Theverge_take one home today

Amazon has announced the Amazon Fire TV live from a New York press conference, where the set looks like a decked out 70’s living room.

The square box, with remote, costs $99 and has already gone on sale.

Some of the specs include 2GB of ram, dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi, and supports 1080p and Dolby digital surround stereo. Available apps include Netflix, iheartradio, Showtime, Hulu, WatchESPN, MLB, Crackle, NBA, YouTube and more.

amazon settopAmazon sells a lot of streaming media devices, so they also hear what’s wrong with them, like search, slow performance and closed ecosystems, where users can’t watch content from any provider they want.

Clearly, the e-commerce giant, who has an interest in dominating digital content, believes it can solve these problems by simplifying the technology. And, in case you are confused with who they will be competing against, Amazon promises it is three times as powerful as the Apple TV, Roku or Chromecast, according to The Verge.

As many had speculated, the device does use the Android operating system, and supports HTML, making apps easy to develop. The remote allows users to conduct a universal search through voice commands, so there’s no shouting across the living room at the TV (that’s a jab at the Xbox, which conducts voice search using the Kinect).

The device is still a work in progress.

For instance, music will be available from Pandora and other app, and songs you’ve purchased from Amazon, starting next month. Although there are some extras available today, like seeing things stored in your Cloud Drive or syncing with your Kindle Fire tablet.

It also will act as a game console, although it is more focused on bringing cheap mobile games to the living room than competing against the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 for the hardcore gaming set. A separate games controller costs $40.

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  • FrankCatalano

    If they could just include TiVo-like auto-recording/notification features (in the cloud) for certain programs that are tough to find on various third-party sites like Hulu, they’d have me. Right now, assembling what you want to watch and finding where to watch it yourself is too labor-intensive, and DVRs have that advantage.

    • BrentR

      +1 to that. I’m amazed we’re still dealing with this issue. Seems like a huge opportunity for someone to fix (and enhance).

  • Guest

    Congrats to Amazon on the launch!

  • Cheese burrito

    I’d like the option to tweet out what i’m watching at the push of a button – and the tweet link to whatever segment of a program I was watching.

    I’ve always been disappointed by how difficult Apple makes it to share a link to something you’ve purchased in the app store.

    You’ll often have to juggle two devices to say something like, “this episode i’m watching is badass” and by the time you’ve finished juggling between the two, it just feels like a waste of time.

    If Amazon is going for having people play around with Android games on a television they should double down on this. Many, many, many android games have non-working (or pointless) twitter or Facebook links.

    And, my absolute biggest complaint about the Kindle Fire is this. When you’re checking out an app there’s the ability to email out a link to the game in question – but not an option (as near as I can figure out) to share a link to the content in the app store.

    It’s frustrating, and not very social.

  • gerdo888

    Yawn. Already have it all built into my TV from Vizio. Why spend another $99 that could be used for beers?

  • Haley

    They say it drives them nuts they can’t watch Amazon Prime on an Apple TV however I don’t see iTunes integration with Amazon Fire TV! WTF

  • Paul_Owen

    There’s nothing new here. This will cannibalize Roku 3 sales but will not grow the market. Live TV and DVR remain the holy grail.

  • Jay Viradiya

    I never thought that the past rumors would turn into reality. The Lord
    of E-Commerce has finally launched a hardware device, in fact a device that can
    transform my TV into smart bug.

    And i don’t think i’ll need an Xbox for gaming, 2-GB Ram and Quad-Processor gaming is like heaven.

    Thanks to Amazon and Hats off to you for exploring Amazon’s creativity in electronics.

    You can also visit us on:

  • Thiago

    I’m just glad it doesn’t require purchasing an antenna. Those things are hard to come by these days. This is an awesome set up by Amazon. Thiago |

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