In Brief: Amazon Releases Fire TV Set-Top Box

By Norman Chan

$100, and shipping today.

A little late to the set-top party, Amazon held an event this morning to announce its own living room console, the Fire TV. It's everything you'd expect from a modern set-top box, a $100 machine running Android that will run the most popular streaming apps (aside from HBO Go and Vudu), play games, and connect to mobile devices like Amaon's Kindle Fire tablet. Amazon emphasized the hardware specifications of its console--it runs on a quad-core Qualcomm Krait 300 SoC with a dedicated Adreno 320 GPU, has 2GB RAM, and dual-band MIMO Wi-Fi. (Its remote connects over Bluetooth, but it's not confirmed to work with Logitech's Harmony system.) The mid-range smartphone processor supposedly lets Fire TV launch apps much quicker than competitor boxes, and run voice search that Amazon claims "actually works." Of course, Fire TV also has strong ties to Prime Instant Streaming, IMDB, and Amazon's FreeTime content-gating feature for kids. We're getting one in this week to test.