New FireTV is out

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by oneMadRssn, Sep 17, 2015.

  1. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #1
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00U3FPN4U/

    $100 for 8GB and remote
    $140 for 32GB and game controller (but no remote)

    [​IMG]

    Comparing to the new ATV:

    Supports 4K, sort of. "2160p up to 30fps" is what the specs say, so it's not HDMI 2.0. The spec has no mention of specific HDMI version. I wouldn't call that full 4K support. Still, I suppose those with 4K TVs today might be happy. Some will still complain it doesn't support HDR or 60fps in 4K.

    Also has 10/100 Ethernet and no optical out, similar to the new ATV.

    It has a Power VR GX6250 GPU. Which is a bit worse than the PowerVR GX6450 in the new ATV.

    Otherwise they look pretty comparable.
     
  2. Frankied22 macrumors 68000

    Frankied22

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    #2
    I think this is an indication that we shouldn't expect an Amazon Instant Video app on the new Apple TV.
     
  3. Btrthnezr3 macrumors 6502a

    Btrthnezr3

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    I'm wondering if they are truly going to keep it off the app store though? There's an amazon video app for iPhone and iPad so to me...So I'm hoping that it could be available for the Apple TV.
     
  4. d21mike macrumors 68040

    d21mike

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Location:
    Torrance, CA
    #4
    I notice that it says it supports H.265. I wonder what the HDMI Post spec is. Apple's is 1.4 and some say 1.4 should support 4K.
     
  5. oneMadRssn thread starter macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #5
    HDMI 1.4 supports 2160p up to 30fps, but no fancy features at that resolution such as HDR or 3D.

    HDMI 2.0 supports 2160p up to 60fps, with bandwidth for HDR and 3D.

    Since the FireTV tech specs are similar to the HDMI 1.4 capabilities, I assume that is what it has, although the tech specs don't say specifically which HDMI version.
     
  6. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #6
    I am really happy to see this new offering. This, along with items such as the NVidia Shield TV might just make Apple get off of its high horse and start being innovative again. The new ATV is "nice" but these other offerings go much further and are not overly expensive for the bells and whistles. Competition is good in general and excellent for Apple fans when Apple responds the way they really can (though extremely rare these days).

    Just a personal like - I have been a strong advocate of TVs being just "monitors" and using set top boxes for access to streaming, local play media files etc. In this, people can, for the most part mix and match for what they want rather than makers telling us what we want or limiting* what we can have and do.
     
  7. dugbug macrumors 65816

    dugbug

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Location:
    Somewhere in Florida
  8. d21mike macrumors 68040

    d21mike

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Location:
    Torrance, CA
    #8
    Do you know anything about H.265? Is that a hardware spec? I thought H.264 was hardware decoding.
     
  9. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    #9
    I think you meant to type 30Hz and 60HZ ;)
     
  10. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #10
    Interestingly enough their product page says that they will stream 1080p in H.265 as well. They could either use it to reduce bandwidth, or keep the current bandwidth and increase image quality ...
     
  11. oneMadRssn thread starter macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #11
    Both are encoding formats. h.265 is more efficient, but in some tests the differences are minor.

    It can be implemented in hardware, but it's not necessary. For example, even though some older Macs do not support H.264 decoding in hardware, VLC or other software can still play H.264 encoded files just fine.

    All encoding formats can be done in software or hardware, depending on how the engineers of the device implement them. When people say "hardware decoding" they mean that the decoding algorithm has been programmed into the GPU firmware as a function and optimized in some ways, and that function is available for any app to use. Alternatively, software decoding means the decoding algorithm is programmed into the app itself and the app calls on the CPU to perform the calculations necessary to decode it. Most apps use try to use hardware decoding if it's available, but can also use software decoding if it's not.

    I think people place too much emphasis on this difference. To us as an end-user, we have no reason to care how the file is decoded as long as it's decoded faster than real-time (meaning it takes less than 5 minutes to decode a 5-minute long movie, for example) and there are no noticeable adverse effects on other functionality. Whether it's in software or hardware is something the engineers worry about when considering power usage, CPU speed, making sure CPU cycles are available for other tasks, etc. For end-users, as long as the file opens and plays, I don't think it matters on a streaming set-top box.
     
  12. oneMadRssn thread starter macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #12
    Fiiiine. You're right. Though to be super technically correct, it would be "a frame-rate of 30Hz"

    Hz alone is just a frequency, something per second, without context. What is 30Hz? Is it 30 balloons popped per second? Is it 30 hotdogs eaten per second? Is it 30 puppies born per second? Saying "fps" provides that context.
     
  13. phrehdd, Sep 17, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2015

    phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #13
    Let's just hope that streaming services don't send out crappy H.265 streams
    as they have often with H.265 1080i/1080p media. H.265 doesn't guarantee
    quality but may offer better.
     
  14. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    #14
    Hz and FPS are two different thing, not the same thing. And no one specs their hardware at FPS. Notice when you see 4k@60Hz or 4k@30Hz?
     
  15. foobarbazqux macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2014
    #15
    Seriously? We're really going to argue over fps vs hz? Who gives a crap. We all know what the OP meant. It doesn't matter.
     
  16. oneMadRssn thread starter macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #16
    Amazon specs their hardware at FPS. "2160p up to 30fps." Take a look yourself.

    I'm getting into the semantics of Hz vs fps. In the context of TVs, they refer to the same thing.
     
  17. Doz007 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    #17
    Would I be correct to assume that Amazon will be rendering the UI at 4K on this new box?

    Even with the relatively small selection of 4K movies, having the UI rendered in UHD would be a nice benefit.
     
  18. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #18
    This was from Amazon's site with "resolution" spec:

    2160p up to 30fps; 720p and 1080p up to 60fps

    Most TVs (USA) are 60hrz. There are variations on a theme how to present 24 fps, 29.x fps, 59.x fps often represented as 24fps, 30, fps and 60fps. When I say variations, one method is referred to as "pull down" while another is simply a duplicate frame etc. (I am simplifying for sake of moving the conversation forward.) In the world of LCD TVs, ever notice that the TVs play in multiples of 60? Thus those daft "motion" enhancement settings are 120 or 240. The idea is to either generate more frames or interpolate intermediate frames. This often is referred to as the soap opera effect. Plasma TVs interestingly enough handled 24p properly while LCDs continue to fudge with work around additional frames.

    2160p @ 30fps is associated with the limitation of HDMI 1.4. For 2160p at 60 fps, you have to go up in specs on the HDMI to 2.x. Most people would be happy with quality streaming of H.264 or H.265 at 30fps. This will most likely be fairly standard. At 60 fps, chances are it will be a physical player akin to HD Blue Ray device.
     

Share This Page