We love our set-top boxes here in the tech world. Entertainment has never been so easy, so unrestricted. Do you remember the days of renting a movie at Blockbuster? It was like picking from a grab bag, and sometimes you had no idea what you were going to get. If you didn't like it, too bad, that was the movie you rented. Nowadays, we sit back on the couch, scroll and flip through endless TV and movie choices, start and stop them to our pleasing, add them to our queues, and even use our smartphones as a remote (thanks to the Chromecast and Roku generation). Adding to the list of ready-to-go entertainment is Amazon's upgraded Fire TV box and a new Game Controller, here to join in on the streaming fun, and let's not forget, compete with the likes of Apple TV.
The main part of Fire TV's upgrade will be the addition of 4K. Amazon has been working on integrating 4K content since last year, but decided it was time for this “next generation of entertainment” to be official. According to PC Mag, Amazon Fire TV will offer plenty of choices in 4K right away (for the few of us who already sport a 4K television), including Orphan Black, Better Call Saul, and Men in Black III.
Other than that, there are so many similarities between this and Apple TV, your purchase will have to depend on which software you enjoy the most. They both look and act the same, but Amazon Fire TV runs Android. Of course, the system leans heavily on Amazon, promoting you to buy products and watch using its streaming service. It uses 8GB of local storage to keep your apps on the device (plus a microSD card slot for up to 128GB of external storage), and comes with a microphone-enabled remote control, and an improved Amazon Fire Game Controller.
Finally, Amazon Fire TV is said to have “5x the processing power of the last generation Roku, and 8x the processing power of Chromecast”, says Amazon, “. It will use a MediaTek 64-bit quad-core processor (an upgrade from its previous Snapdragon 600), a dedicated GPU, and “4x the memory of the last generation Chromecast”. Extra horsepower sure won't hurt an already good product. If anything, it will probably be a cushion for all that 4K streaming we're gonna be doing in the coming years. Shipping starts in October, and there's a $99 price tag on the set-top box and accessories, or $139.99 for the Gaming Edition, which includes both the Game Controller and media play for gaming.
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