Amazon’s answer to Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast – Fire TV – has landed in the UK.
Available to buy now for £79, the sleek set-top box provides access to a range of on-demand services and also doubles as a mini games console.
Owners can navigate the Fire TV’s menus with the supplied voice-activated remote or the gamepad, sold separately for £34.99.
Streaming services available on Fire TV include BBC iPlayer, BBC News, BBC Sport, Netflix, Spotify, TVPlayer, Demand 5, Sky News and Curzon Home Cinema. Shows are also available to rent and buy through Amazon and unlimited streaming via Prime Instant Video.
Game titles available to play from launch include Minecraft, Asphalt 8, NBA 2K14, The Walking Dead and other classics from Mojang, Gameloft, Sega and Ubisoft plus SevZero a titled developed specifically for Fire TV.
Jorrit Van der Meulen, vice president of Amazon Devices in the EU said: “Fire TV offers powerful performance in a tiny box at a great price. For just £79 it comes with an open ecosystem that provides access to a vast selection of content through BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Prime Instant Video, and Amazon Instant Video, enabling customers to stream movies and TV shows in up to Full HD on demand.
“Plus, with the exclusive ASAP feature and voice search that really works, it’s never been easier or faster to jump into a great movie or TV show.”
ASAP – short for Advanced Streaming and Prediction – is Amazon’s predictive recommendations system that attempts to get a handle on the kinds of shows you like to watch. The idea behind ASAP is that it’ll start second-guessing what you want and queue up shows, meaning you won’t have to wait for content to buffer. Much like SwiftKey’s predictive text algorithm, the more you use Fire TV, the better ASAP gets at moulding yourself to its desires.
Fire TV is synced to your Amazon account, so if you’ve got a Kindle Fire HDX tablet and you’re already signed up to Prime Instant Video you’ll be able to do neat things like call up IMDb-powered cast information from Amazon’s X-Ray while you’re streaming TV and movies.
If you’re not fully immersed in the Amazon universe but you like the idea of a mini streaming device that can also play games then Fire TV will sort you out. The quad-core chip and 2GB of RAM promises a more powerful gaming experience than what Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast can offer.
Games will cost around £1.07, although SevZero will cost £4.99. The game controller will set you back £34.99 and provides 55 hours of gameplay from two AA batteries.