When Amazon announced the latest Fire TV streaming package, the most interesting thing about it was not some new spec or function â? it was the price. Amazon cut the price of Fire TV by $20 to just $69. 99, or less than 50 % the price of the latest Apple TV, that has similar abilities.
Not just that, but Amazon threw inside a couple of upgrades. Fire TV 2017 not only streams in 4K similar to the previous version did, but it also facilitates HDR (high dynamic range) video clip, which can produce more vibrant colour, at least for material that was photo with HDR. And with 4K, it could now accommodate footage with body rates up to 60 fps (the previous gen maxed out with 30 fps for 4K video).
Amazon also managed to reduce the size of the Fire TV substantially. At 2 . 6 x second . 6 x 0. 6 in . (not counting the short HIGH-DEFINITION MULTIMEDIA INTERFACE plug hanging off it), the newest Fire TV that Amazon delivered us is smaller than a handbags puck. It looks like a sq . coaster for a small glass, just like a champagne flute. The smaller form factor indicates there’s no longer an Ethernet interface â? you’ll need a microUSB Ethernet adapter if you want to go that route.
The box’s sparkly finish and prominent-though-subtle Amazon logo design evokes the aesthetics of the backsides of many of today’s smartphones, even though it scratches so easily it obviously doesn’t share their durability. Gowns OK, though; if you asked generally if they’d rather have a loading box that scratches easily that will costs $70 or one that remains perfect but costs $80, I believe most people would rather save the 10 bucks. It’s just going to suspend from the back of your TV in any case.
Setting up the new Open fire TV works pretty much the same as most previous Fire TV products, such as the Fire TV Sticks: You in wired mode, connect it to your Wi-Fi, register with your Amazon account, and youâre pretty much done. The device will recommend various free apps (like Netflix, Sling TV, and Hulu) in order to download at startup, and however there’s no single sign-on option, therefore you’ll be doing a lot of logging in to various accounts at the beginning. Itâll furthermore give you the option to turn on parental regulates.
If youâre going to use the parental controls, end up being warned: Youâll need to enter plus re-enter your five-digit Amazon PIN NUMBER (the same across devices), also for free content. Not only will the particular controls protect paid content plus downloads, but theyâll also need a PIN for titles rated regarding mature or adult audiences. You are doing get granular controls for this, even though, so depending on the age of your kids, you might want to turn off the rating barriers.
OK, time to watch some things. After setting up the Fire TELEVISION 4K HDR with our test TELEVISION, a curved 65-inch Samsung TELEVISION with 4K (Ultra HD) quality and HDR support, I began looking for some high-quality content. We set my sights on The Tick, the new Amazon series thatâs offered in 4K.
Your usage with 4K will vary depending on the way the material was filmed.
The first few times I strike Play, all I saw were three dots that indicated the box had been âworking.â They didnât go away till I pressed the home button plus tried again. Same thing happened upon every title I tried. We quickly went to settings app to find out if a quick reboot would repair things and it did. Thereâs grounds every support call begins along with, âHave you tried turning it off and turning it on again?â
Back to The Tick. The opening animation looked gorgeously sharp. When I got to the picture where Arthur is staring at the wall full of newspaper clippings concerning the supervillain the Terror, I could very easily read almost all of the headlines of the clippings (“HINDENBERG DISASTER: SABOTAGE BY THE TERROR” â? soundsâ? interesting).
The video looked good, but not eye-popping. I compared the 4K flow with the HD (1080p) version, as well as the headlines were almost as understandable. Clearly your mileage with 4K will vary depending on how the material had been filmed.
Amazon makes a notice of 4K content in a collection title with the term âUltra HD,â however isnât a similar label for HDR. However , once you find an HDR name (there arenât that many â? hereâs a pretty good list), if you contact the info/x-ray screen by, state, pausing the video, an âHDRâ brand will appear in the bottom left part.
So once i cued up The Man within the High Castle, the Fire TELEVISION assured me that, yes, this particular title was in HDR. The enhanced colors on HDR video are usually hard to quantify without a side-by-side video clip test, but I can say this really is definitely a series thatâs very mindful in its use of color, and itâs served well by HDR. Most of the scenes are in a muted, nearly sepia-like tone, but when the colours pop â? like in a watch of a 1962 Nazi-occupied Times Sq ., they really pop. Simply, along with HDR support on HDR materials, streams look great.
The new Fire TV isnât the first to come with an Alexa remote, yet Alexa herself is more versatile compared to before. Amazon makes a point associated with saying you can order a french fries from Dominoâs via voice to generate your movie night more finish. You can also dim the lights, switch on your security system, and more from your remote â? that is, assuming youâve hooked up Alexa to all that things in the first place.
This new Open fire TV âboxâ (kind of a misnomer since itâs barely worthy of the particular moniker) reminds me a lot of the initial Google Chromecast. Not because of itâs shape, even though itâs pretty near to dongle-size, and not just because of its prowess being a streaming device.
The Open fire TV is Chromecast-like for its worth. When the Chromecast debuted at $35, it was an easy impulse buy. For that price of about three lunches, you had a simple and reliable way to stream video clips to your TV. The new Fire TELEVISION is double that price, however it does a whole lot more. Amazon even offers Open fire TV bundles, throwing in possibly an Echo Dot or a good antenna, adding even more value. Inside a time where the price of smartphones is definitely popping over the $1, 000 tag, itâs refreshing to see a device that will doesnât need to convince you to purchase it. Because at 70 dollars, why wouldnât you?
Amazon Fire TV (2017)
4K and HDR support â? ***************************) Tiny physical proportions â? ***************************) Outstanding value
Requires separate adapter regarding Ethernet connections â? ***************************) Not one sign-on for cable accounts
The Bottom Line
With 4K plus HDR support at a $70 cost, the all-new Amazon Fire TELEVISION makes a lot of competitors â? specifically the Apple TV 4K â? look overpriced.