Amazon fires back in the 4K set-top box war
Just days after Apple announced their latest Apple TV device, with sports 4K and Atmos support, Amazon fires back with their next Fire TV model. Combining an Amazon Echo speaker and Fire TV into a single device is the Amazon Fire TV Cube. I’m not entirely sold on the shape, but I will admit it would look a lot better on a home entertainment setup.
Not as desirable as the original Fire TV set-top box, but leaps and bounds better looking compared to the recent 4K dongle.
Currently, up for pre-order on Amazon.com for $120 (or $89.99) for Prime members. This also makes it the most expensive Amazon media device on the market, as the 4K dongle is only $70. The interesting part is that the cube pairs Alexa alongside the Fire TV, which could be the perfect companion for the living room. Or wherever you do your consumption of media. In an interesting take, this time around, this Fire TV will also act as a universal remote. Meaning you’ll be able to pair/connect multiple devices such as your TV, receivers, cable boxes and more to the cube. And since it also supports HDMI-CEC, you’ll be able to power on those devices as well. With just the sound of your voice. Those who already have a Fire TV may already be using this function, I know I do and I enjoy it as well.
Amazon also claims that the built-in speaker will be able to clearly hear you, regardless of where you are in the area. This is all due to eight microphones and beamforming technology. That’s good to hear as I typically have issues with my current echo dot that I have in my living room. At times I need to get closer to have Alexa hear me and do my bidding.
While it supports 4K, Dolby Atmos, and HDR10. It still lacks Dolby Vision, something that newer Apple TV supports. While it does double up on the amount of internal storage, the CPU hasn’t been upgraded. I’d also imagine that due to the disagreement between Amazon and Google/Alphabet, that this also will not officially support any YouTube apps. Thankfully, it will include an ethernet adapter that plus into the cube, as well as an IR extender.
I’m curious about the device and have already pre-ordered mine. Pre-orders will ship out as of June 21st, 2018. So check back after then to see what I think about the latest Fire TV device.