Amazon Possibly Releasing a New Mid-Range 4K HDR 60fps Fire TV Device
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.
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.
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 4K@60fps 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.
Story by 4k.com