Amazon Adds 4K Support For Fire TV

Amazon Fire TV with Alexa Voice Remote and 4K Support
Amazon Fire TV with Alexa Voice Remote and 4K Support. Photo Courtesy of Amazon.com

Dateline: 09/17/2015
Apple TV tried to make a big splash with its recent announcement of the 4th Generation Apple TV, but it appears that Amazon has not only outdone Apple, but it looks like Roku is also being targeted as Amazon has announced a trio of media streamers for 2015/16 - including two that are 4K enabled. Let's take a brief look at each one.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

First up, the Fire TV Stick incorporates a Dual Core processor supported by 1GB of RAM and 8 GB storage capacity.

The Fire TV Stick can output 1080p video resolution (content dependent) and is Dolby Digital Plus audio compatible (content dependent).

The Fire TV Stick has Wifi built-in for convenient internet connection and plugs directly into a TV's HDMI input to view content (additional power required via micro-USB to USB or micro-USB to AC power adapter connection).

Online contact access  Crackle, HBONow, HuluPlus, iHeart Radio, Netflix, Pandora, Sling TV, YouTube and a lot more.

In addition, Amazon's Fire TV Stick also provides access over 200 fun online games

You can also stream, or mirror, photos and videos from compatible smartphones and tablets to the Fire TV Stick for viewing your TV. For remote control, you can opt for the standard or voice remote options (powered by Amazon's Alexa voice assistant).

UPDATE: Read Amazon Fire TV Stick Review

Amazon Fire TV

Although the Fire TV Stick is very convenient, if you own a 4K Ultra HD TV, the Amazon Fire TV box may be just what you are looking for.

To start, this edition of the Fire TV incorporates a Quad Core processor supported by 2GB of RAM and 8 GB storage capacity.

For video, the Fire TV can output up to 4K video resolution (content dependent) and is Dolby Digital Plus audio compatible (content dependent).

Just as with the Fire TV stick, Wifi is built-in, but built-in Ethernet is also included if preferred.

For connection to a TV, an HDMI output is provided (no analog video connections available for older TVs).

On the TV and movie streaming side of the equation, in addition to the internet streaming services included with the Fire TV stick, its bigger Fire TV brother can also access Amazon Instant Video's 4K streaming content (No specifics on whether Netflix 4K streaming content is accessible via the Amazon Fire TV).

What makes this interesting is that this puts renewed pressure on Roku, who has been indicating since CES 2015 that a 4K-enabled Roku box is forthcoming, but as of the date of this post, it has not been made available.

Also, according to Amazon, in addition to the same types of games accessible by the Fire TV stick, the Fire TV can also access high-performance games with enhanced motion and graphics.

The Amazon Fire TV box also comes with the Alexa-assisted voice remote control.

Additional features include a MicroSD card slot (card not included) for up to 128GB of removable storage, as well as USB port for accessing content stored on compatible USB devices, such as flash drives.

Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition

The Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition is the last of the new trio, and includes all of the features of the Amazon Fire TV box (including 4K support), except that the Alexa-assisted voice remote is not included (it is optional).

However, as added bonuses, a game controller is provided, as well as two free high-performance games, and a 32GB microSD card is also included (up to 128GB cards can be used).

For additional media streaming box and stick suggestions, check out my list of Network Media Players and Media Streamers.