Amazon Fire TV


US By Raf Stitt

I am the proud owner of an Apple TV—and I see no reason for the new Amazon Fire TV to sneak into my heart and take its place. For those of you who have yet to join us in the 21st century and are therefore unfamiliar with Apple TVs, I’ll break down what it is exactly that these devices do. Apple TVs, Amazon Fire TVs, Rokus, and other similar devices on the market are little boxes that hook up to your TV and use Wi-Fi to stream TV and other forms of media like Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora.

Since there are newcomers in this market, Amazon should be offering consumers something to get really excited about with the Fire TV. But to be completely honest, it doesn’t live up to the expectations surrounding it.

The biggest problem with the Amazon Fire TV is that it doesn’t offer HBO GO— arguably the second most important TV- and movie-streaming outlet after Netflix. It’s imperative that I finish The Wire and The Sopranos and that I’m able to get my fix of both Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Otherwise, the Fire TV doesn’t have many downsides—it just doesn’t give me any legit reasons to toss my Apple TV.

Amazon did make a valiant effort to try to get people to buy their product. Unlike other Netflix doohickeys (as my mom calls them), the Fire TV will offer video games for users to download or buy. They plan to have a game library of over 1,000 games, and will sell game controllers separately. This move is definitely an attempt to switch consumers’ allegiances, but I’m not so convinced. If I want to play video games, I’ll just hook up my Xbox and play some FIFA. Sorry Amazon—I respect the effort, but that move won’t pull me away from my Apple TV.

The Fire TV also features a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, which allow it to stream content faster than its competitors. The buffering I experience on my Apple TV before my Netflix shows doesn’t affect me too much. Another nice try, but still not convincing enough.

An additional attempt at a cool feature from Amazon: the ability to search for things just by using your voice. The downside to this potentially awesome feature is that you can only search through Amazon content. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have much Amazon content to be searching through—actually, I have none. I’d rather use my remote to search through my Apple content.