Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
55,001
17,376



Earlier this week, Amazon launched its Fire TV media streaming box, entering a crowded market with devices from Roku, the Chromecast from Google and the Apple TV. With the Fire TV delivering a number of features rumored for a future Apple TV, reactions to Amazon's new box have certainly been of interest to Apple fans.

With an immediate launch for Fire TV, the device has already landed in the hands of reviewers and at popular repair shop iFixit, which promptly tore the device down. Early analysis of the Fire TV suggests the device has market-leading hardware that is hindered by less-than-perfect software.

amazon-fire-tv2.jpg
On the hardware front, iFixit confirms the Fire TV is a powerhouse with a quad-core, 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Krait 300 processor, Qualcomm Adreno 320 dedicated GPU, 2 GB LPDDR2 RAM clocked at 533 MHz, 8 GB internal storage, 802.11a/b/g/n MIMO Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. The Fire TV has the power to play back HD videos, with extra to spare for games.

Though the hardware is impressive, early reviews suggest the device's blazing performance is overshadowed by a poor search experience that makes finding content on the Fire TV a chore, says Dave Smith in a review for ReadWrite. While Voice Search offers an improvement over typical manual input, its results are limited to Amazon services.
Due to the extreme limitations of Voice Search, browsing through Netflix -- where you'll probably spend most of your time, considering Amazon's rather limited library of quality movies for free streaming -- is, once again, manual labor.

In time, applications like Netflix and Hulu+ could support Voice Search--maybe even through a simple software update. But since searching is so important on this device, Amazon has really hung early-adopters out to dry. Even when Voice Search works, it can't filter the results by movies or programs you can stream for free.
Because of its high-end hardware, Amazon couldn't undercut its competition and had to release the Fire TV at a price point that is on the high-end of the market as noted by Leslie Horn of Gizmodo.
Scott Stein of CNET focused on the gaming feature of the Fire TV, saying it isn't groundbreaking and doesn't offer a compelling alternative to existing smartphone, tablet, or console games.
Don't expect anything more than what Android/iOS already offers: the Fire TV's initial offerings, while better than I'd expected, cover a lot of familiar bases. Terraria, Badland, Asphalt 8, Riptide GP 2, Dead Rising 2, The Walking Dead, even Minecraft Pocket Edition...you can already get all these in many other places.
To help set it apart from its competitors, Amazon included an app store, gaming and wireless controller support to Fire TV. Earlier rumors suggest Apple will bring similar features to its next generation Apple TV, adding support for games and Apple's iOS 7 controllers to the media box. Other rumors point to a device with the router features of the AirPort Express as well as a possible cable TV tie-in with partners such as Comcast.

Article Link: Amazon's Fire TV Is Powerful, but Voice Search Limitations Hamper User Experience
 

dumastudetto

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2013
3,868
4,955
As I said days ago, there's a reason why Apple hasn't launched App Store on Apple TV: they still haven't figured out how to deliver the rich experience we demand. Fire TV is just a rush first to market type product that will fail epic style.
 

pgiguere1

macrumors 68020
May 28, 2009
2,161
1,128
Montreal, Canada
While the hardware is there, it's the ecosystem that will ultimately determine if this is really better than a typical set-top box like the Apple TV.

I have no doubt that opening an App Store for Apple TV would attract tons of developers, but I'm not sure if Amazon has enough mindshare to do the same.

We might have another Ouya on hands.

Personally I don't really care for now given that it's a US-only product.
 

samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
16,745
41,908
USA
Seems like they're nitpicking to me.

Sounds like one person commented on Voice and yet MR is making that an "issue"

The same comments about this device could be said by all of the streaming devices. None are perfect, none have all the features one wants and there's a lot of overlap.
 

gmanist1000

macrumors 68030
Sep 22, 2009
2,723
331
2014 with no 802.11ac. Nice. If any Apple product gets launched without it this year... I'm going to be in shock.
 

samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
16,745
41,908
USA
As I said days ago, there's a reason why Apple hasn't launched App Store on Apple TV: they still haven't figured out how to deliver the rich experience we demand. Fire TV is just a rush first to market type product that will fail epic style.

Please explain how this product was rushed. This isn't the first time you've attempted to speak as if this is some fact.

And how is Amazon first? There's already a market...
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,875
28,970
Sounds like one person commented on Voice and yet MR is making that an "issue"

The same comments about this device could be said by all of the streaming devices. None are perfect, none have all the features one wants and there's a lot of overlap.

Voice is a big deal so it's unfortunate that it doesn't work across all apps. I hope whatever we get from Apple vastly improves the search capability on ATV. Don't bother releasing anything if they haven't been able to improve the UI and search functionality.
 

samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
16,745
41,908
USA
Voice is a big deal so it's unfortunate that it doesn't work across all apps. I hope whatever we get from Apple vastly improves the search capability on ATV. Don't bother releasing anything if they haven't been able to improve the UI and search functionality.

I'm still waiting for Apple to have on onscreen search or jump to letter when viewing my ~800 video library list of titles.
 

bbeagle

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2010
3,450
2,740
Buffalo, NY
REALLY - Apple TV continues to be an EPIC disappointment to many of us.

What is it with the word 'epic'? And 'epic fail'. Both are overused to the point of being meaningless. It's just something said to sound cool, even though it sounds just the opposite - stupid.
 

Crosscreek

macrumors 68030
Nov 19, 2013
2,881
5,767
Margarittaville
Apple needs to push the envelope to stay in the streamer competition. We can see where this is headed with the streaming and gaming systems. The competition is only going to get more extreme.
 

pgiguere1

macrumors 68020
May 28, 2009
2,161
1,128
Montreal, Canada
Doubt it. Gaming may not take off exponentially - but as a streaming device alone, Amazon has plenty of customers and potential customers to do very well.

Yeah, my perception of Amazon is probably not the same as an American.

In Canada, Amazon.ca is nowhere as popular as Amazon.com in the US. They have a very poor product selection and prices aren't particularly good. We always get products like Kindles very late and I've yet to see a Kindle Fire in the wild, or find any person who subscribes to Amazon Prime.

But from what I understand Amazon is really big in the US, so people might buy this set-top box just because they already have an Amazon Prime subscription.
 

Mac Fly (film)

macrumors 68000
Feb 12, 2006
1,710
4,765
Ireland
iPhone controllers? So which device are you meant to look at when looking to press that specific button? An app is no substitute for good old physical buttons.
 

mclld

macrumors 68020
Nov 6, 2012
2,437
1,510
If this thing can get xbmc and the video add ons I use(1channel, Icefilms, Project Free Tv etc) I will sell my jailbroke Apple TV 2
 

samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
16,745
41,908
USA
Yeah, my perception of Amazon is probably not the same as an American.

In Canada, Amazon.ca is nowhere as popular as Amazon.com in the US. They have a very poor product selection and prices aren't particularly good. We always get products like Kindles very late and I've yet to see a Kindle Fire in the wild, or find any person who subscribes to Amazon Prime.

But from what I understand Amazon is really big in the US, so people might buy this set-top box just because they already have an Amazon Prime subscription.

I, also, should have qualified my comment to be US biased.
 

Lazy

macrumors 6502
May 27, 2003
305
335
Silicon Valley
2014 with no 802.11ac. Nice. If any Apple product gets launched without it this year... I'm going to be in shock.

Why? The 'n' (or even 'g') is more than fast enough for any streaming purposes, and 'n' has got all that MIMO goodness. What operational benefit do you think you'd get from having 'ac'?
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.