Amazon Debuts New Fire TV with 4K Video & Alexa Voice Assistant

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 17, 2015.

  1. jettredmont macrumors 68030

    Jul 25, 2002
    Well, to be pedantic, this is not "4k" either, as "4k" is a long-standing cinematic term which describes a slightly higher resolution than "Quad HD" aka "UHD". For 4k FILMS, typically they are shot in "real 4k", which is to say 4096x2160 (4096 wide is why they are called "4k" in fact), not in "QuadHD" or "UHD", which is to say 3840x2160. If that bothers you, realize that most films projected in 4k were actually done in 2k, until very very recently. And 2k is just a smidgen wider than 1080p resolution in exactly the same way as 4k is a smidgen wider than UHD.

    More importantly, for FILMS as you say, the very very important bit of the UHD standard which Amazon does not appear to be supporting (likely for lack of bandwidth on their HDMI 1.4 port, but that is conjecture) is HDR. High dynamic range is what allows a dark scene of a FILM to look great in a theater, yet devolve into a puddle of gray-brown mud on a typical screen. HDR is an optional part of the UHD standard, in non-4k resolutions as well as in 4k resolutions (a part that those "cheap" 4k TVs tend to not actually support, which is why they are cheap). Given the very real bandwidth constraints both on the Internet connection coming in and on the HDMI 1.4 connector both boxes are using, I'd be much more excited for FILMS to see HDR supported on a 1080p stream than to see mud rendered with absolute pixel perfection on a 2160p stream.
  2. neutralguy macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2015
    And what would be the reason for up conversion if your TV supports native 24fps?
  3. HarryWarden macrumors 6502a

    Oct 27, 2012
    Do you guys think Roku will be unveiling the 4th generation of its device fairly soon?
  4. JoeShades macrumors 6502a

    Sep 1, 2010
    Williamstown, NJ
    I asked the Magic 8 ball and it says outlook good which is about as accurate as any other answer you will get
  5. npmacuser5 macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2015
    This might clarify HDMI on Fire TV (Amazon published specs):

    "TV must support minimum HDCP requirements for protected content playback. Learn more. Compatible with (1) 4K ultra high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 2160p at 24/25/30/50/60 Hz and HDCP 2.2, including popular models from LG, Samsung, Sony, Sharp, Toshiba, Vizio, and others or (2) high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 1080p or 720p at 50/60 Hz, including popular HDCP-compatible models from Hitachi, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, NEC, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Vizio, Westinghouse, and others."
  6. nutmac macrumors 601

    Mar 30, 2004
    True, I forgot for a moment that Amazon's Fire TV is crippled that way.

    I am hoping that new Apple TV is at least capable of decoding HEVC at 1080p so that 3rd party services and Apple can push HEVC video streams instead of H.264.
  7. th-gates9345 macrumors member


    Sep 15, 2011
    Good one, right on the target!
  8. Carlanga macrumors 604


    Nov 5, 2009
    Before all the new fire TV haters get too excited: There is 4K streaming already (Netflix, Amazon, etc)
  9. fieldsphotos, Sep 17, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2015

    fieldsphotos macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2013
    Apple TV for itunes content and Fire TV for Amazon Prime content and rentals.

    And they are all at cheap enough price points that we consider them easy purchases and don't mind owning several. I had a Roku for a while as well, but at the time its lack of optical out was a killer for our old receiver.

    I do find it amusing that people who buy $700 phones and $2000 laptops are complaining about the price of the new AppleTV. Apple has always been more expensive than the competition for essentially the same specs (or even worse specs). You are paying the premium for their quality, service, and name.
  10. Carlanga macrumors 604


    Nov 5, 2009
    yeap, unfortunately I'm pretty sure we will see it added to next year aTV as the most have new feature for it...
    Don't forget that even though they are still selling the aTV3 it won't have an app store because they want you to upgrade. I would be happy w my aTV if they let amazon have their app on the aTV.
  11. fieldsphotos macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2013
    I think the HDCP 2.2 is the key that tells us it is HDMI 2.0. I am not sure you can have HDMI 1.4 that supports HDCP 2.2, (although I might be wrong about that)
  12. HenryDJP macrumors 603

    Nov 25, 2012
    United States
    I agree, I actually think the $199 price for the top TV is fair.
  13. vcoleiro1, Sep 17, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2015

    vcoleiro1 macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2011

    4K movies and TV shows are shot at 30fps. Not sure what the issue is

    Certainly better than no 4k

    Also, Amazon have amassed a large games and and app library for the Fire TV. There are now over 3000 games and apps for it. That includes 1100 games many of which support a controller.
    They also own a game development studio. Handy , to know if your considering picking up the Gaming Edition Fire TV which comes with a controller.
  14. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    In my case the firetv is the winner unless the new Apple TV can be hacked to run KODI.

    Have it installed on a firestick and it works great.

    Kudos for Amazon for releasing a gaming controller also, Apple has limited certain games by stating that they must be supported on thier touch remote.

    People who have always enjoyed the ATV will love the new one, people who found it limited to other devices will continue to find alternatives. Amazon does a nice alternative.
  15. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    Do the maths of you decide to spend $199 : to match apples top box.

    You get a fire TV, game controller and 128Gb sd card, and spare change for lunch and coffee all week.

    Or can spend the extra $10 on the Apple TV and be locked into then generous storage option offered ;)
  16. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    Apple could charge $399 and some people would consider it fair, cause it has a apple logo on it . :)
  17. fieldsphotos macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2013
    I ordered the regular Fire TV - I figure I will order the controller later if their games library interests me. You can get a game controller for the current FireTV as well, but I own an Xbox, so I haven't had a need to even check out the gaming library. I can't imagine a TV streamer being all that good at gaming vs a console. Although Nintendo might be in trouble now that I think about it.

    Now, if Amazon adds a huge retro library, then I might be in for the controller. I spotted R-Type on the current Fire TV and was VERY tempted to order the controller to check it out. But I didn't see a lot of other retro games, so I decided to skip.

    My dream: Amazon signs a licensing deal with Nintendo to gain access to their huge catalog of retro games. Oh, man, THAT would be awesome. Gotta wait for Nintendo to finish dying the slow death it is working on now tho with its own consoles.
  18. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
    People say that they can't notice the difference between 1080 and 4K but it took me a few days to actually get use to the realism. I thought at first their was something wrong with the tv until my wife made me see that it was the clarity I was not use to with the old plasma tv.
    I would say that 4K is like going from 1080P to Retina on a Mac. Clarity is achieved through upscaling 1080I for cable or satellite for regular programing. BlueRay upscaling from 1080P is crystal clear. 4K streaming is from what I can see is not much better. I have yet to experience first source 4K recorded material. I cannot see how it can add much to the clarity except in color definition.

    It doesn't matter how close or far away you are. You can put your nose to the screen and not see a pixel.
  19. nutmac macrumors 601

    Mar 30, 2004
    Well obviously you will see a pixel when you put your nose to the screen (at least for a larger set). Anyway, I am not saying 4K isn't noticeably better than 1080p. It's more that to appreciate it, you need larger set and/or need to sit closer. Having said that, 4K carries fairly small price premium over 1080p set currently and I suspect that by next year, majority of the TVs larger than 50" will be 4K.

    I am also hoping that HDR will trickle down to mid-end by next year (currently found only on high-end sets).
  20. ohio.emt macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2008
    HEVC isn't listed on Apple's spec page, just H.264 and MPEG.
  21. itr81 macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2010
    I'll wait on the Roku 4. To me it'll be in between the Apple TV and the Roku 4 for me.

    I have a feeling streaming 4K won't look much different then the current 1080p streams.
  22. macs4nw macrumors 601


    .....And competition keeps the prices in check..... :)
  23. hkenneth macrumors regular

    Jul 25, 2011
    Yes, they will have very detailed grainy textures but the sharpness of images won't be as decent as modern films. Such as this image taken from the remaster Bluray version of a 1975 film. In fact, the quality of zoomed 720p encode of the same film is very close to its 1080p source (given enough bit rate of course).

    Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 11.09.56 PM.png
  24. Noble Actual macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2014
    Please...Apple, Amazon, etc.

    You don't know anything about gaming. Amazon, just because you bought Twitch doesn't mean ****. Apple, your adding technology that we had 10 years ago with the Wii.

    Please just leave gaming to Microsoft, Sony, and Valve.

    4K doesn't mean anything. $100 or $150 doesn't mean anything. People that want to game will spend $300-$400 buying a console. And that's the average consumer. You can't get lower.

    Would I rather spend $100 or $150 for an Amazon or Apple TV or spend $350-$400 for a Xbox One or PS4?

    That's like would you rather spent $1 on one of those crappy free Android phones that carriers advertise when you can spent $199 (carrier price) or $600+ for an iPhone 6s.

    That Amazon controller looks like cheap plastic and Apple hasn't updated Game Center since like 2011 with actual improvements or features.

    Two companies who want to make an impact on gaming but have no clue.
  25. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    And of course when its launched in the next Apple TV it will be hailed as a game changer by Apple and lauded by the Apple disciples as the next best thing.

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