Fire TV

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Amazon's response to Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, etc. was officially launched today: http://gizmodo.com/amazons-fire-tv-everything-you-need-to-know-1556889628 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CX5P8FC/ref=...;pf_rd_i=507846 The list of apps/services supported seems quite extensive. With some apps (like Plex) you should be able to stream your own local content, if I'm not mistaken. It's also a gaming console. Of interest to some audio gearheads: there is a dedicated optical output in addition to HDMI. Anybody planning on buying one? I already have two Chromecasts, so I'll probably not be swinging $100 for Fire TV, despite the added features.
 
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I'm a fan of more competition, but there's also a downside. It's yet another "box" that providers will have to program apps for. I'm sure one would be able to download apps for the other "majors" on this, like Netflix or Hulu. But what if the NFL for example wants to publish an app that lets consumers subscribe for $10/month? As it stands now, there are a plethora of different boxes available (Roku, Apple, Western Digital, D-Link, Netgear, Boxee, Slingbox), and now Amazon TV as well. And that doesn't include any of the integrated streaming products such as built-in to TVs and Blu-ray players these days. Maybe these are easy to port to. But with so much fragmentation, I see certain less popular products being left off of "update cycle" lists or "new app introduction" lists.
 
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And only double the price of the new Roku Stick and more than double the price of a Chromecast. I suppose the game feature is neat, but I think gamers will buy a dedicated console (Xbox, PS4).
 

Quattro Pete

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Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
I see certain less popular products being left off of "update cycle" lists or "new app introduction" lists.
I say, let the public vote with their wallets. It's typically the apps that make or break a device. Being more open, like Amazon claims should be a good thing. Same with phone apps having to be supported on a number of different operating systems (iOS, Android, Blackberry, Symbian, Windows, etc.) If the market of devices is large enough, the apps will be made.
 
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I have two roku 3 boxes. Amazon is late to the game. They are the new walmart trying to cut into everyone's business. if they really want to get customers, price their box at $50.
 
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it looks like the three big dogs now are Amazon kindle fire tablet/fire streaming box, Google nexus table/chromecast, and Apple Ipad/Apple TV. where is microsoft in all this? windows tablet/windows smartphone/ windows stream box? microsoft asleep at the wheel
 
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Quattro Pete

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Originally Posted By: Cutehumor
where is microsoft in all this? windows tablet/windows smartphone/ windows stream box? microsoft asleep at the wheel
Microsoft is using their gaming platform (Xbox) as a media streaming device.
 
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Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Same with phone apps having to be supported on a number of different operating systems (iOS, Android, Blackberry, Symbian, Windows, etc.) If the market of devices is large enough, the apps will be made.
This is a great example. iOS and Android both largely OWN the app market. The number of apps for BlackBerry and Windows is pretty small, comparatively. And that's one of the many reasons that I wouldn't consider a BlackBerry or a Windows phone. My brother got out of a Galaxy S3 about 8 months ago and bought a new Z10. He's selling it already and going back to a Galaxy (S4 this time i think). There's relatively little support for the BB in terms of quality apps. You are right: if the market of devices is large enough, the apps will come. And that's how I answer your initial question: are any of us planning to buy one? I am not, because Amazon TV has no market. Not yet. In three years, will it completely overtake Roku and others? Maybe. At that point, I'd consider one. Will Amazon flat-out BUY Roku? Again, maybe. And again, if that happens, then I'd probably look at the Amazon product.
 
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Seem to me if you have an Android app already the move over to this device does not seem steep. No idea how it will fare. I am still waiting for a provider/device to make a deal with network that allows you to select specific channels/shows you want to watch vs the all or none approach. Until then I will stick with a $35 chromecast for netflix and anything I have access to on Xfinity(family account) and suffer with a $50 blueray(horrid) to play Amazon.
 

Quattro Pete

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Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
And that's how I answer your initial question: are any of us planning to buy one? I am not, because Amazon TV has no market. Not yet. In three years, will it completely overtake Roku and others? Maybe.
Yeah, I'm fairly positive Amazon will gain a decent amount of market share with it. The main reason why I'm not buying one right now is that my needs are already saturated by what I own - HTPC and two Chromecasts. Besides, we are not heavy TV watchers anyway. But if it's time to replace the Chromecast with something more spunky, I'll definitely consider Amazon's device.
 
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Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Yeah, I'm fairly positive Amazon will gain a decent amount of market share with it.
I'm sure you are correct. Amazon has a pretty large "installed base", and this hardware seems a natural extension to the software product they already offer (Prime instant video). They will likely gain market share quickly. My previous comments, by the way, would be mooted if this device runs on an Android OS, sort of how the Kindle runs on Android. I believe the Kindle can run normal Android apps. If the streaming devices market would standardize on ANY OS platform (Android for example), app developers could really delve into high quality apps optimized for that specific OS. And because each streaming device would (under this scenario) be able to install it, customers would be free to choose the hardware they prefer and not run the risk of being left out of software/app updates. Android or Chrome seems well-suited for this. Off-topic, but I get more interested in a Chromebox every day. I use the living heck out of our Chromebook. Almost every post I write here, to include this one, is written on our Chromebook. I carry it to work every day and do personal business on it here and there throughout the day, and carry it home and to various social/civic meetings and take notes, etc. Anyway, if Netflix and Hulu and others would publish apps for Chrome, such that you could run them from a Chromebox, then it would have even more appeal to me. Heck, even our Chromebook, with its HDMI output, could be used as a makeshift streaming device. It already can if you watch the content directly from the website or from YouTube.
 
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Can somebody tell me why I would select this over the competing products such as ApplteTV or Roku or Chromecast? How does it convincingly beat AppleTV if it costs the same as AppleTV? I understand that one can not stream Amazon content on AppleTV but so far I have not been impressed with the Amazon prime content. It very painful to search and if I find something available for streaming on Amazon, it has price tag attached. I found material which is marked for prime streaming on the desktop but when I try to stream it on the Roku, the Amazon application does not find that content at all. As far as content streaming is concerned from my perspective, Netflix beats the Amazon streaming hands down. If it is available on Netflix, you can use any device to stream and don't have to worry about paying per streaming.
 

Quattro Pete

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Originally Posted By: Vikas
Can somebody tell me why I would select this over the competing products such as ApplteTV or Roku or Chromecast?
In case you haven't seen it, there is a comparison chart in the amazon link I posted above - scroll down. In addition, Fire TV is supposed to be snappier (quad-core CPU), more intuitive to use and search for content. Whether that's true or not - I have no idea.
 

Quattro Pete

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Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
My previous comments, by the way, would be mooted if this device runs on an Android OS,
From the first link I posted:
Quote:
Amazon's device is a box you plug into your TV that runs on an open Android ecosystem
. However, I'm not sure that this means that any Android app can just run on Fire TV. There may be some limitations. And I bet Amazon gets to decide which app you can and cannot run.
 
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Here is a clean link to the product page: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CX5P8FC The Amazon device does have better hardware specs, but if all you're doing is watching streaming video, then perhaps good enough is sufficient. If only these game devices could use each other's controllers. For instance, if you already have a PS3 with two controllers, wouldn't it be nice if you could use those controllers with this new device instead of having to buy more?
 
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Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
From the first link I posted:
Quote:
Amazon's device is a box you plug into your TV that runs on an open Android ecosystem
. However, I'm not sure that this means that any Android app can just run on Fire TV. There may be some limitations. And I bet Amazon gets to decide which app you can and cannot run.
Thanks; I read that article and still missed it! That makes it very promising to me, then. Even if Amazon has their own "skin" on Android or something, I think they'd take the opportunity here to create that added value for the customer (to be able to install other Android apps). Even if the apps must be customized for the Fire, I'll bet the tweaks are few, and the adaptation from an already-functioning Android app would be pretty easy. I just found this article that speaks to the OS/app issue: http://www.slashgear.com/amazon-fire-tv-everything-you-need-to-know-02323471/ Looks promising to me. I'm actually kind of interested in it, even though I already have two Rokus.
 

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Originally Posted By: BearZDefect
If only these game devices could use each other's controllers. For instance, if you already have a PS3 with two controllers, wouldn't it be nice if you could use those controllers with this new device instead of having to buy more?
Seems that the sale of accessories is where money is made, so it's not in their best interest to standardize them for interchangeable use.
 
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From the article I posted above:
Quote:
Amazon Fire TV is able to support up to seven Bluetooth controllers at once. These Bluetooth controllers do not have to be the official Fire Controller.
Depending on the programming protocols, it's possible that the aftermarket could come up with generic controllers that would work with multiple gaming systems.
 
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