Amazon Fire TV 2 with Remote image 001

Eight days have passed since Apple has taken the wraps off its fourth-generation $149 Apple TV featuring downloadable apps and games, universal search with Siri and more, and now Amazon has conveniently rolled out its second-generation Fire TV.

Unlike the new Apple TV which disables 4K video output in software, the new Fire TV supports 4K video streaming right out of the box. It includes a new voice-enabled remote and comes outfitted with Alexa, which is basically Amazon’s version of Siri.

New Fire TV does 4K

The official follow-up to last year’s Fire TV streaming device, the new box is 75 percent more powerful than its predecessor, according to the online retail giant.

The big news, of course, is support for streaming 4K Ultra HD content.

Amazon Fire TV 2 lifestyle image 003

“Amazon Fire TV offers the most 4K Ultra HD movies, and is half the price of any other 4K Ultra HD streaming media player,” said the firm. Select 4K content is available from Netflix, Amazon Video and Amazon Prime Video.

And if your TV set doesn’t support 4K, which has four times the resolution of 1080p, the new box has hardware support for High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) and will start streaming higher-quality video to 1080p TV sets “in the coming months”.

In terms of hardware, the second-generation Fire TV packs in the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi and has 75 percent more processing power than the original, courtesy of a 64-bit quad-core MediaTek processor and a dedicated GPU.

The box runs the new Fire TV OS 5 with Alexa integration, which will also roll out to all existing Fire TV and Fire TV Stick customers via a free, over-the-air software update.

Amazon Fire TV 2 back image 002

Fire TV Remote with Alexa

And with Alexa, the brain behind the Amazon Echo, users can search the Fire TV for music, information, weather, traffic and more. Amazon makes a point saying there are over 3,000 channels, apps and games now available for the Fire TV, “more than Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast or any other streaming media player”.

“The team has packed an incredible amount of technology and innovation into a tiny package,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO.

“The new Fire TV includes 4K support, more processing power, Alexa integration, the largest selection, and exclusive features—for less than $100. The new Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote brings voice search and Alexa integration for less than $50. These are powerful devices at incredible prices.”

Fire TV Game Controller

The new Fire TV Game Controller, sold separately or as part of the Fire TV Gaming Edition, sports Alexa-powered voice search, an audio jack for private listening with Dolby enhancements, refined controls for a better gaming experience and up to 90 hours of battery life on just one set of double AA batteries without headphones.

Expandable storage, cheaper Fire TV Stick

Unlike the new Apple TV that comes with in 16 and 32 GB flavors, Amazon’s latest box has 8GB of storage but makes up for that with a microSD port for up to 128 GB of additional storage.

Amazon Fire TV Stick (image 001)

Amazon has refreshed the Fire TV Stick as well, its HDMI dongle that connects to your TV set, with the new Voice Remote for less than $50. The dongle files as the only streaming stick with an included voice remote.

Availability

The new Amazon Fire TV is available for pre-order today for $99.99 and will start shipping on October 5. The Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote is available for pre-order for $49.99 and will start shipping October 22. The Fire TV Stick has been discounted and now starts at just $39.99.

The Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition bundle, which includes Amazon Fire TV, Game Controller, a 32GB microSD card and two games—Disney’s Ducktales and Yacht Club’s Shovel Knight, is priced at $139.99 and will start shipping October 5.

  • Ismael Lamberty

    Competition brings good things in the long run!

    • Jason Baroni

      Some runs not that long. Amazon responded to it fast, man.

      • haridsv

        “will start shipping on October 5” — means they started on it long ago, much before the announcement of the new Apple TV.

      • Jason Baroni

        Yes, I know

      • haridsv

        And yet, you leave a comment that indicates that Amazon responded to the Apple’s announcement.

      • Jason Baroni

        Their announcement was fast. Sorry, but I meant what I was supposed to, even if it wasn’t clear. What other say is not about what you understand, pal

  • Until there is Amazon prime instant video on apple tv. I think I just get me one of those fire tv sticks.

  • igorsky

    “Hey here’s an original idea…we’ll add a search function to our tv box and give it a female name.”

    -Amazon brainstorming session

    • Merman123

      To be fair , Alexa isn’t new. It’s the assistant found in their “Echo” product.

      • igorsky

        My bad, I stand corrected.

      • Greg S

        And funnily it is also the name of the medical term that is the severe form of dyslexia. “lexia” = read/spell. “a” = without.

    • James G

      It’s had voice search before Alexa. Since the product came out, actually

    • George

      Siri was an app on the app store before apple bought it and acted like they created it.

      • igorsky

        No other phone had a digital assistant built in before Siri, so they kinda did create it.

      • George

        Regardless of what apple had, siri was never a personal assistant back then. Cortana was the true first useful personal assistant.

      • Alexander Figueroa

        Cortana is dump in Windows 10. I ask for the weather and she get me the calender?

  • Virus

    Best thing about the Fire TV is it can run XBMC / Kodi

    • Standout

      Best thing ever. CUT THE CORD!

      • Tko

        One of the best decisions I have ever made..drop Apple TV, cut the cord. Buy Fire TV and install kodi.

  • ndcart

    Yet still no Vudu support. The only reason I haven’t purchased one yet.

  • Toshke

    Does the remote work with IR or Bluetooth?

    • James G

      Bluetooth.

      • Toshke

        thx!

    • cdlenfert

      new remotes might still work with bluetooth (not sure) but they also do Wifi Direct which is supposed to be pretty amazing

  • Eikast

    I still think that the Nvidia Shield Console is the best home entertainment device. I love mine and I was hoping that Jeff would try it out since he’s into trying out Android devices. The Nvidia Shield has the best remote (not talking about the game controller) out of all of the streaming devices. It supports USB 3.0, insanely fast and powerful for gaming, and it supports Android TV Google Play store and allows sideloading apps. But at least it supports native Kodi.

  • MS

    Anyone know if either of these (Fire TV or Apple TV) support MKV files? I still have my WDTV live that is working perfectly and supports MKV files.

    • James G

      Maybe through Plex?

    • cdlenfert

      you can easily side load Kodi to the FireTV and that supports MKV files I believe.

    • Mut

      Yes plex will work.

  • James G

    Can’t believe Amazon beat Apple to 4K.

    • George

      Why not? Apple usually brings a feature years after everyone else.

      • Giovanni Cardona

        Yes, like a 64-bit smartphone

      • James G

        It seemed so easy for Apple to win here.

      • George

        They want to wait and make everyone buy one again in 12 months

  • Bass Head

    We need 4K Apple tvs

    • Jason Baroni

      We need affordable 4K monitors

      • Bass Head

        We need apple 4K monitors as well

      • George

        You can get many 4k tvs for even $700

      • Jason Baroni

        In US, man. Come to a 2nd world country and you will feel the pain

  • Then now you can play the 4k Videos your take with your new iPhone 6s/s plus.

  • InfinitePlusOne

    Amazon so shit, still have to pay for most of the shows if you want to watch…. Even after having Amazon prime.

    • And on Apple TV shows are free?

      • InfinitePlusOne

        Don’t have to pay £80 a year for it. Beside I was thinking about Netflix. Don’t use iTunes video service myself

      • As we all know Amazon Prime is more then watching shows.

    • Dan

      Yeah, Apple is known to give out free content.

  • Giovanni

    I think I’m gonna wait for the next Apple TV after this one to get 4K and more storage 32Gb is gonna get full fast.

  • jalexcarter

    great now what do i do. Have had apple tv for years but just bought a 4K TV a few weeks ago, would like to take advantage of the better quality…Apple TV 3 or Fire TV2?

  • Scott Curtis

    Without a Vudu app or Amazon itself joining UltraViolet, these devices are a no-go for me. It is a shame, because I am a huge Amazon customer and fan, but I am not about to abandon over 850 UV titles or live with watching crappy two channel versions of them on Flixster.