Amazon announces new Fire TV with 4K and HDR for only $70

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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.

Comments

What brand of HDR?

We don’t know yet. We should know once the product page goes up on Amazon.

HDR-10 according to the site

And there’s no mention of Dolby Vision anywhere.

The device has Dolby Atmos integration and comes with an Alexa voice remote.

Mentioned in the article.

That’s audio. I wonder if it will do Dolby Atmos through Plex.

Dolby Vision ≠ Dolby Atmos.

Amazon is killing it in the pricing of these new devices.

They make money on media.

Is this replacing the Stick, because Fire TV already has 4K?

It doesn’t have HDR though

The 2015 Fire TV only does 4K at 30fps, and it doesn’t have HDR.

This new one does 4K at 60 fps, and has HDR, plus Dolby Atmos.

That’s much clearer information.

Doesn’t appear to be a Stick replacement, as Amazon is offering a bundle of the Dot and the Stick for $60.

Interesting that (so far anyway) they have not announced the rumored high-end Fire TV with built-in Alexa buttons. I was struggling with whether to buy the model featured here or that one (even though I don’t really want to use Alexa, supposedly it was also more powerful). But hey, if this is the only one Amazon is going to release today that’s fine with me! I need my HDR.

I’m waiting on the high-end announcement too. This dongle can’t be all they have planned, surely.

Well the rumors said that this dongle thing wouldn’t do 4k hdr either and would be replacing the stick. Wonder what happened?

resembles a small, square hockey puck

Ah yes, those square ones!

Where is Apple TV app for Amazon ? Do it finally

They said that it’s coming before the end of the year.

Same place as the correct usage of definite articles recently. Somewhere in the ether.

Can somebody explain the difference between typical 5.1 surround and Dolby Atmos to me in 20 words or less?

I’ve been listening to Nilay foam about it for months (years?!) now and still am uncertain what the actual benefit is.

from what i have read in the foaming

it defines sound "objects" that can around within the 3d space created by the speakers.

As best I can understand it, there are up to 128 unique audio streams with separate metadata (and supports up to 64 speakers) that tells the receiver (via metadata channels) how to mix them in real time based on the layout of the room. That is as opposed to traditional 5.1 which would be pre-mixed and you can only change the levels of the speakers.
So the audio streams aren’t mixed to different speakers, they’re all raw bitstreams and the receiver is then told how to mix them. This allows for any configuration of speaker systems.
Also, in a 7.1 layout it’s 7.1.4 (4 overhead speakers.)

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