Amazon’s New Fire TV 4K HDR Streaming Dongle Finally Goes On Sale
Stephan Jukic – September 27, 2017
After persistent rumors that have gone back for months about its unveiling at some point in late 2017, Amazon’s new Fire TV 4K HDR device has finally arrived and it’s a very compact but very powerful dongle.
The online retail and electronics giant announced the new Amazon Fire TV today and is already selling it on the Amazon website for $69.99. This price seems a tiny bit stiff for a compact streaming media device like this but the Fire TV does come with 4K ultra HD support (pretty much a given) and high dynamic range as well, for the first time ever in an Amazon streaming media device. Unlike its predecessor, the also 4K-capable previous Amazon Fire TV set-top box, which was indeed a full-sized set-top box, the new Amazon Fire TV gadget is just a small flat and square-shaped dongle with a single HDMI cable emerging from it for connection to the back of your 4K TV. The new Fire TV package also comes with one of Amazon’s pretty cool Alexa remote control devices with voice search/command features.
One other major difference between this new Fire TV model and the now discontinued older version from 2015 (aside from the new models much smaller size) is that it can actually play back 4K UHD movies at 60 frames per second. The older version of Amazon Fire TV could only do this at 30fps due to its HDMI connectivity being no higher than version 1.4. The absence of the higher frame rate was a major disappointment in the earlier set-top box even when it was first released.
The arrival of the new Amazon Fire 4K HDR dongle comes just days after Apple’s release of their brand new and remarkably robust Apple TV 4K set-top box and while it’s tempting to say that this little dongle is Amazon’s attempt to compete with Apple, the differences between the two largely rule out such an idea; the Apple counterpart is without a doubt the more robust, premium-oriented device and aimed at consumers who don’t mind paying extra for the additional power and features. The Amazon Fire 4K dongle’s price of $70 and its overall specs instad make it much more comparable to Google’s Chromecast Ultra 4K HDR streaming dongle than to Apple’s $179 full-blown set-top box.
Additionally, unlike the Apple TV 4K, which includes support for both HDR10 and the arguably superior Dolby Vision High Dynamic Range standard in its specs, the Amazon Fire Dongle only supports the more common HDR10 standard. This however is par for the course in this market since Apple’s device is basically the only streamer which currently does support Dolby Vision. On the other hand, the Fire TV dongle does come with Dolby Atmos sound integration, which the Apple TV 4K lacks. This is a definite point in Amazon’s favor considering this dongles moderate price.
Overall, the Amazon Fire TV dongle is an enticing new product for some other reasons as well. It comes powered by a fairly robust 1.5GHz quad-core processor, runs Amazon’s excellent Fire TV smart platform and pairs very easily with other Amazon-powered devices such as the Amazon Echo smart home platform. It’s also easily compatible with virtually all premium and budget 4K HDR TVs. Amazon has also made sure that entertainment options in the new Fire TV platform are far from lacking. The company claims device access to more than half a million different TV episodes and movie titles available for streaming right after installation through a wide range of third party media apps and Amazon’s own Prime video service in the Fire TV dongle is now offering 4K ultra HD and HDR titles at dramatically reduced prices thanks to competition for 4K title cost from Apple with its iTunes store.
You can pre-order the Amazon Fire 4K HDR TV dongle right now from the company’s website for $69.99 and orders will start shipping as of the 25th of October. Amazon is also selling bundle packages for a Fire TV with Amazon Echo Dot for $80 and a Fire TV plus antenna combo for $74 among bundles.
Story by 4k.com