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Amazon brings Fire TV to the UK to rival the Apple TV and Roku

by Mark Tyson on 24 October 2014, 10:35

Tags: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)

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Amazon's Full HD Fire TV set top box has officially gone on sale in the UK. Rivalling the likes of Apple TV, Roku, and Google Chromecast, the online retail giant has now listed its streaming box as 'in stock' on its UK website and has started shipping pre-orders to customers, reports TheNextWeb.

The Amazon Fire TV is a 17.5mm thick set top box which plugs into your TV via HDMI. It features a quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, Adreno 320 graphics and the ability to output 1080p HD video with Dolby Digital Plus surround sound. Amazon claims the box has three times the processing power and four times the graphics power of the rival Apple TV. After you buy it, it arrives pre-registered to your Amazon account, all set up and ready to go.

The device is primarily aimed at Amazon Prime customers using Prime Instant Video for buying and streaming media, but also comes bundled with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Spotify and many other on-demand apps including YouTube, Demand 5, Sky News and Curzon Home Cinema. However, popular UK services ITV player and 4OD are disappointingly unavailable at this time.

Fire TV arrives in the UK less than five months after its US launch. Priced at £79, the same as the Apple TV, buyers have the choice of purchasing a dedicated gaming controller (see below right) for £35. Besides being sold directly on Amazon, you can also buy the set-top-box at Argos, Dixons and Tesco.

HEXUS Forums :: 4 Comments

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I pre-ordered mine a couple of months ago with the possibility of rooting and adding more storage via the USB port, unfortunately since then amazon have released a couple of firmware updates that have made the Fire TV unrootable.

The 8Gb storage is the only concern I had as I wanted to use this as a games console.

I'll be returning this I think.
I'd be interested to see how the likes of Minecraft work on this… Anyone tried yet?
mine arrived a couple days back, £49 instead of the £79. It also has ITV player on it, well at least its got an app for it, right next to BBC iPlayer. It may not work, havent tried it.

First impressions are very good

Voice control - recognises my accent around 95% of the time, so far scores higher than Kinect. Searching by voice is fast and easy.

Interface - Very similar to the Amazon Prime (Lovefilm) GUI as you would expect with a few more options, came registered to my account, as this box is for my mother it has to be simple to use (she aint daft, just not confident with tech). Only thing I would change is that I would like different watchlists for different users. Would save trawling through screens to find something that you put to the side months ago.

Picture - 1080p, not had a moments buffering or even a hint of slowdown on the menus so far, impressed.

Looks - Slightly bigger than a CD case, slightly.. Matt Black, single light on it, controller minimalistic, v.few buttons, also matt black. As I currently have a sky+box, VCR and DVD player as well as the in-use TiVo in this cabinet, its good to have a box that is small enough to side on top of any of these. I will be removing the DVD and Sky+ replacing them with black blu ray player.

Gaming - no idea, not what I bought it for, have no controller for it but might mess with it at some point.

Gripes - The fast forward/rewind appears to jump 10 secs at a time, not faster or slower and the screen doesnt move while this is happening, not a biggie but might be updated at some point in future.

Content - lot of PPV stuff as well as free Prime stuff. I wouldnt consider it without Amazon Prime. Worth putting a pin on the purchase stuff so cant accidentally buy an episode of a series at £2.49 or whatever

overall : 9/10 from me, based on a couple hours viewing and 30 mins messing around with it, this may change.
I'd be more interested in it if it were able to seamlessly access Windows network shares on a local network, especially if it were able to out-do Mede8er in terms of this, as the problem with Mede8er devices is that they experience random issues with Windows network shares from time to time that can only be solved by restarting the host PC.