Amazon announces new 4K HDR Fire TV for $69.99

Amazon today announced an all-new Fire TV model. It is the first Fire TV capable of playing 4K video at 60 frames per second, since the 2nd-generation Fire TV could only play 30 fps 4K video. This new model is also the first Fire TV to support HDR video, which combined with the higher frame rate 4K capabilities, makes its video playback superior to the 2nd generation Fire TV. For that reason, Amazon is officially calling this the 3rd-generation Fire TV.

This new Fire TV should come as no surprise since I leaked it earlier this month and it’s the Fire TV model that Amazon codenamed “Needle” which has a build name of “AFTN.” An early benchmark of this Fire TV also leaked earlier this year.

While we know Amazon is working on a second new Fire TV, codenamed “Stark,” that will have built-in far-field microphones and additional features, there was expectedly no mention of that device at today’s hardware event. That device, which carries a build name of “AFTA,” might be announced closer to the end of this year or early next year.

The new 3rd-generation Fire TV announced today has a 1.5 GHz Amlogic S905Z quad-core CPU and Mali-450 MP3 GPU, which is a newer version of the SoC found in the Xiaomi Mi Box. Relative to other Fire TV models, the new Fire TV’s gaming capabilities fall just under the 1st-generation Fire TV. It also has 2 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage.

Since it carries a pendant form factor, like the Chromecast Ultra, ports are limited to an attached HDMI cable and a micro USB port used for power. Amazon has also announced an official Ethernet adapter that plugs into the micro USB port, which also works with the 2nd-generation Fire TV Stick. Support for an Ethernet adapter is a very good indication that, like the Fire TV Stick, this new Fire TV will support OTG cables that will allow you to connect an external USB drive.

Wireless connectivity for the new Fire TV comes in the form of 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz dual-band 802.11ac WiFi. It also supports Bluetooth 4.1 BLE, which it uses to connect to its included Alexa voice remote, as well as peripherals like Bluetooth headphones, game controllers, mice, and keyboards.

The HDR capabilities of the new Fire TV are unfortunately limited to HDR10 and do not include Dolby Vision HDR, making the upcoming Apple TV 4K the only mainstream device that supports both HDR formats.

The new Fire TV does support H.265 HEVC hardware decoding with a Main 10 profile level 5 and both 8-bit and 10-it color spaces, as well as the expected assortment of H.264, H.263, VP8, and VP9 codecs. The last of which is necessary for 4K@60fps YouTube support, which the Apple TV 4K does not support. It is also the first Fire TV to support Dolby Atmos for 7.1 surround sound audio.

We don’t know too much about its software capabilities, but it will be the first Fire TV to ship with Fire OS 6 based on Android 7.1. Amazon has said that Fire OS 6 will support Android TV’s Picture in Picture, Content Recording, and Time-shifting capabilities. We’ll have to wait and see the details of how that pans out when the new device arrives.

The all-new 3rd-generation Fire TV is available for pre-order now for $69.99 and will be released on October 25. Amazon is also bundling the new Fire TV with an Echo Dot for $79.99, which is a savings of $40 over buying the two devices seperatly. It seems like a no-brainer to buy the bundle since it’s just $10 more and it’s always nice to have an extra Echo Dot to expand your network of Alexa devices.

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86 comments
  1. Jimmy says:

    All I want to know is if it has any ports? USB, ethernet, SD card.

  2. John Reynolds says:

    No mention of the Fire TV Cube ?

    • Jeck says:

      That’s what I wanted but no. No mention of it and it appears to be over now.

    • hdmkv says:

      Elias did previously note that “The new top-tier Fire TV will be announced at a later date. It should be released sometime this year but might be delayed into early next year.”

      • Richard says:

        So this isn’t the top tier new one right? The one that supposedly will have near and far field Alexa mics in it? That’s what I’m waiting for… never got an echo but I do use Alexa a bit through my fire tv remote. But I’d rather have it all built right into the fire tv…

        I wonder if this is their new remote that causes the current remote to be so hard to track down?

  3. clocks says:

    I thought this would be cheaper. Can anyone confirm if this is the same SoC that’s in the Mi Box?

  4. Ryan says:

    So this is really a stick and box combined. Hopefully it has ethernet and sd card slot.

  5. Erin says:

    Buzzfeed is reporting that amazon will have a bundle with this and a Dot for $80, or a Dot and a FireTV Stick for $60.

  6. Tyler H says:

    AND NO FIRE OS 7????? I KNEW IT!!

  7. Dave says:

    “Amazon will also sell the new Fire TV bundled with an Echo Dot, to take advantage of Alexa’s new ability to control the Fire TV, for $80.”

    So if I buy this new Fire TV, I can get an Echo Dot for an additional $11? That has to be the lowest price that Amazon has ever sold an Echo Dot. What a deal!!!!

  8. Edgar R. says:

    I want the higher end firetv :(

  9. Phil says:

    FTV3 has none of the following:

    – Ethernet port
    – USB port
    – SD slot
    – Dolby Vision HDR support

    Again, why is this so expensive at $70? To add ethernet functionality, you’ll have to buy an $18 adapter separately.

    So total cost puts you at $88 which is the same price as the Fire TV 2. However, the Fire TV 2 has better hardware and is faster that the 3.

    None of this makes any sense. This Fire TV 3 is a failure.

    • Edgar R. says:

      Developer page shows 10/100 ethernet. Don’t understand why no gigabit.

      • m_dekay says:

        The MicroUSB on FTV3 is only USB2 (480Mbps theoretical max transfer speed). So going to gigabit would most likely not even make a difference. Remember 100Mbps is still quite enough speed to stream video/audio, which is what the FTV is for.

        My inner geek screams ‘why’ as well, but it makes sense in my opinion from a cost/power perspective.

      • hdmkv says:

        The Amlogic S905Z chip they used only supports 10/100.

    • CramerJr says:

      HDR. Fire TV 2 doesn’t have it.

      • Phil says:

        The only supported HDR is HDR10 which is the lowest grade of HDR around. HDR10+ is the newer format of those two and it doesn’t even support that.

        More importantly, there is no Dolby Vision support – YET – Amazon Video offers Dolby Vision movies yet you can’t stream them with this device? Fail.

    • James says:

      I really hope they bring out the leaked flagship model with alexa microphone and infrared transmitter. I will wait for it.

      As for this other device, it looks excellent to me, and should be great for most people.

      The best news from my point of view is that it supports Dolby Atmos.

  10. James says:

    New product – Amazon Ethernet Adapter for Amazon Fire TV Devices https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074TC662N/ref=ods_dabb_B074TC662N_productInfo

  11. Masterblaster says:

    Amazon fireTV 3,
    Or better known as the
    “Dingle-berry”

    • clocks says:

      Yeah, I really thought this would be a $40-$50 product that replaced the stick, not the FTV3.

      • Phil says:

        Exactly. All it does is add 4K and HDR10 to the stick, but that shouldn’t cost an extra $30 since both of those specs are standard these days.

        They better release the Fire TV Echo soon because this FTV3 is not going to sell nearly as well as the Stick for example.

        Also, there’s tons of other Android boxes for around the same price as the FTV3 and they have better specs/speed with no proprietary bloatware.

  12. Dayton says:

    No sale. I want the cube. However, the spot might be nice on the bed stand.

  13. clocks says:

    I wonder if it is too late for them to call this the “Amazon Mi Box”? In terms of hardware, it is pretty much the same device Mi released a year ago for the same price. Except with the Mi Box I get Android TV and the Play Store.

    This device doesn’t seem to possess the typical “Amazon value” that past devices had. I know Elias felt the Mi Box was lacking, so I am curious to hear his thoughts on this Fire OS skinned version of the hardware. lol

    • Bob says:

      Totally agree. And even the Mi Box has better hardware. I’ll probably just end up buying that instead unless someone else comes out with a better product in the next couple months.

      Amazon – what are you doing? And then you want to charge us another $15 just for ethernet capability??? Now we’re looking at almost $95 for this new Fire TV 3 when you factor in tax!

      • Javi says:

        I don’t think the Mi Box is authorized for 4k content which is why i’ve never considered one of those type boxes. I want to be able to view 4K on Netflix, Amazon, etc.

      • AR says:

        i just don’t know why google /xiaomi didn’t give us the motion remote with the US mi box if they had i would have bought one already, the asian ones have a motion remote included
        i see a chinese one on CL i don’t know if i should buy it i think android TV does not work on it in the US and some menus are in chinese
        i looked into importing one years ago but forgot why i decided against it

      • Tony Ramirez says:

        Thanks I cancelled my pre-order. The Mi Box was a slow peace of junk this has worse hardware.

  14. Fred Dawli says:

    “No Cable. No Problem. Watch live TV with subscriptions to Hulu, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, and others or connect an indoor HD antenna to get broadcast networks like NBC and PBS for free.”
    How will and HD antenna connect to this?

    • Erin says:

      It doesn’t. You have to connect that to your TV.

      • Fred Dawli says:

        So why would I need this device to do that? I already have my HD antenna connected to my TV directly.
        Misleading marketing by Amazon if you ask me.

    • Jim says:

      I agree with you – with one exception. You can buy an HD Homerun Connect box, and plug your antenna into that. It basically then gives you a digital tuner over your internet connection throughout your house, and they have an Amazon Fire app for it so you can watch the OTA throught he app without changing inputs; and if you want to get really fancy pick up a storage device like a WD MyCloud or one of those, and they have an app for it that gives you DVR ability from the FireTV App to the storage device for pause/rewind/recording OTA shows. I did this for my config and it’s great.

  15. Javi says:

    Is this their flagship model? Are the specs that much better than current Fire tv aside from 60 fps and hdr support @ 4k?

    • Bob says:

      No. The specs are actually worse than the FTV2. The FTV2 will perform much faster because it has superior hardware (GPU and CPU).

      That’s what makes this FTV3 so bewildering considering it’ll be the same price as the FTV2 when you add in the ethernet adapter.

  16. Mike says:

    Is that Fire TV Cube even a real product ? No news or announcement on that.

  17. Michael says:

    How heavy is that “box” hanging off your hdmi port? I wouldn’t feel comfortable with it. Not impressed, especially since they are calling it FireTV 3. Nothing “3” about it. They took a slower 2 and stuck it onto a HDMI dongle that can’t be removed and called it a day. I also don’t get the push for Atmos sound. So that all 3 people that have the hardware in their homes can use it? Having a receiver is one thing, but having the correct speakers setup CORRECTLY is a completely different story. And now I don’t consider the sound bars that say they are Atmos being correct. It is not anywhere as wide spread as a simple 5.1 or even a 7.1 setup is.

    • clocks says:

      I raised the same question about the thing hanging for an HDMI port, when Elias first broke the news of this device a few weeks back. It triggers the OCD in me. At the time Elias said he didn’t know what it weighed.

    • John says:

      Well, one advantage of supporting Atmos is that this one must allow passthrough of HD audio formats. Big plus in my book.

      • John says:

        Wait, WTH? From the product page: “Dolby Atmos, 7.1 surround sound, 2ch stereo, and HDMI audio pass through up to 5.1.”

        It’s my understanding the Atmos is metadata that only works with passthrough. If the device decodes to PCM, the Atmos metadata is lost. So how in the world do you actually get the supposed Atmos or 7.1 surround to a receiver with only 5.1 passthrough?

        • OhNo says:

          Well this is interesting. Something isn’t right here. Maybe Elias can use his contacts and get someone to clear/fix up the product pages for FTV Stick 2 vs FTV3.

          According to FTVS2 page: “Audio Support Dolby Audio, 5.1 surround sound, 2ch stereo, and HDMI audio pass through up to 7.1”
          Here’s the link https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZV9RDKK

          According to FTV3 page: “Audio support
          Dolby Atmos, 7.1 surround sound, 2ch stereo, and HDMI audio pass through up to 5.1”
          Here’s the link https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N32NCPM

          Someone fat fingered something as it doesn’t make any sense that the FTV3 passthrough is not 7.1 but the FTVS2 is.

  18. AR says:

    “the new pendant shaped device”
    uh no it is still a square box, it just has a REALLY awkwardly positioned HDMI cable sticking out of it, does not make it a”pennant”
    seriously who thought this was a good idea ?
    i can’t really think of anyhting specific right now i can bet thsi is going to get annoying for some people trying to mount or position this in certain ways

  19. Tech3475 says:

    For something like this, $50 would have been the sweet spot unless the fire cube is going for the >$100 mark.

    I have a suspicion theyre trying to move away from the neutral profit/loss approach given the price of the fire 10 as well.

  20. Alex says:

    it’s a crap with old remote and too short non-removable hdmi cable.

  21. Randy says:

    Does the hardware support deinterlace? I have SD HDHR devices and app, and am looking for deinterlace capability above what is available on FireTV2.

  22. porosenok says:

    1 1\2 Fail generation

  23. bajjohn says:

    I call it the Fire Trap! Don’t buy!

  24. mikah says:

    Guess I better stock up on 2nd gens. Won’t touch this one with a 10 meter cattle prod.

  25. oppman29 says:

    dont seem to be aimed as an update for existing customers.
    perhaps the updated version is coming out later.

  26. Ulises A. Rodríguez, Ph.D. says:

    Since it’s mentioned here that this new 4K HDR FireTV will be the first FireTV to ship with FireOS-6 based on Android 7.1, I would like to know if the FireTV2 (BOX) and the older FireTV Stick, will also be receiving this new Fire OS6?

    • King Nothing says:

      https://developer.amazon.com/public/solutions/devices/fire-tv/docs/fire-tv-fire-os-6

      Here is a quote from this page for developers:

      “Amazon Fire TV Gen 3 runs on Fire OS 6, which is based on Android Nougat (Android 7.1.2, level 25). However, previous Fire TV devices (Fire TV Stick Gen 1 and 2, Fire TV Gen 1 and 2, and Fire TV Edition) remain on Fire OS 5 (which is based on Lollipop, or Android 5.1, level 22, and some backported Marshmallow). At this time, the previous Fire TV devices will not uplevel to Fire OS 6.”

      That’s really disappointing. Amazon says that Fire OS 6 will support all Nougat features like picture in picture. So owners of one of the “old” devices will never be able to benefit from this. Lollipop is really outdated. I expected that at least the second Gen devices would get the new OS. But they don’t say never, so I guess there is still some hope left.

  27. Alonso says:

    This is cool !! just what i needed; HDR and ATMOS. Thank you Amazon. Was waiting for Dolby Atmos to come to FireTv since AppleTv will support later on an update on their 4K set. So i will pick this up for sure !!!

  28. Hitcher says:

    Dolby Digital 5.1 and/or DTS support this time?

  29. Charlie says:

    Do you think the 2nd gen fireTV will come back in stock or is it gone for good now.

  30. derrick says:

    specs wise its a fail for me. i’m looking for usb ports and ethernet. i’m gonna wait till the cube and see if that has a much stronger processor.

  31. Michael says:

    I am still so puzzled by the lack of purchaseable or rentable UHD/4K content through Amazon. Their selection is so much smaller than the competition. Two recent movies – Wonder Woman and Spider-Man Homecoming – are available in 4K through Google, Apple and Vudu. But on Amazon it’s only 1080 HD.

    Is there a strategy I am not understanding here? Are they just falling behind? It’s hard to want to buy one of these when they don’t even sell movies in the format this thing is designed for.

    Like I said, totally puzzled here!

  32. Unknown Caller says:

    No Miracast support for the Fire TV 3 either, according to the dev site.

    https://developer.amazon.com/public/solutions/devices/fire-tv/docs/device-and-platform-specifications

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