Amazon just announced its entry into the set-top streaming content marketplace with its new Fire TV box.
Competing directly against Apple TV, Google's Chromecast, and Roku, Amazon is betting on big processing power and voice controls to stand out from the competition.
Features include the following.
No more reliance on navigating alphabet boxes. Speak the name of an actor, director, genre, movie, or show to be shown relevant content.
Access to music and video content providers like Amazon Instant Video, Prime Video, MP3, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, TuneIn, YouTube, and more. Plus open development means content providers can be consistently added.
With a quad-core Snapdragon Krait processor and 2GB of RAM, the Fire TV boosts 3x the processing power and 4x the memory of Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku. The device will deliver 1080p video with Dolby Digital Plus 7.1-capable surround sound.
The device will ship directly from Amazon pre-registered, so all you'll have to do is plug it in and go.
A new feature called ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) will predict the movies and shows you want to watch and pre-buffer them for instant playback.
0.7" thin including a sleek Bluetooth remote with a built-in microphone.
Play games using the remote, Fire TV controller app, or the optional controller, with the average price of games at $1.85.
Parents can choose and limit content as well as set times for use with Amazon FreeTime. Specialized content for children ages 3 to 8 is available with a subscription to FreeTime Unlimited.
See information about cast and crew as well as trivia and lyrics with X-Ray.
Using Amazon's Cloud Drive, you can see your personal photos and videos on your HDTV.
Mirror the display of your Kindle Fire or other Miracast-enabled device. Use your Kindle Fire or iPhone/iPad to "fling" content from your device to the Fire TV.
The device is on sale now for $99, which puts it right in line with the other two set top products, but over double the cost of the Chromecast. Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon, seems excited, "Tiny box, huge specs, tons of content, incredible price—people are going to love Fire TV."