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Amazon in a box … almost … | The Gadget Consultant

Freddy Cloud

Frederick (“Freddy”) Cloud has had a passion for all things electronic since he “accidently” caused the class Commodore PET to malfunction in 8th grade. “I swear. I didn’t do it on purpose” He was quoted as saying to a very unhappy computer teacher... Read his full bio

Amazon in a box … almost …

AmazonFireTV_HomeScreen_FrontOn April 3rd, Amazon announced the Amazon Fire TV. So let me start by telling you what it isn’t; it’s not a television, it’s not a new tablet, it’s not a video game system. So what is it? It’s a streaming device. Yes … another streaming device. But before you just toss this news aside, let me tell you that it’s kind of different than the other streaming devices. How? Well, because it’s Amazon …

feature-techspecs-popupSo yes, you have the various Roku devices, the Apple TV, the Chromecast, devices from Western Digital, devices from Netgear, both Xbox’s, Both PlayStation’s, both Wii’s, various Blu-ray players … the list goes on and on. And SOME of them actually stream from Amazon. So you’re probably wondering why Amazon would actually make a streaming device when practically everything is a streaming device. Well, as far as devices go, technology wise Amazon made a better dedicated box. The remote allows you to use voice commands to tell it what you want to watch or play. The Fire TV itself has a quad-core processor, 2 GB of memory, a separate processor just for graphics, and it streams in high definition video and digital sound. Amazon also has its own content to stream. We’re talking 200,000+ TV shows and movies and millions of songs that you can take advantage of. It actually learns from your viewing habits, and as time goes by it will begin to preload shows and movies that it thinks you’d be interested in so that you won’t have to wait to watch them. It has Amazon FreeTime which allows parents to create special profiles for their kids to control what they can watch and do. But what’s really interesting (to me, at least) is that Amazon has a game library for the Kindle Fire tablet, and some of those games you’ll be able to play on the Fire TV. They even have a controller that you can buy. If you’re an Amazon Prime member and you utilize Amazon’s services like movies and music, this is a no-brainer. And yes it streams NetFlix and Hulu, so you’re good there too. I’m fully expecting that somewhere down the line you’ll be able to shop on this thing.

Amazon-Fire-TV-658x370-497fa6d9fc6b6920All that said, I’m still scratching my head a bit. I won’t say that this is the best streaming device on the market because like most (if not all) things it depends on what you want from your streaming gadget. But for people who do a lot with Amazon’s services, I’d be more inclined to tell you to seriously consider this more than something from Roku. For people who use something like Apple TV it’s a harder sell because people who use Apple TV are generally deeply invested into Apple’s products and services. People who just use Netflix and Hulu could get away with buying a television that will stream from the Internet, which means no extra cables or an additional box to figure out how to hide. Let’s face it … some people are just tired of hooking boxes up to their televisions. Or, like me, are out of inputs. I have more than enough things that stream content from all over the place, including my PC, so for someone like me I can’t really justify getting this, especially at $99. We’ll see how it evolves over time. I’d recommend it for folks looking for a streaming device, though. I’d definitely recommend getting the controller if you want to play games on this thing. Hmmm … I wonder if it would play Candy Crush …

 

Freddy C.

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