2017 Amazon Fire TV is here: Square dongle that streams 4K HDR content for $70

September 28, 2017

2017 Amazon Fire TV is here: Square dongle that streams 4K HDR content for $70

One of the downsides with last year's Amazon Fire TV stick was the lack of 4K support. Fortunately, the company now has an answer for that issue. We are glad to introduce you with the new Amazon Fire TV, a dongle-based device that would compete with Google's Chromecast Ultra.

On September 27, Amazon presented a new edition of its multimedia streamer Fire TV as expected. The 2017 Amazon Fire TV is focused, same as Google’s ChromeCast Ultra, on the possibility to play 4K content. The new model with its square housing and HDMI connection cable also follows visually the model by Google.

The new Amazon Fire TV 4K is still Android-based and is connected directly to a TV using the HDMI cable. Because the device is considerably more powerful than its predecessors designed in stick shape, it is now relying on a modified design in the shape of a dongle with a protruding cable.

Inside the Amazon Fire TV 4K is a 1.5 gigahertz Quad-core Amlogic processor, with 4GB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory. Amazon claims the new model to be 40% more powerful than the existing Fire TV Stick. The performance should be sufficient to reproduce HDR videos in 4K resolution with 60 frames per second. The 2017 Fire TV opts for HDR-10 instead of Dolby Vision, although you will find support for Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 and Dolby Atmos audio. The Amlogic processor naturally has access to tens of thousands of applications and Alexa skills. For example, if you don’t want to bother using a remote control, you can also pair the Amazon Fire TV with any Amazon Echo device in your home, and control it at any time through voice commands.

In addition to this, Wi-Fi is compliant with the 802.11ac standard. The new Fire TV has only WLAN. The predecessor still offered a connection via Ethernet cable, while apparently there was no more space in the dongle. With 4K contents and older routers, this may be a problem - because, for high-resolution content, the network must be fast enough. If you do not have a current high-performance router, Amazon has an Ethernet adapter available for $15. Unlike the Chromecast Ultra, this solution is not very elegant but still effective.

The control of the new Fire TV can be managed either by means of the buttons already known from earlier versions, or via the microphone installed in the remote control with the help of the voice assistant Alexa. Basically, Amazon lets you merge the new Fire TV with the previously available sticks and the separately available Fire TV Box into a single device, if one can do without the network connection.

The 2017 Fire TV interface makes it easy for you to find both 4K and 4K HDR programs and movies. An increasing number of Amazon Original Series are now recorded in 4K HDR video that broadens that selection. Therefore, thanks to Amazon's rich content library, you won’t have any shortage of a movie or TV show to watch. For example, Amazon could stream 4K documentaries and YouTube videos with HDR image to the box. Customers have access to 4K HDR video content from Netflix, Prime Video, and YouTube, and in total, there are around 140 channels of content at the user’s disposal.

Soon, it will also support smart home cameras, enabling live video feeds from compatible Ring, Nest, and Logitech products.

You can now preorder the new Amazon Fire TV for a price of $70. The manufacturer says the delivery will be on October 25.