Exclusive: These are the two new Amazon Fire TV models being released in 2017

I have learned that Amazon is working on two new Fire TV models which will both be capable of 4K HDR video at 60 fps. The first new model uses a dongle form factor that hangs off of a permanently attached HDMI cable, similar to the Google Chromecast. It will be a mid-tier model positioned between the existing Fire TV Stick and a new top-tier model. The second new Fire TV is a cube shaped set-top box that will be Amazon’s new flagship model. It has far-field microphones, a built-in speaker, and an LED light bar that give it the same functionality as an Amazon Echo Dot for hands-free Alexa interaction and control. It also has an IR emitter which allows it to control your television and other A/V equipment.

The new mid-tier Fire TV, which is the unreleased “AFTN” device whose leaked benchmark I discovered earlier this year, will join the Fire TV lineup as a new third model. It will not replace the existing Fire TV Stick, which will remain as the budget-friendly model for those who don’t need support for 4K or HDR video. Much like the Fire TV Stick, the new mid-tier Fire TV will only have an HDMI plug and a micro USB port that is used for power.

Gaming Performance Comparison (Does not refelct video playback performance)

We know from the aforementioned leaked benchmark that this new Fire TV model has a 1.5 GHz quad-core CPU and Mali-450 MP GPU. It also has 2 GB of RAM and likely has the same 8 GB of internal storage that all past and present Fire TV models have had. Those specs make it slightly more powerful than the current 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick, but still notably less powerful than the current 2nd-gen Fire TV.

The new flagship Fire TV model is the unreleased “AFTA” device that surfaced for the first time last week. Without the luxury of a leaked benchmark, I don’t know anything about its technical specifications, but I have learned that it essentially combines the functionality of a Fire TV, an Echo Dot, and an IR emitter, like the Harmony Hub, into a single device.

The cube-shaped Fire TV has a series of holes on top to accommodate its array of far-field microphones that allow you to talk to Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant without needing to use the voice remote, although one is still included. A speaker built into the Fire TV allows you to hear responses from Alexa if your television is turned off. It is likely that this new top-tier Fire TV model will have additional ports and functionality not found on the new mid-tier model, like Ethernet and expandable storage, but details are unknown.

On top of the device are the exact same buttons found on the Echo Dot. A pair of volume buttons control the built-in speaker, a mute button allows you to disable the microphones, and an action button lets you manually trigger Alexa. The device also includes a familiar blue LED light bar that is common to all of Amazon’s Alexa devices.

Amazon recently made it possible to control their existing Fire TV devices using an external Alexa device, like the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot. With the inclusion of far-field microphones directly in the new Fire TV, an external Alexa device will no longer be necessary to achieve hands-free voice control of your television.

Much like existing Fire TV models, the new Fire TVs will be able to turn on and control newer televisions that support the HDMI-CEC standard. However, most TVs in people’s homes don’t support the standard and those that do often have limited functionality. That is why Amazon is also including an IR emitter in the new flagship Fire TV, which should give it the ability to control the vast majority of televisions and A/V equipment.

With its built-in IR capabilities, the new flagship Fire TV will give most people hands-free voice control of their existing television and media center, without needing any additional equipment. Thanks to Alexa’s newly added entertainment capabilities, you can expect to be able to turn your TV on and off, control the volume, change inputs, and more without needing to pick up a remote for certain tasks.

The new mid-tier Fire TV will be announced this month and released next month. I do not know the exact price, but it’s safe to assume it’ll be priced between the two existing models, so you should expect to pay between $60 and $80. 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. Considering it adds all the functionality of the $50 Echo Dot on top of being a very capable streaming device, I expect the price to be north of
$100.

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158 comments
  1. Michael says:

    Ugh, don’t like the new high end one at all. I don’t need even more all in one devices, do one thing and do it well. If it were the same form factor but supported 4k 60fps + hdr then it would be a no brainer purchase.

    I already have an echo dot (don’t use it much) and I already have a harmony and ir extenders for it.

    Now I’ll wait and see what Apple has in store for their new apple tv. Since apple tv has the amazon app now why get the amazon box?

    • Raf says:

      x2, on absolutely everything you just said.

    • Matt says:

      +1 on waiting to see what Apple brings tomorrow.

    • viperware says:

      >Since apple tv has the amazon app now why get the amazon box?

      Ummmm… Kodi?

    • Marky says:

      Because you will be paying a lot more for an Apple TV that will do the same as the mid tier new Fire TV… like at least double the price, that’s why..
      Or the new top model having Alexa hands free built in will be very tempting to lots of people with a smart home set up in Alexa already..

      • Michael says:

        No it is not comparable to the mid tier firetv. No ethernet port on those dongles that hang off the tvs. And odds are it won’t be any faster than the 2nd gen firetv that I have now. It is still just a dongle, just a bigger one. Yes price is a big factor but based on the rumors on the new appletv the speed jump is going to be quite large for the next apple tv. But yes price is going to be a factor.

    • Oval says:

      Because Apple doesn’t know how to design a remote…

    • James says:

      The smaller one does that exactly, if you add an hdmi male to female lead doesn’t it? I’d prefer they offered it without the hdmi tether as well though, rather than try to be all things to all people. Regarding the bigger one, that is exactly what I need; the infrared emitter in particular as well as the speaker working as an intercom even when the TV / receiver is off. I will buy one immediately and look forward to saying “Right Alexa, let’s watch a movie on the x” as a trigger to dim the lights, turn on the projector, Yamaha amp and use the infrared emitter to turn on my preferred playback device as well.” What’s not to like?!

  2. Tony Ramirez says:

    Do they have Ethernet ports?

  3. Stephen says:

    A Big step backwards. Why should i bought an worst FireTV Box which hangs in the air or an big cube with microphone and speaker?
    You can only hope the FireTV 2 devices come back for sale

    • Tony Ramirez says:

      They are ugly. Seriously.

    • Ryan says:

      I agree. Most of us AFTV users have a Harmony Hub and an Echo device. I think this is nice for people who want to jump in to the AFTV system but not for those who are already invested into it. At this point I own two dots, an echo, and two fire tv’s. I just want a new OS or more storage capacity.

      • Scott Lewis says:

        Ryan, I’m in your camp. I have everything you mentioned, but I’d gladly upgrade, especially if it hit for about $150.

        Right now, in my bedroom sits a wall hung TV, a wall hung sound bar, a Fire TV, a Dish wireless receiver, a Harmony Hub, an Echo Dot and a small Bluetooth speaker since the Dot sounds like a gramophone when playing music. The latter five devices sit on a shelf under the TV, and through careful use of velcro have barely visible wires. My wife hates visible wires!

        We still have some rooms without a Dot, so that can move to another room. The bluetooth speaker can go back to being used poolside. The Harmony hub can go in one of my kid’s rooms and help them go from TV to Fire Stick to Nintendo, etc. The Fire TV can go in a kid’s room too, and replace an older 1st Gen stick.

        I’d be left with two devices, and four wires (2x power, 2x USB) to hide down from five. The Fire TV would hopefully have better sound, or I guess I could keep using the a small Bluetooth speaker. And I’m now ready to “accidentally break” the TV so I can replace it with a 4K HDR capable one. Shh, nobody tell my wife.

    • Masterblaster says:

      Looks like a fireTv with a tail.
      Or
      The offspring of an Ouya box and Amazon Dot.

  4. clocks says:

    I hope the dongle unit still comes with a remote, unlike Chromecast? Also, maybe it’s my OCD, but I don’t like the idea of a box dangling from an HDMI port. I hope it is lightweight, as to not put strain on the HDMI port itself. lol

  5. Dean says:

    Excellent reporting, Elias, as always!

    Let me be the first to say it… hoping for optical output! Ethernet sounds great, volume control for the TV (or in my case AV receiver) via Infrared would be awesome!

    I’m getting excited!

  6. xnappo says:

    Interesting. Don’t know if I will get one or not. I need to replace my Nexus Player – but maybe this just means I’ll get a used FireTV box gen 2 on the cheap :)

  7. Al Roman says:

    Are those max fps’s legit… e.g., firestick 2 can only get a max of 8.8?

    • AFTVnews says:

      Those are the values for one specific GPU benchmark test. Not the values for the entire device. The point of the chart is to see how the different devices compare to each other. The actual values on their own are meaningless.

      • Al Roman says:

        Good to know thanks. I mean I know my firestick 2’s don’t have the fps of my old satellite tv… but I figured (hoped) it was at least 20fps!

  8. Mtenga says:

    HDR, which is presumably HDR-10, and No mention of Dolby Vision?

    • AFTVnews says:

      I don’t know which flavors of HDR are supports. That’s why I just said “HDR” and didn’t specify.

    • Joe says:

      Given that amazon has backed the new HDR10+ standard which is a competitor to Dolby Vision for dynamic HDR metadata, I have a feeling it will support HDR10 and HDR10+ but not Dolby Vision.

      • Ralph M. says:

        Joe, the thing I won’t understand is if the new flagship Fire TV doesn’t come with Dolby Vision in addition HDR10(+). It just wouldn’t make sense because Amazon Prime Video supports both HDR10(+) and Dolby Vision. So why wouldn’t the new flagship support both as well? I understand it would make the device cost more due to licensing fees. But I think for those that have TV’s that support both standards, people would be willing to pay the slightly higher cost. I personally am in the market to buy a TV the supports both standards and would buy a streaming device that does as well.

  9. Jay says:

    OK, I’ll be among the first to whine about the new information! I suppose those are interesting design choices, but neither is what I’m looking for in an updated streaming box. I’ve never been interested in or have the need for an Amazon Echo, so having one included in a new Fire TV Isn’t a good selling point for me.

    The mid-tier dongle looks like a better idea, but I want something more powerful.

    Having said that, I’m sure Amazon has done their homework and both new streamers will be perfect for a lot of customers.

    I have a feeling the announcement on Tuesday will be more about what I’m looking for.

  10. Darren says:

    I am curious to see how well the microphones work on the new flagship…

    I have an echo in our living room, about 15 feet away from the TV (center of the room), and it has a hard time hearing me when the TV is on. I can only imagine how poorly this will perform when it’s within a few feet from my TV, and I’m not even talking about how many times my current echo thinks the TV said “Alexa”.

    Also, I don’t know how most people have their TV’s set up, but I imagine a lot of people are like me, and have a TV stand that has multiple shelves… how is this thing going to hear anything if it’s tucked away with the rest of my A/V equipment. Poor design in my opinion…

    • Erin says:

      My Living Room Dot is in a TV Stand with multiple shelves, placed on the middle shelf. I generally don’t have a problem with it hearing me, nor do I frequently have issues with the TV setting it off, possibly because it’s below and behind the soundbar. My shelves are open though–it’s not a cabinet, it’s a stand.

    • Mark says:

      I have my dot in the bedroom about 5′ away from the stereo speakers. It does fine. Has difficulty hearing me if the TV is on but I usually don’t ask the dot anything when I’m watching tv.

    • Dave says:

      The Amazon Alexa commercials constantly set off my Dot. How annoying!! Especially when the commercial is about voice ordering.

    • cdlenfert says:

      My guess is that if the device listening for your voice input is the same device that’s doing your audio output to your TV, it has an advantage of knowing what not to listen for??

    • Jay says:

      Also, if it’s tucked away in a media center, how is the IR emitter function supposed to work? If we put it out in the middle of the room (e.g. on a coffee table), we then need to snake an HDMI cable to the TV/AVR somehow. Or am I missing something?

      • Dean says:

        Jay, although it’s not specifically mentioned in the article (and too early to be sure), I would expect this new unit to have an external IR emitter on a cable. You can run this to the front of your AV equipment, so it will be “visible” to one or more devices.

        Many other implementations like this put the IR emitter on a 2.5mm jack, so you could hypothetically split it to multiple emitters to put in front of multiple devices.

        If you didn’t like or use the Alexa features, I’m sure you could tuck the device out of sight, and let the emitter(s) do their thing.

  11. Dean Stibbs says:

    This makes me SOOOOO happy!!

    Why?

    Because after seeing this I know I am going to save some money since I see absolutely NO reason to buy the new model. I will happily stick with my FireTV 4K box that I have now.

    I usually use my Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones, which have a volume control on them, so even the new feature of controlling the TV isn’t appealing enough to get me to buy it.

    And I have no desire to ever use the Echo system. Heck, I rarely even use the voice features of the current Fire TV I have.

    And yes, the new lineup is EXTREMELY ugly

    • Darren says:

      I agree – my last post didn’t even include my opinion on design… UGLY! The Echo Show was highly anticipated in my house, and we passed because it’s so ugly and cheap looking. I completely agree with the design on both of these units as well, they need to fire their design team – I am sure they can improve the look and feel of these products without increasing costs. I will enjoy my FT2 for now, and possibly look to ATV or Roku in the future. Upsetting because I was hoping the newer version would come with expanded memory… I have a 128GB SD card, but can barely download anything because a lot of the apps hold a majority of their size on the internal, even after I move to SD.

      • Tony Ramirez says:

        I agree. 8 GB storage in 2017 is pathetic and external storage is a waste because it keeps much data on internal storage look at the Star Wars game.

      • Ryan says:

        This is why I hope they move up to a new OS soon. It is still a modified version of Lillipop but Marshmallow allows for apps to run off of a micro sd card.

      • Dean Stibbs says:

        True…They definitely don’t utilize the memory card properly.

        I also have an Apple TV, it is the only Apple product I own, and I can tell you it is an incredible device.

  12. Robert Simandl says:

    I’ll be leaving the built-in microphones OFF since my current FTV2 is actually hiding behind my center speaker, and the new FTV3 will simply replace it there.

    Was hoping for just an FTV2 with HDR and 60fps, so these announcements are a bit disappointing.

  13. Matt says:

    Why would they stop selling the 2nd gen Fire TV and not start selling its replacement until months later?

  14. clocks says:

    You guys really think these devices are ugly? And do looks even really matter for a streaming device, as long as it is not pink and clashes with the rest of your entertainment center?

    I’m reserving my opinion on the high-end device until I see the SoC specs, and get a better understanding on how Alexa can help a streaming device.

    I may buy the dongle unit to try, but it HAS TO HAVE A REMOTE. I have no interest in a Chormecast device, where I have to use a phone to control it. Also, while I do not care about gaming performance, I would hope it’s GUI speed and streaming performance matches that of the FTV2 box.

    • Erin says:

      I think they’re ugly, yes. Not really an issue with the dongle as you won’t see it. But the Cube is ugly and most people will probably want to place it where they can see it if they plan on using it as a Dot.

      The dongle does have a remote. Elias commented on it above. But it would have to. Chromecast gets away without one because it’s a completely different device.

    • Tony Ramirez says:

      Except you can’t hide it. I like hiding it behind my TV kind of hard with a big ugly box. The 4th gen Apple TV was bad so big, heavy and ugly to hide kept falling on the floor so I got rid of it.

    • Kellyn Westra says:

      I am obviously in the minority here, but I think the cube looks awesome and futuristic. I wanted another dot for my living room and a fire stick and bamm… they created one all put together for me. Sold.

  15. Erin says:

    My Living Room Dot is in a TV Stand with multiple shelves, placed on the middle shelf. I generally don’t have a problem with it hearing me, nor do I frequently have issues with the TV setting it off, possibly because it’s below and behind the soundbar. My shelves are open though–it’s not a cabinet, it’s a stand.

  16. Rybean says:

    I wonder if it will be DTS capable as well

  17. Ian S. says:

    Will Alexa improve the way she handles multiple devices in the same room? Simply using the ‘closest device’ doesn’t work when each device has different features.

    I have a primary echo situated between kitchen and TV area which we use as our primary device. I really want the TV on/off functionality, so assume i buy this and place it in the TV area. I’m concerned that Alexa will use the *closest device* rather than the *proper device* and only half of the commands will get done.

    If I say to turn on the TV from the kitchen, will it send that command over or will it ignore me and let the AFTV execute the task? If the echo timer is going off, will cancelling the timer go to the device with an active timer or will the AFTV tell me that there is no timer active.

    • AFTVnews says:

      It’s probably safe to assume that if you ask an Echo device to turn on your TV or control it in some way, the request will be relayed to the Fire TV with an IR blaster. Just like when you ask an Echo device to launch a Fire TV app today, it knows you’re not asking to do something locally on the Echo so it relays the request to the Fire TV.

  18. GeePeeYou says:

    Mali-450MP, which came out in 2012, can do 4k @ 60 fps?

    • AFTVnews says:

      It’s not the GPU that handles 4K playback. The SoC has a dedicated hardware video decoder which determines it’s playback capabilities, so it has nothing to do with the CPU clock or GPU specs. The mid-tier device will likely have one of Amlogic’s S905 line of chips. Also, there are several version of the Mali-450, (MP2, MP3, MP4, MP6, MP8, etc..) so it’s very likely not the 2 year old one you’re thinking of.

  19. Carol says:

    I think the new fire tv box will be a major help in my mother in laws room. She lost her vision a few years ago and controlling her tv with voice will be very helpful. I think the one thing that Amazon misses is not advertising how helpful their alexa devices are to people that have disabilities. The show changed the life of my nephew who is paralyzed.

  20. Craig says:

    Just more microphones to spy on ya with. Nobody ever thinks about that with any of these devices. “Oh but Amazon would never… Oh but the govt would never… Oh but if you’re not doing anything wrong they would never… Oh but it’s only a snippet…” Yeah right! Save it for someone less competent. They can and they will. Sorry. Facts of life and nature of humanity, one that no Amazon TOS agreement and assurance is ever going to change. And I do actually have a Echo Dot for use with my Wink Hub and Harmony Hub. Doesn’t mean I just forget that it’s there, listening to me.

    • joe says:

      you are spot on Craig.

    • Dave says:

      Master Yoda has warned us about fear and what it can lead to.

    • Mark S. says:

      Exactly, but people don’t care as long as they can sit on their couches all day stuffing cheeseburgers down their gullet and telling their TVs to change channels for them. We didn’t lose our privacy by force, we willingly gave it away for shiny toys.

      http://thefreethoughtproject.com/amazon-echo-saves-voice-data-police/

    • Reflex says:

      Your phone does a better job of this yet you still carry it.

      • Adam says:

        Interesting that I don’t see him responding to your point Reflex…

        I guess we are are all highly principled until it challenges something we can’t, or don’t want to, give up.

        A pity, his rather vocal disdain implied a strong sense of integrity. I mourn its loss even if he doesn’t.

        • Reflex says:

          I honestly don’t think most people consider it. They worry about the device with almost no personally identifying information that stays in a fixed location, but forget the device that is in their pocket at all times, has significantly more advanced functionality, and that routinely has major exploits.

          • Adam says:

            Don’t give them more credit than they’ve earned Reflex. Reread my point, they know about what you’re describing and they don’t care because its easy and fun to scold people about privacy on a website where you can post without using your real name, while its hard to actually walk the talk and give up the convenience of a modern smart phone in today’s America.

            And I say this as someone that knows this and carries his smart phone everywhere, and uses the free wifi without my VPN service if I just want to listen to steaming music and can’t get my VPN to work right away.

            The difference is that I acknowledge this discrepancy and moderate my posting about cheeseburgers and such whereas Mark apparently just wanted to troll.

    • Jim says:

      Lots of people think of them. There’s some paranoid dude like yourself that pops up with these sorts of comments every time any new technology is released. People know going in there’s a chance the convenience comes at a cost.

  21. Pawdog says:

    I don’t see anything on my wishlist for Fire TV which only included either 16GB storage or an update to Android 6.0 so we can install apps and data to external storage. It would be too bad if all they do is bolt on an Alexa device and not fix the most glaring deficiencies of the existing flagship.

    • AFTVnews says:

      Previous leaks have shown that these devices will run at least Android 7.1.2. Sorry, I forgot to include that info in this post. I don’t know whether we’ll be able to move all apps/data to external storage or even if the new flagship Fire TV has expandable storage. Time will tell.

  22. Peter Latham says:

    Do you think it will play Amazon videos. My present Fire TV box won’t which is strange as it plays Netflix OK. I have to watch Amazon video through my Samsung TV app.

    • Reflex says:

      I’d suggest resetting your FTV as something is wrong. It absolutely should permit you to watch Amazon videos.

    • Scott says:

      I hate to be that guy, (you know the annoying IT guy who asks you if it’s plugged in). But do you have a Prime membership? Amazon prime video isn’t free. It costs $99 a year.

  23. Michael says:

    Not interested in a big glowing cube with microphones for my streaming box. Just bought a new 2015 model FireTV box before they are gone for good!

  24. Jim Carter says:

    It’s always nice to have choices. As with any product, features are perfect for some, sufficient for others and unappealing to another group. Since the advent of Echo Show, my use of Amazon products has increased dramatically. The top tier model discussed here will continue my dependence on the Echo line.

  25. TechyChris says:

    I guess I’ll wait for the FTV4, Oh well…any news on that yet? JK

  26. FS_3 says:

    If they would only support OTA tuner in USB port that would be awesome along with increased internal memory.

  27. joe says:

    What!!!

    I stopped using amazon fire products a long time ago, Go Roku, sooooo much better.

  28. Charlie says:

    Holy _ _ _ _! This one really got people’s attention. I kind of like the idea of built in Dot capability. I don’t own one, probably wouldn’t use it much, but it could be fun to have. Like another poster, I’m hoping for return of optical out. If it’s a serious performance update and the price isn’t too far north of 100.00 I could very well be getting one. I’ll sell my fireTV 1st gen to help pay for it. I don’t really need a new box. My gen 2 is more than good enough, but people don’t need new phones, but that doesn’t stop them buying one.

    • Charlie says:

      That new dongle with an OTG cable for Ethernet could be a game changer for people complaining about the stick.

      • Dave says:

        …and for people complaining about the new cube.

      • Phil says:

        The dongle isn’t coming with an OTG cable for Ethernet. You’ll have to buy that separately.

        And that separate cable can already be used with the current stick, so I don’t really see why this dongle should cost at least twice as much as the stick and nearly as same as the current Fire TV 2 box.

        • Charlie says:

          We know it doesn’t come with it. As with the stick, if you have an AC router you can have an excellent Wi-Fi experience, as it comes. Adding Ethernet just makes it that much better. Some people actually enjoy the concept of cleverly upgrading their devices for a little more money.

          I suggest thinking of the dongle as not a substitute for the FTV 2, but rather an upgrade of the stick.

          I don’t understand all the push back over the new devices. No one has to buy them and what do they expect from Amazon? They will never please everybody and there is only so much they can do. I see the upcoming flagship as an attempt at introducing a new concept in set top streamers. The design itself is different any other major streaming device. People get super excited over the slightest changes to the iPhone every year and fork out big time money just to get something not that much better than last year’s phone. New FTV devices do the same thing for a lot less money. It’s fun in an age of consumerism to be able to say you own the FTV flagship device.

          • Phil says:

            I think you misunderstood my post.

            You first stated that this new mid-tier dongle would satisfy those “who complained about the stick” because one could attach an “OTG cable for Ethernet”.

            And my point is – you can already add Ethernet to the Stick, thus people shouldn’t be complaining about that aspect of the Stick.

            This new mid-tier dongle is going to cost $60 to $80. When you add in the $18 for the Ethernet adapter, total cost will be $78 to $98. And that’s right around the same price (or potentially even more expensive) than the now discontinued AFTV 2 box which will still be a lot faster with more port options than the new dongle.

            So while it’s true in a sense that this new mid-tier dongle can simply be considered an improvement over the current Stick, it’ll also be up to 3 times more expensive than it! Yes, the dongle adds 4K HDR over the Stick, but those “new” features have already been around a while and thus should be considered natural evolution for such a product category without such a dramatic price increase.

            All Amazon had to do was upgrade the current AFTV 2 box with a better CPU, GPU, Android update, and HDR. Doing just that would’ve kept the price around $80 to $90. And then people would still have the Stick for a $35 option.

            Instead, we’re now looking at two products only going forward… either a $78-$98 dongle option (including added Ethernet) which is a lot slower than the AFTV 2 box… or a $120-$150 hybrid echo/FTV streaming cube option.

            How does that make any sense?

  29. Drew Stone says:

    With the new fire TV, will I be able to use a external HDD to use as a Plex server?

  30. carter johnson says:

    Any thoughts on if this will finally integrate Alexa app control over the FireTV?

  31. Art Vandelay says:

    At the risk of sounding like Grampa Simpson, are people so lazy that they can’t even push the buttons on their TV remote now, they need to talk to it? Remember when we had to get up off the couch to walk over and turn the channel knob? I don’t like the idea of having these live microphones in my house running 24 hours a day uploading everything it hears to some company, or who knows where else when these things get hacked. The idea is ridiculous, what next telescreens like they had in 1984?

    • Mtenga says:

      Look people used to have kids in the woods but times move on. Voice control is a great innovation and very Star Trek. At least it will be when it gets working efficiently.

      • Art Vandelay says:

        On Star Trek the computer didn’t record everything they say and upload it to some private company’s server on the internet to be sold to marketers and stolen by hackers.

        • Reflex says:

          And they knew that how? If you ever consider the Star Trek situation the computer was omnipresent and the security stance was nebulous. Consider just how often they were able to pull personal logs and surveillance video as the plot demanded it.

          Not saying its a good thing, only that implying that Star Trek showed a less intrusive version is silly, their version had the computer knowing literally everything about you all the time, and centrally accessible for investigation purposes.

          And as I point out routinely, I’ll take people seriously about this issue when they give up their cell phones, which are far more precise ways to get personal information out of a person, listen in on them, and track their location than stationary non-individual specific smart speakers in a home.

        • Jim says:

          Yes it did. There was repeated episodes on every Star Trek series of people solving investigations by looking at what the computer had recorded.

        • Jim Carter says:

          With Equifax giving away everything from your SS# to your credit card numbers, you can slow your worry about your technology at home giving up your black ops maneuvers.

  32. Riddlr says:

    The whole point to the harmony hub (at least for me) is so I can have my devices in a closed cupboard and don’t have to look at them… this device with it’s microphones and speaker has to be front and center.

    • Scott Lewis says:

      i’m guessing the dongle might do that trick for you, since Harmony Hub controls Fire TV today without line of sight (uses Bluetooth). Given the proliferance of gamepad compatible games, I’m sure the new box will also support Bluetooth control, and you can hide it all you want, and pretend it didn’t have Alexa capability if you wanted the higher end specs of this cube over the new dongle.

      For me, we are slowly putting in Alexa in every room, since we have smart home integration anyway, and do things like go in our room and night and say “Alexa, turn off the downstairs lights”. So for me, adding the mics is convienent, I can remove the Dot from any room we add a Fire TV to. But you can probably ignore it, since I’m sure it will still come with a remote and still support Harmony.

      • Riddlr says:

        I guess if the IR emitters are the external kinds that are plugged in with wires that stick onto other devices for control I could have it out in the open while everything else was tucked away…

  33. Jim says:

    They seem to have missed the one feature everyone actually wants: a built in antenna tuner. They have support for it on that crappy Element TV they created with Westinghouse – but why not integrate the OS tweaks and tuner into the standalone device so we don’t have to switch inputs to watch antenna/live TV?

  34. Dayton says:

    This sounds like a real multitasking tool. It replaces a media streamer, an echo dot and a harmony hub. For the right price, this could be a great buy. I am surprised at all the negatives. However, it would be nice if they could fix the storage problems. I doubt they will.

    • PS says:

      I’m surprised too. This to me looks like a complete game changer. I have the whole harmony/echo/AFTV setup working, but will buy 4 of these units as soon as they hit the market.

      I think it’s important to remember that the vast majority of consumers aren’t as tech savvy as the readers of this site. I have many friends that like my setup and two sentences in on how to set it up they have already given up.

      Also, I own a lot of Apple products and yes they do usually look ‘pretty’ but I am fine with amazon’s utility designs since they are considerably cheaper.

  35. derrick says:

    should have just upgraded the box, and upgraded the stick. If they want a third all in one behemoth fine but i’m kinda meh on it. Alexa is not the end all and be all. It’s not Jarvis.

  36. Marky says:

    Hmmwill have to keep an eye on these, might have to upgrade my first gen Fire TV box which won’t ever do 4K.

  37. jbrodack says:

    I’m wondering how the top tier device compares the the nvidia shield.

    Also I’m not sure how much functionally having the built in mics will add vs the increased cost.

    Anyway I’m eager to get more details. Thanks for the leak. You’ve always been a very reliable source of amazon news.

  38. MustHaveTheBest says:

    I just wanted a Gen2 that did 4k HDR at 60 fps. Oh well, guess I’ll pick up a Mi Box, or wait for the 4th Gen AFTV.

    • Phil says:

      4th Gen AFTV probably won’t be released until the end 2019, as their products are on 2 year update cycle. And who even knows what might change within the streaming product space by then.

      With the new dongle and box both being 4K HDR, the demand for new external streaming devices will now start decreasing with so many different products now available to fill that space.

      In addition, almost all new TVs come with some type of 3rd party streaming hardware product (Chromecast, AFTV, Android TV, etc.) already built-in, so these kind of external streaming devices really only fill the need of those who still have older TVs.

      Point being, if you really want an external 4K HDR streamer but don’t like either of these new AFTV products, you might as well just get that Mi Box now. (Of course, there’s lots of other cheap Android 4K HDR streaming boxes available as well.)

  39. clocks says:

    I guess maybe I am in the minority, but I actually think the cube looks kind of cool, especially with the blue light.

  40. RocketDog says:

    Will it support Dts HD? If not shield here I come…

  41. Bic Basher says:

    After all these Alexa additions of which I have zero interest in, the reason for buying will be based on the specs. I really hope that the HDD is increased to at least 32GB (or 16GB at the bare minimum).

  42. denzoid says:

    Any info on whether there will be support for 7.1 HD Audio….or if it will pass through HD Audio?

  43. Bud Smith says:

    I’m not liking the cube for the top tier Fire TV. I like my old Gen 2 model. I have it mounted on the back of my TV and have a USB cable with a FLIRC IR Dongle that is right next to my AV receiver. It works great with a Harmony Remote (I have a Harmony Touch) and plays well with Kodi, since it is programmed for both. So I don’t use the Alexa voice remote at all. But with this new cube, this is supposed to solve the problem you have when you can’t use your Harmony Remote. I am hoping that it was a small form factor like the previous model that includes upgraded audio (Dolby Vision / HDR10) And some of the app makers upgrade their apps. Just sayin’……..

  44. Chad says:

    I have an echo sitting right next to my recliner and the TV 15 feet away and Alexa still picks up talking from the TV when I ask her to do something. I can only imagine how awful it will be when the device is right under/behind the TV.

    Just beef up the current box and leave it alone

    • Joe says:

      Damn good point. One might think Amazon is going to make commercials where people say “Alexa, buy [some expensive product]” and then put in an “example” security code that just happens to be the pin number associated with most accounts.

    • Erin says:

      I have a Dot on a shelf below my TV and soundbar and the TV rarely interferes with the Dot. Even when it does pick up on an Alexa commercial, the worst that happens is the Dot light ring goes off, indicating it heard it, but it doesn’t respond.

  45. Luke says:

    Any Chance at a HDMI in on the Box making it a true entertainment hub

  46. stadi says:

    I don’t like this. I have the 1st generation Fire TV and size and features are just right. I don’t really need the Echo function. If I’ll need it, I’ll buy an Echo.

    The 1st and 2nd generation Fire TVs look good and are small enough to fit underneath my TV or behind it. This one looks ugly and is too big. I won’t be able to fit it underneath the TV, I’ll have to put it behind it, but there the IR functionality will probably not work.

    I hope it will at least have gigabit LAN.

  47. Joe says:

    My 1st Gen Fire TV is due for an upgrade, and unfortunately neither of these look like an upgrade. I already have an Echo in the room, in a much better location than near my television, I hope there is a setting to turn off the echo functions, still a lot of wasted space (and god knows cost) because of it. Hopefully they’ll release a non-Echo version.

  48. sylvio2000 says:

    What I dont understand is: Why do some of you guys say that this new version is a replacement for the harmony hub?

    With the Harmony remote I can control a lot of devices with detailed activities. This is not possible with this new AFT.

    • Scott Lewis says:

      For some of us, we don’t really have complex setups. But the Harmony Hub is the only device that can control a Fire TV thanks to it’s Bluetooth support.

  49. Jasmine2269 says:

    Maybe Amazon “leaked” this info out (a.k.a. the cube rendering) just to get some opinions? If so, I hope they are reading this and decide to keep the same form factor as the other tv boxes and just beef up the specs a bit to do the 60 FPS and the better audio.

    • Tony Ramirez says:

      That is what I am thinking too. Really here is all I can find about this nothing on Amazon or any other news sites so the render pictures might not be right.

  50. Robert Simandl says:

    But still no release date more specific than “next month” for the first one, right?

  51. Eric says:

    Funny for how long my 1st gen Fire TV from 2014 remains to be a bargain. It will still be faster than the new “AFTN”.
    At least here in germany, amazon charged prime customers only 49 € for it, which was about half of the later, regular price (99 €).

    I hope amazon won’t “force” 1st gen customers to buy a new device by simply stopping to update the 1st gen firmware. Is there some “end of service” date for 1st gen boxes out there?

    • rick says:

      “I hope amazon won’t “force” 1st gen customers to buy a new device by simply stopping to update the 1st gen firmware.”
      Or let’s hope Amazon doesn’t encourage some software “update” that would cause the Gen 1’s to be rendered useless. Would you believe I’m still using Isengard 15.1, with *** and a couple of other video add ons and still watching what I want on the two Gen 1’s I have? I’ve been hard pressed to replace 15.1 with one of the plethora of new “best builds” out there, because if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it:). Have a great day.

  52. Michael says:

    Comparing this leaked lineup to the likes of Roku and etc it just seems like something is missing and something is off. We’ll have the existing stick for the low end of the market, the new dongle for 4K and HDR on the cheap, and this new Echo version for all the bells and whistles. What seems to be missing is the current Fire TV format (flat and discreet design) updated with better specs and of course 4K and HDR – basically a no nonsense box for under $100 that is super fast and simple.

    Not to mention that such a model would wipe the floor with the new Apple TV with it’s price point.

    I guess the dongle just seems odd to me. Why 2 4K devices in different form factors like that? Why not an updated/faster Fire TV Stick for basic 1080 on the cheap, an updated flat Fire TV 3 for 4K HDR focus, and a new taller Fire TV Echo with all the features? Priced liked $39.99, $89.99 and $129.99 respectively.

    I mean Amazon makes billions – and I don’t lol. Just seeing if anyone else has similar thoughts.

    • rick says:

      I’m not tech smart on matters like this. To me, your pricing suggestion is like making too much sense:). On the surface, it seems as if Amazon has some type of a gimmick ploy going on here and is trying to reach some other untapped market(…maybe?). But heck, what do I know?:) have a great day.

  53. 83ny says:

    This has to be a joke or a hoax. An ouya and a square chromecast. A huge step backwards if this is true.

    • Tony Ramirez says:

      The square box does not look bad. Looks like you can hide but the ouya box is ugly and I hope it is not real. A big step back as you can’t hang it on the wall or the TV.

  54. Ryan says:

    I’m still on a rooted AFTV1 box and these new models don’t look like that great of an upgrade to me yet. I only want micro SD card storage, optical audio out and wired ethernet. (all offered on the 2nd gen) Keep those, beef up the processing power and update to at least Android 7.1 so we can finally be current on security patches and I’ll buy on release day.

    I don’t own a 4K display yet so it would only be for future proofing my next purchase. I guess it’s time to search the retail stores and see if anyone has a 2nd gen still on the shelf. The HDMI dongle “AFTN” model I would only consider as an upgrade for bedroom TV, to replace a roku stick that is horribly slow compared to the AFTV1.

  55. Me Dude says:

    Until they out-spec the Nvidia Shield TV, I’m not interested.

  56. John Reynolds says:

    Any idea on the size of the “cube” ??

  57. Ken Bridgeman says:

    I am confused about how the IR would work. Wouldn’t the box need to be facing my devices. So, I wouldn’t be able to put them all in the same shelving.

  58. Mark says:

    That second one looks like an OUYA had relations with an Echo Dot.

  59. Denby says:

    Okay I am reading all of this and I more confused on what to do? I have been using my firestick for a while. I now want to upgrade. I am wanting the latest and the greatest. I am not into gaming, I like my iptv, movies, and my NFL

    What would you all suggest?

    • clocks says:

      Probably the dongle. But if you don’t have 4k or HDR, not sure you’d gain much.

    • Gary says:

      Nvidia Shield. You don’t have to use it for the gaming. It’s probably the fastest & smoothest streamer around.

    • rick says:

      I “second” Gary’s response. Although not tech savvy as many of these men and women are out here, from my ownership and use of 2 gen 1’s and 2 gen 2’s Fire tvs plus 1 2nd gen Firestick(just for trying out), Nvidia would be the way to go. That thought is based on reading comments from folks who have owned and/or used Fire tvs and Nvidia Shield(which cost a “few” dollars more than the FTV). I hadn’t heard about Nvidia Shield until after the purchase of my last 2 FtV boxes. Possibly like yourself, my use for the boxes is for streaming only. I have no complaints as All 4 boxes have run well for me, without any problems. I would have, however, definitely considered ‘upgrading’ to the Nvidia Shield instead, only because it appeared(and still does) to be a better performing machine. If you want to get your feet wet and at a relative smaller cost, the Fire Stick is not a bad way to go. If you are a Amazon Prime member, the Fire Stick, which works off of wifi only, is as good as the the Box streaming Prime’s content, YOuTube etc. If you desire to stream content, say in Kodi, then you may find, depending on variables, a little slower performance(i.e. pages slower turning, links a little slower loading up). For about $20, or so, in some parts, there is a Y.T. video on how to set the F.S. up to function off of a ethernet connection, which can improve performance…some. You might consider buying a new Fire Stick, with some type of warranty, as opposed to buying a used Fire tv(gen2) with no warranty. Just my humble thoughts.

  60. Jeff says:

    Any update on a release date for the Fire TV ‘Cube’?

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