Amazon Possibly Releasing a New Mid-Range 4K HDR 60fps Fire TV Device

by on March 20, 2017

Stephan Jukic – March 20, 2017

Among fans of 4K display technology Amazon is known for (among many other things) reliably selling some great TVs at some of the best discounts on the web and for its Fire TV streaming media set-top box with 4K ultra HD capacity, which sells for about $90. Below this, there’s a basic fire TV streaming stick that retails for just $40 but lacks 4K capacity.

Amazon's current 4K set-top box

Amazon’s current 4K set-top box

Now, according to reporting from the website AFTV News, evidence exists that a mid-range fire TV streaming device is coming with a cost between the $40 and $90 devices above but with 4K UHD and HDR included.

This new streamer will lack some of the features found in the priciest of Amazon’s Fire TV 4K streaming devices but on the other hand it will likely support HDR 4K video at 60fps. Currently, the $90 Amazon Fire TV doesn’t support either 4k at 60fps or HDR and this has been one of its major weaknesses. However, the supposed mid-range device likely won’t support 3D game playback and other major Amazon gaming-related features found in the top-tier Amazon Fire TV set-top box.

From what we know so far, based on further reporting via GFXBench analysis, the new Amazon Fire TV streaming device will come with an Amlogic S905 processor, a 2GB RAM that dedicates 512MB strictly for graphics processing and a built-in storage with about 8GB. Amazon’s Fire OS will also get an update and be based on Android 7 Nougat.

As we said, the reported new device will support 4K UHD at 60fps and also deliver HDR support. This alone makes it considerably superior to even the existing premium Amazon Fire TV stick, which despite its higher price and premium Amazon gaming services/content access only supports 4K at 30fps via HDMI 1.4 connectivity and obviously enough has no support for HDR of any kind.

The new streamer device’s actual physical form is still unknown but the speculation from AFTVnews is that it will come as a dongle with integrated HDMI. This is being guessed based on the reported specs for the gadget. In other words, the Amazon Fire TV HDR streamer would be a direct competitor to Google’s 4K HDR capable Chromecast Ultra. On the other hand, if the new device, code-named “AFTN” by its build model name, ends up as a streaming media set-top box, it would be more of a competitor to the Roku Ultra 4K HDR TV box. Whichever ends up being the case (we’re leaning more towards this device being a streaming media stick than a set-top box), Amazon is indeed badly in need of a new 4K streaming device that actully delivers decent ultra HD performance for all of the HDR 4K TVs of 2016 and 2017 out there. All major 4K streamers from rival brands now support HDR in some form.

Amazon's 4K set-top box is lagging in HDR support behind the Google Chromecast Ultra and Roku Ultra 4K on the left

Amazon’s 4K set-top box is lagging in HDR support behind the Google Chromecast Ultra and Roku Ultra 4K on the left

The obvious odd thing here is the fact that this little device costs less than the premium 4K Amazon Fire 4K set-top box but will likely be a mere dongle instead of a full blown set-top box and still have far superior video processing specs with HDR included. The question then is, why not just release a new 3d-generation version of the Fire TV set-top box itself for support for the same advanced media formats? The main reason why seems to lie in the fact that Amazon’s sales of its streaming sticks are higher than those of its set-top box. Thus, a streaming stick update to 4K HDR is what comes first, followed by a more advanced full-blown 4K set-top box that finally includes HDR and ultra HD video at a respectable 60fps. What will apparently stay in fvor of the Amazon Fire TV set-top streamer is its superior game playing capacity and access to games. Until a third-generation version of the top-tier Fire TV box comes out, this will be the justification for its higher price over an HDR [email protected] streaming stick version of Fire TV.

As for pricing and release date information, as we said, we don’t yet know these details for sure but a price of between $60 and $70 seems extremely likely and a release date of between September and November is looking likely to us based on what we’ve seen from previous Amazon device releases.

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  • tman
    April 3, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Amazon – don’t make it a dongle. Make it a proper box with wired ethernet. Trying to do 4k/HDR over wifi isn’t even worth thinking about. I have a first gen stick and FireTV 2nd gen, and 4k/HDR is something I’d buy another box for. Not worried about the gaming – just make it a first class media streamer and I’ll buy another one.


    • Alex Atkin
      April 5, 2017 at 6:43 am

      Seeing as its almost certainly going to have 802.11ac, I don’t see how its a problem. You are talking about a connection that can do 300-600Mbit real-world speed, depending on if it has MIMO or not.

      I have used Steam in-home streaming over WiFi many times and even that works for long periods without stutter, and that is literally one of the most intensive uses you can do as any momentary stalls in data transfer causes the video feed to stall. Playing video on the other hand doesn’t care about lag spikes or even a few seconds of no data transfer at all, so long as the average transfer speed is high.


  • Yipi_kya
    April 4, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Wait too long and I’ll have to pull the string on an Nvidea Shield TV box. Sure it costs more, but it’s out now and does the 4k HDR job, plus more.


  • Yipi_kya
    April 4, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Make that Nvidia..


  • Cris
    August 31, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    A wired connection is always inherently more stable.

    Nvidia Shield (2017) only has partial HDR support. It cannot support HDR for YouTube for example. Also it does not support Dolby Vision.

    I am hoping a new Fire TV will support full HDR and DV, as well as <4k video pass-through – Shield upscales all <4k content whereas a UHD TV nearly always does a better job at upscaling – Existing UHD Fire TV does this now – hope that isn't lost with this new device (seems to be an Android issue).

    If all that and assuming full audio pass-through then I would buy this potential new device to replace my Nvidia Shield.


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