Amazon has unveiled an all-new Fire TV Cube, which can intelligently upgrade the quality of your favourite TV shows and brings hands-free voice controls to other set-top boxes gathering dust under your telly. Topping it all off, Amazon has refreshed the design and added support for cutting-edge Wi-Fi 6E – so your latest boxset binge shouldn’t be scuppered by buffering, no matter how many gadgets you’ve got scattered throughout the home.
The new Fire TV is available to preorder right now, with the first streaming set-top boxes shipping to customers in the UK from October 27, 2022.
Powering the latest generation of Fire TV Cube is a new octa-core chipset that Amazon says is roughly 20% faster than the previous generation. As we noted in our first-generation Fire TV Cube review, that set-top box is no slouch, so this promises to be a speedy streamer. This new chipset enables the so-called Super Resolution Upscaling, which converts High Definition (HD) pictures into razor-sharp 4K Ultra HD for better detail, contrast and clarity.
This feature works when watching an older show filmed in HD from a streaming service, but it will also kick-in when you plug-in a USB drive into the back of Fire TV Cube to watch an old home video, or create a slideshow of family photos. Not only that, but Amazon told us that Super Resolution Upscaling would also be applied to the feed from the HDMI input – so plugging in a DVD player or games console to watch a movie could see the quality boosted too.
Of course, you’ll need to be using the Fire TV Cube with a 4K Ultra HD-compatible television to see the improvement. Likewise, Fire TV Cube supports standards like Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, and HDR, although you’ll need to have the right kit plugged into your setup to see these in action too.
The USB and HDMI input ports are some of the biggest new additions to the cuboid streaming box. As well as holiday slideshows, the USB port can be used to plug-in a webcam for video calls on the biggest screen in your home. You can make calls to Amazon Echo or Echo Show devices, or using video conferencing apps like Zoom available in the Fire TV App Store.
Amazon has also added a HDMI input, so you can plug games consoles and set-top boxes into the Fire TV Cube. This means you’ll have the same number of HDMI ports as you did before you plugged in the Fire TV Cube – handy if you’re struggling to juggle multiple gadgets at the back of your telly as you switch between streaming set-top boxes, satellite telly, and games consoles. But most excitingly, the HDMI input brings Alexa voice controls to your other devices.
We haven’t seen the full list of set-top boxes that are compatible with the new Fire TV Cube, but Amazon is confident that it’ll support the biggest brands. Whether that means you’ll be able to channel-hop, set recordings, and rent new releases on your Sky Q box with a few voice commands to Alexa remains to be seen. However, it’s an intriguing proposition – and places the Fire TV Cube (and AI assistant, Alexa) at the heart of your home entertainment setup.
Fire TV Cube is the first streaming media player in the industry with Wi-Fi 6E support, giving customers with a compatible router the ability to enjoy a smooth entertainment experience with less interference from other Wi-Fi devices in the home.
It also now comes equipped with an Ethernet port, for those who prefer the security of a good old-fashioned wired connection.
“The all-new Fire TV Cube is a big step forward for Fire TV—it’s the fastest, most powerful, and most versatile streaming media player we’ve ever made,” said Daniel Rausch, vice president of Amazon Entertainment Devices and Services. “This Fire TV Cube’s powerful processing and Wi-Fi 6E support deliver an incredibly smooth streaming experience, and HDMI input means you can instantly extend the simplicity of Fire TV and hands-free Alexa control to your home entertainment system.”
Published at Thu, 29 Sep 2022 11:10:00 +0000