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Summary:

Amazon’s first set-top box does a few things differently that competitors like Roku and Apple TV. Check out our video walk-through to get a closer look at the product.

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images
photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Amazon’s new Fire TV wants to take on Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast. But what does the box offer, and how does it differ from its competitors. Check out our video to find out:

Show notes for this episode:

  • Amazon is selling the Fire TV for $99 on its website, which also includes all technical specs of the device.
  • Fire Tv owners can also buy a separate game pad for $40.
  • Check out our live blog and additional coverage of the Fire TV announcement, and read why I think that Amazon will sell a lot of these.

Are you going to buy a Fire TV? Do you think that the device is offering anything that’s missing from Roku and Co?
Let us know in the comments below, get in touch with us on Twitter (@cordcutterscheck out our Google+ Cord Cutters community!

  1. Janko – you mentioned that the default means of purchasing content will be auto-set when content is not available for purchase on Prime but elsewhere like Hulu – is this a feature someone could set (for example to only show availability from just 1 or 2 apps running on the box… say if they don’t want their other family members using the box to spend money through their Amazon account and only on Hulu etc…?)

    1. Right now there seems to be no way to fine-tune this, and you can always select to get it through Amazon instead if you are willing to pay per episode. But, so far it’s also just done with Hulu, its possible that they would add additional controls down the line.

  2. Does it have an instant replay function like the Roku? It doesn’t seem to have a dedicated button, but perhaps it’s built in some other way?

  3. Also needs a good web browser that supports flash. There is a lot of content on the web thats in flash, especially international content.

  4. It’s nice but it looks really redundant of my Roku 3. The designers were right that skipping letter-at-a-time input for voice control is a great idea. Also if Amazon really decides to support gaming (unlike Roku has) it could be a definite win. I’m not sure how much they have invested in Gaming but it could be huge. I think of my case where I don’t want to devote the space and $$ to a Game-first box, but if I can spend app-price for games that are as good as my phone/table games, I would definitely spend more – especially if the experience was enhanced by a dedicated controller.

    My only other comment was the fact that there’s no Spotify is a show stopper for me. If in the future the Spotify app is available and Amazon proves commitment to games, then I’ll definitely drop my Roku for FireTV.

  5. Virginia Postrel Sunday, April 6, 2014

    Will it work if you also want to use DirecTV?

  6. Got it, tested it, gamed it, first impressions: Not as impressed as I thought I would be. Slow on downloads. Not a noticeable difference in speed between Apple TV and Roku 3. Interface a little clunky and not as simple or clean as Apple TV or Roku. Games simple but fun.

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