There are some limitations. Sleep timers won't work until "later this year," Amazon says, and there's no timeline for when Bluetooth sync, multi-room music, and Alexa calling and messaging will be added.

On paper the product is largely on par with the Apple TV 4K, and offers some advantages, primarily the ability to talk to it without a remote or holding down a button. Like the Fire TV though, it continues to support only HDR10 for high dynamic range, whereas the Apple TV 4K offers that and Dolby Vision.

Both the Fire TV and Fire TV Cube offer Dolby Atmos surround sound. Apple has promised Atmos support for months, but will only implement it with this fall's tvOS 12.

The Cube ships June 21, and can be pre-ordered for $119.99 by the general public, or $89.99 by Prime members.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    The processor is the same as last year's Fire TV, so it's not really "on par" with the A10 Fusion in the Apple TV 4K.
    williamlondonracerhomie3watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 32
    thrangthrang Posts: 700member
    Amazon is a lot of things, but it isn’t a robust hardware or application company. It just isn’t.
    williamlondonracerhomie3lkrupptmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 32
    libertyforalllibertyforall Posts: 1,167member
    No Dolby Vision HDR, FAIL!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 32
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,769member
    Sleep timers won't work until ‘later this year’”

    ...I’m looking forward to the outrage at Amazon’s laziness and disgusting lack of innovation. Hmm. Wait, where’d all the outage go!?
    williamlondontmaymike1lkruppPickUrPoisonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 32
    The processor is the same as last year's Fire TV, so it's not really "on par" with the A10 Fusion in the Apple TV 4K.
    My thoughts too. I bet it doesn't have gigabit ethernet either. They don't appear to be adverting that. This is a real problem when trying to stream high bitrate content from a Plex server. But then again, Apple lacks true voice control. Why can't one company nail everything? How long do we have to wait?
    williamlondonclaire1watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 32
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,663member
    It's repackage shlock so how is it competing, maybe it's competing because Amazon's finally found the scam angle to onload their crap on an unsuspecting public.
    williamlondonclaire1watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 32
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,333member
    8GB updated to 16GB, while the Apple TV is at 32 and 64GB? Funny, I thought Apple was suppose to be the company that was stingy with NAND.
    edited June 7 racerhomie3PickUrPoisonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 32
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 2,832member
    The processor is the same as last year's Fire TV, so it's not really "on par" with the A10 Fusion in the Apple TV 4K.
    What is the A10 Fusion chip advantage for streaming media? Does it make streaming content better or does that mostly depend on your ISP?
  • Reply 9 of 32
    nunzynunzy Posts: 320member
    It's not nearly as good as ApplTV. Amazon is a threat. They have no respect for privacy or anything else. They want to be a monopoly.
    edited June 7 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 32
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 181member
    The processor is the same as last year's Fire TV, so it's not really "on par" with the A10 Fusion in the Apple TV 4K.
    What is the A10 Fusion chip advantage for streaming media? Does it make streaming content better or does that mostly depend on your ISP?

  • Reply 11 of 32
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 181member
    Upgradable on later dates...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 32
    New Fire TV?! Add another $1000 to end-of-year price target for Amazon.
  • Reply 13 of 32
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 528member
    The processor is the same as last year's Fire TV, so it's not really "on par" with the A10 Fusion in the Apple TV 4K.
    What is the A10 Fusion chip advantage for streaming media? Does it make streaming content better or does that mostly depend on your ISP?
    It’s a better machine overall. If you are aiming for garbage, you can get plenty of ‘streamers’ for 20-30 bucks.
  • Reply 14 of 32
    I’m an absolute Apple fanboy, but my AppleTV is the worst Apple product I’ve ever owned (as was the one I owned before this one). Episode lists for TV shows routinely take 30 seconds to load, or time out completely (and it’s not a WiFi issue). The controller is pants (and everyone knows it). And the straw that broke the camel’s back: apparently Apple has just removed Rotten Tomatoes ratings. Am I supposed to sit there with my iPad in my lap comparing titles to RT ratings manually? Why not remove thumbnails and descriptions while they’re at it, force people to select movies by title alone! I don’t know who’s running the ATV group, but, speaking as a UX designer myself, they need to do a better job. I’m now on the market for alternative boxes, because the AppleTV is a real chore to use.

    My experiences only, YMMV.
    williamlondonadm1
  • Reply 15 of 32
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,769member
    I’m an absolute Apple fanboy, but my AppleTV is the worst Apple product I’ve ever owned (as was the one I owned before this one). Episode lists for TV shows routinely take 30 seconds to load, or time out completely (and it’s not a WiFi issue). The controller is pants (and everyone knows it). And the straw that broke the camel’s back: apparently Apple has just removed Rotten Tomatoes ratings. 
    Errrnt, try again.

    - I've never, ever had to wait for episode lists of my content, let alone 30 seconds. This is almost certainly a connectivity issue somewhere on your line between you and the content.

    - Rotten Tomato ratings have not been removed.

    Agreed on the remote, tho. I got a rubber case for it which makes it more useful, giving it slightly more shape and preventing it from sliding all over the sofa. 
    edited June 7 fastasleepwilliamlondonclaire1watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 32
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 1,899member
    I’m an absolute Apple fanboy, but my AppleTV is the worst Apple product I’ve ever owned (as was the one I owned before this one). Episode lists for TV shows routinely take 30 seconds to load, or time out completely (and it’s not a WiFi issue). The controller is pants (and everyone knows it). And the straw that broke the camel’s back: apparently Apple has just removed Rotten Tomatoes ratings. 
    Errrnt, try again.

    - I've never, ever had to wait for episode lists of my content, let alone 30 seconds. This is almost certainly a connectivity issue on somewhere on your line between you and the content.

    - Rotten Tomato ratings have not been removed.
    Makes you wonder if they actually even own an Apple TV. 
    williamlondonmcdavewatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 32
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 383member
    I’m an absolute Apple fanboy, but my AppleTV is the worst Apple product I’ve ever owned (as was the one I owned before this one). Episode lists for TV shows routinely take 30 seconds to load, or time out completely (and it’s not a WiFi issue). The controller is pants (and everyone knows it). And the straw that broke the camel’s back: apparently Apple has just removed Rotten Tomatoes ratings. Am I supposed to sit there with my iPad in my lap comparing titles to RT ratings manually? Why not remove thumbnails and descriptions while they’re at it, force people to select movies by title alone! I don’t know who’s running the ATV group, but, speaking as a UX designer myself, they need to do a better job. I’m now on the market for alternative boxes, because the AppleTV is a real chore to use.

    My experiences only, YMMV.
    Well I was just about to update my gen 3 ATV, but since there’s no Rotten Tomatos...
    Seriously though, i’ll concede your point about the remote, but as for the rest, I am just not seeing it. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 32
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,333member
    I’m an absolute Apple fanboy, but my AppleTV is the worst Apple product I’ve ever owned (as was the one I owned before this one). Episode lists for TV shows routinely take 30 seconds to load, or time out completely (and it’s not a WiFi issue). The controller is pants (and everyone knows it). And the straw that broke the camel’s back: apparently Apple has just removed Rotten Tomatoes ratings. Am I supposed to sit there with my iPad in my lap comparing titles to RT ratings manually? Why not remove thumbnails and descriptions while they’re at it, force people to select movies by title alone! I don’t know who’s running the ATV group, but, speaking as a UX designer myself, they need to do a better job. I’m now on the market for alternative boxes, because the AppleTV is a real chore to use.

    My experiences only, YMMV.
    You understand that 30 seconds is too long but haven’t considered that it’s an issue with your particular device? Do you think that everyone else is just living with that issue? Did it occur to you that having much more powerful HW Apple over a cheap Fire Stick or Roku dongle should have a better result? Did you not look at a single video online to see how other Apple TVs perform? Have you even considered taking in it in to get tested or had it replaced?

    edited June 7 fastasleepclaire1watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 32
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 1,430member
    I’m an absolute Apple fanboy, but my AppleTV is the worst Apple product I’ve ever owned (as was the one I owned before this one). Episode lists for TV shows routinely take 30 seconds to load, or time out completely (and it’s not a WiFi issue). The controller is pants (and everyone knows it). And the straw that broke the camel’s back: apparently Apple has just removed Rotten Tomatoes ratings. Am I supposed to sit there with my iPad in my lap comparing titles to RT ratings manually? Why not remove thumbnails and descriptions while they’re at it, force people to select movies by title alone! I don’t know who’s running the ATV group, but, speaking as a UX designer myself, they need to do a better job. I’m now on the market for alternative boxes, because the AppleTV is a real chore to use.

    My experiences only, YMMV.
    Hi, Mr Bezos! It sounds like you have a problem with your internet connection.
    StrangeDaysclaire1JaiOh81orthiconwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 32
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 847member
    Why on cables in any photos, where is the back view of the devices to show what connections. Inbuilt power or is it brick on the floor?

    Edit: Found the back photo. So has power brick separate to device which is already twice the volume of the AppleTV.
    Plus Ethernet adds more bulk still. IR extender is nice touch.

    edited June 7
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