Amazon today introduced a new $69.99 Fire TV with HDR and 4K capabilities. The redesigned Fire TV is a small flat square dongle with an HDMI cable sticking out, and it again ships with an Alexa voice remote included. It’s basically a smaller version of the discontinued set-top box that now plugs into the back of your TV and hangs there. The previous Fire TV box already did 4K, but this one can now play it at 60 frames per second and adds HDR (high dynamic range) as a brand new feature to Amazon’s streaming devices.
Its announcement comes just days after Apple finally launched a new Apple TV with 4K support. But the Apple TV starts at $179, which is more than twice as expensive as this latest generation of Amazon’s Fire TV. That makes for a rough comparison if you’re Apple.
Amazon has chosen to support HDR10 but not Dolby Vision for HDR playback. On the audio side, the device offers Dolby Atmos integration. That’s an odd switch-around from Apple’s approach with the Apple TV 4K, which outputs both Dolby Vision and HDR10 but not the Atmos audio format. Neither device does everything that home theater enthusiasts are after.
The new Fire TV is powered by a 1.5Ghz quad-core processor and has access to tens of thousands of apps and Alexa skills; if you don’t want to bother with the remote, you can also pair the Fire TV with an Echo device in your home to control it with just your voice at any time.
Amazon tallies more than 500,000 TV episodes and movies available to stream, and the company has recently lowered the price of 4K rentals and purchases in response to Apple’s aggressive pricing. The new Fire TV is now available for preorder and ships on October 25th. You can also buy a bundled Fire TV and Echo Dot for $80, or a Fire TV Stick and Echo Dot for $60.
Correction: This story initially reported the new Fire TV as Amazon’s first 4K streaming device. The now-discontinued Fire TV set-top box also offered 4K video streaming.