Skip to main content
Jump to navigation
amazon fire tv living room september 2017

The new Amazon Fire TV is here, and it's a mighty appealing proposition.

The streaming device packs a host of top-notch technologies for a knockdown price – in fact, it's over £100 cheaper than the new Apple TV.

But with competition in the streaming world fiercer than ever, it's got its work cut out if it wants to earn a place in your lounge. Here are the five most important things you need to know about it.

1 It packs 4K and HDR

amazon fire tv front september 2017

Both technologies are cutting edge, and improve the viewing experience no end.

4K has four times as many pixels as high definition, making for much sharper image quality. HDR, meanwhile, originated in cameras. It stands for high dynamic range, and it makes the dark parts of the image darker, and the light parts lighter. It also increases the number of incremental 'steps' in between these changes.

The result? A picture with more depth, making it look much more lifelike, and hence making the viewing experience that much more immersive.

The Apple TV 4K also packs both of these technologies. But Amazon's box of tricks has one thing Apple's doesn't...

2 Dolby Atmos

amazon fire tv september 2017

And that's Dolby Atmos. This is an audio technology that effectively gives you cinema-quality sound without requiring an expensive – and lounge-dominating – home speaker set-up.

The tech was originally only found in cinemas, but has since found its way into home cinema products. However, in order to hear the benefit, you'll need a TV and/or speakers that are compatible with Dolby Atmos. You can find a list of manufacturers who make compatible products here.

3 It comes with the Alexa Voice Remote

amazon fire tv with remote september 2017

That means one thing: voice control, baby!

Just speak the name of a film to search for it. Sadly you can't quote dialogue from a film to look for it, as you can on Sky Q, but it's a cool feature nonetheless.

Alexa – Amazon's voice-activated personal assistant – has other cool skills too. It can launch apps at your command, and perform actions like fast forwarding. Just say "Alexa, skip ahead five minutes" and it'll do as told. Makes you feel like the boss, doesn't it?

4 It has a huge choice of channels

amazon fire tv living room 2 september 2017

As well as Amazon Prime Video (which costs £79 a year), the new Fire TV gives you access to over 10,000 channels, apps and Alexa skills. These include BBC iPlayer, Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and UKTV Play, among others.

5 It's dirt cheap

Despite all this, it costs just £69.99. That's less than half the cost of the Apple TV 4K, though with only 8GB of storage, it only has a quarter of the space of Apple's streaming box.

Amazon's new device is also smaller than its predecessor – at just 6.5x6.5mm, it's titchy enough to fit in your trouser pocket. And it packs a 1.5GHz processor, which is more than fast enough to handle whatever you throw at it.

It's available to pre-order now, and will ship on 25th October.

Join the conversation

comments powered by Disqus

Stay up to date

  • Google+ Follow uSwitchTech
  • Subscribe to our RSS feed

Latest comments

  • Dave Beck 9 months ago EU portability streaming law:... Netflix already provide a service if the country has a Netflix service. My UK Netflix account works for US...
  • Robert KołOdziej 9 months ago EU portability streaming law:... Netflix, for example, detects and blocks VPN. Tried it and failed just before Easter when we were abroad....
  • Vorteilspack 9 months ago Is Netflix making its own news... Oh no! Whoever told Netflix to do that did a good job sucking up money for something the world doesn't...

Search news