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YOU'RE FIRED: Amazon Fire TV is lukewarm at best
Posted: 04/19/14 by Tim Bean
Anything with the Amazon name attached to it seemingly sells itself.
But the brand and its name value may have hit a bit of a snag with the Amazon Fire TV. This table top box connects to your high definition TV and is similar to Apple TV and Roku in that it streams movies and music, and Amazon Fire TV also has added a few video game titles into the mix.
In theory and practically speaking, Amazon Fire TV is fine, and displays some tremendous characteristics with its offerings. The video game aspect is particularly enjoyable, although the titles available won't do much for gamers who already partake in playing their Xbox or Playstation.
As far as what's available to watch, there are plenty of worthwhile movies and the streaming music that is Pandora, along with television shows and apps that include Showtime, Netflix and Hulu. Missing from the Amazon Fire TV is HBO and any sense of distinction or uniqueness to this product.
Amazon Fire TV feels more like a ho hum effort from Amazon, rather than a central, focused effort to do more than what is already out there. Instead, Amazon Fire TV feels formulaic and simply a rehash or hodgepodge of their competitors.
This is one of those devices that sits snugly between Apple TV and Roku on the shelves, but won't stand out much. That's to suggest that Amazon Fire TV is all bad, especially when you take into consideration the technology savvy voice activated remote control and a simple, straightforward menu that is ridiculously easy to navigate. They also have a section specifically for kids called “Amazon Free Time,” which basically insinuates that parents don't need to monitor what their kids are watching after they've programmed Amazon Fire TV to follow a pattern already approved by mom and dad.
And speaking of controllers, the one offered by Amazon Fire TV doesn't seem over matched when paired against others from actual gaming systems.
Voice activation and a sleek controller can't quell the overwhelming feeling that Amazon Fire TV is just, plain average. It's certainly not inadequate, but you also can't describe it as groundbreaking or a product that leaves consumers clamoring to own it and racing to retailers to buy it.
The real upside to Amazon Fire TV would technically be in the video game sector but Amazon needs to work on getting a few more games into their library before anyone takes notice or decides to ditch their gaming consoles.