Fire OS 5 software update for 1st-gen Fire TV postponed until January 2016


The most common question I’m asked for the AFTVnewscast Q&A segment is: When will 1st-gen Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks get the Fire OS 5 software update? I’ve finally got some concrete information on the subject, but unfortunately, it may not be what everyone wants to hear. One of my trusted sources within Amazon tells me that, as of today, Fire OS 5 for the 1st-gen Fire TV and older Fire TV Sticks (that shipped with a non-voice remote) is in its final testing phase, but it will not be released until January 2016.

I’m told the upcoming holiday season is the reason Amazon has decided to postpone Fire OS 5 for older devices. The time period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s day are referred to as “black days” within Amazon’s software division, where they typically do not release major software updates to any of their products. As you’d imagine, this is a time when many devices are purchased and used, so any software issues that arise during this time period are magnified. To ensure Fire TV owners have the best possible experience during this holiday season, they will be keeping all devices that don’t already have Fire OS 5 on their current version until January.

We can expect 1st-gen Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks to receive Fire OS 5, currently slated to have a version number of 5.0.4, at the turn of the new year. My sources tell me the decision to postpone, what is essentially a finished software update, by a month was not made lightly. The Fire TV team feels it’s in the best interest of all customers, even though it will be disappointing to those eager to get their hands on the new features coming with Fire OS 5, like Alexa.


  1. Craig says:

    In-freaking-competence to the highest freaking level!

    • clocks says:

      LOL Seems a bit harsh. If they release a buggy version, they get slammed. If the hold it to do more internal testing, they get slammed. Seems they lose either way.

      • Ulises A. Rodriguez, Ph.D. says:

        If Amazon is currently selling the New FireTV-Stick, with same hardware as the old FireTV Stick, that comes with new Voice Remote and also with FireOS-5, why they don’t have released first the FireOS-5 at least for all the Old Versions of FireTV Sticks and then later for the FireTV1 BOX?

    • Russ says:

      This is absolutely the right move. I want the update as much as the next guy, but I also work in the software industry and know large releases around the holidays are a terrible idea. Big updates are done in October and in January with nothing but critical bug fixes done in between. Nothing incompetent about this decision.

  2. cosmo_kramer says:

    You can sign up for Fire OS 5.0.3 for 1st generation FTV’s here:

    After it says it will take 48 hours to update, just do a manual OTA update. Unfortunately still doesn’t fix Dolby Digital over my old optical only receiver.

    • Adam says:

      Cosmo, I got an HDMI splitter for my optical only receiver with the Fire TV2. It has an option to use Passthrough or 5.1. I discovered that if I chose 5.1, Dolby worked great, but if I chose Passthrough I got stereo.

      This mystified me until Vulcan here speculated, and Elias agreed, that what was probably happening was the Fire TV (on OS 5) is reading the EDID, Extended Display Identification Data, from the audio device that’s attached and deciding if said device can do Dolby.

      So when I set the splitter to Passthrough the Fire TV2 gets the EDID from my sound system that does Dolby Digital, but not Dolby Digital+, it figures my device can’t do Dolby at all and sends stereo. (IMO, this is a bug) But if I set the splitter to 5.1, then the Fire TV2 gets EDID from the splitter and sends Dolby Digital which is then passed on to my receiver.

      Like I said, this is Vulcan’s deduction, and I have to say I think its spot on. So the solution to your problem (until, and IF, Amazon fixes the bug) may be to get a splitter. I got a J-Tech one and am very happy with it, but there are several others.

    • Robert Simandl says:

      Just did that update via the Developers site, and now nothing will play. Amazon content just sits there with a blank screen then exits with an error message. Netflix and Hulu content start with a frozen frame, then do the same thing.

      • Andy says:

        I downloaded the update on the developers site also. Now my Fire TV will not connect to the network. It will not factory reset either. Not sure what to do. Can anyone help?

  3. Next10pct says:

    Ensuring new customers have the best experience doesn’t even make sense when they don’t even sell the old box anymore. Are they referring to the people who might buy a used one on eBay?

  4. Ulises A. Rodriguez, Ph.D. says:

    Amazon may have their own reasons for not releasing the new FireOS-5 for the FireTV 1st Gen and the old FireTV Stick, however I think it is very disappointing that as the new FireTV Stick with Voice Remote brings already installed this FireOS-5, that Amazon have decided to postpone this long awaited update more than a month!

    What I mean is that FireOS-5 already exists for FireTV Sticks, and also is working very well, so I do not understand the reason for this delay.

    I always thought that Amazon, as promised, would release the FireOS-5 for FireTV1 and FireTV-Stick,immediately after being tested and improved in the FireTV2, but I feel a little disappointed to see that although they have given full priority to new FireTV2, are leaving the Old FireTV1 abandoned aside.

    This is despite the fact that Amazon knows for sure that the largest user base have the FireTV 1st Gen., so I think that they should have taken into account the disappointment that this extremely bad news would have on all of us FireTV Loyal users!!

  5. Robert Simandl says:

    NOT good timing considering CBS just released its app only for Fire OS 5, what, yesterday?

  6. Keith says:

    If the dev preview is any indication, this delay shouldnt come as a surprise. I just hope whatever theyre doing doesnt somehow impact the plans that rbox has for rooted gen 1 (COMPLETE PARANOID SPECULATION ON MY PART AND I HAVE NO LEGIT REASON TO CONSIDER THAT. I JUST KNOW AMAZON’S NOT THE MOST OPEN MINDED WHEN IT COMES TO ROOT USERS).

  7. Bacon says:

    What a disaster. Pretty bad it was so broken in the first place for the product they actually sold to consumers in October.

  8. Nathan says:

    Really not that much of a big deal – seems rather prudent with the holiday season upon us. Why are so many end users always hell bent on having the latest OS, does it really bring anything that essential to the table? Best wait for a stable version rather than rush to have the latest buggy version.

  9. Lo says:

    OH my god, why did I OPT in the developer preview!!! I thought giving feedback would help things get better not take months to fix and now they telling me that I can revert back to FireOS3 this is complete BS, they need to turn that sh!t back on and let me go back cause this isnt sense. I need to have my dolby digital, its been way too long now.

  10. Alex Blomkvist says:

    I just did a stupid mistake as well and updated to OS 5 DEV preview and now I lost BBC iPlayer functionality. This is just the worse since my wife was using the app on a daily basis. Downgrading to the official OS would only be possible with a return to Factory Settings, correct? Or not even so?

    Damn you, Amazon, do you hear me? Damn you! I get that you are the master of all evil and your plan to take over the world with black magic is slowly becoming reality, but why did you have to ruin mai marriage first? Whyyyy Amazon? Whyyy? (insert fearful face and angry wife in the background).

  11. Tim Hunter says:

    Hopefully they postpone Fire OS 5 indefinitely. ;) Still scared that I might not have the updates blocked properly.

  12. Al says:

    I resent my new fire stick being refered to as an old fire stick and then getting constantly passed over for an update that should have been made before it was shipped to me just a few weeks ago.

  13. 2WhlWzrd says:

    Still waiting on this update.

  14. Ali says:

    And the wait is NOT over yet…..!

  15. Mike V says:

    Any update?

  16. Prof John says:

    There is a reason that the dev edition is a preview – for the dev’s to test and update the apps prior to release. Further, for technical gurus that understand the risk/reward. Don’t cry to Amazon that you lost functionality when you install a dev preview OS.. take responsibility for what you did or wait for the release which Amazon is working to make sure goes smoothly.

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