Following weeks of speculation Amazon has officially confirmed that its latest Fire TV will support both HDR and Dolby Atmos. The reveal was made at a surprise hardware event, where the company also announced the new Echo, Echo Plus and Echo Spot.
Amazon’s Fire TV has quickly become one of the most popular set-top boxes available on the market, but the company has been gradually adding more features to entice even more users. The latest model has not only had a slight redesign but also comes with 4K Ultra HD, HDR, Alexa voice control and Dolby Atmos – what’s more, it’s more affordable than the old 4K Fire TV.
A Complete Redesign
Amazon has completely redesigned the Fire TV, although it’s predominately done so in terms of dimensions rather than the look of the device itself. That’s because the new Fire TV has been designed to compete against the Chromecast Ultra, offering 4K at a low-cost.
The new puck-sized device still features a square design, although it now plugs directly into the back of the TV via the HDMI cable that is permanently connected to the box. To put it simply, this is essentially the power of a standard Amazon Fire TV packed into a device not much bigger than a Fire TV Stick.
Full Power Ahead
Amazon claims that the new Fire TV is 40% more powerful than the Fire TV Stick, and that power is being taken full advantage of. In fact, inside the new Fire TV users will find a 1.5GHz quad-core processor and dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi. There’s also 2GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, all that can neatly fit behind a TV.
That power is enough to stream 4K Ultra HD content from a variety of sources, including Netflix and Amazon Video, at 60fps. That content can also be Dolby Atmos-enabled, although only Netflix offers the 3D audio format in the UK currently, unless you count YouTube.
It’s a shame Amazon hasn’t included Dolby Vision support; although only the Apple TV supports that HDR format currently, and is a lot more expensive than the new-generation Fire TV.
The Most Affordable Fire TV Yet
The new Fire TV is supposedly the most affordable 4K-enabled device yet, with users able to pick one up for just $69.99 in the US, while in the UK it has been priced at £69.99. It’s a little bit misleading to call it the most affordable 4K device, as the Chromecast Ultra is $69 in the US and £69 in the UK – meaning it’s a whole $0.99 and £0.99 cheaper. The Chromecast Ultra doesn’t support voice control natively and doesn’t feature a fully-fledge UI, however, so maybe the extra cost is justified.
Amazon is all set to ship the new Fire TV on October 25, with the new device available for pre-order now.