Woot currently has the refurbished 1st-gen Fire TV and the refurbished Amazon Tap on sale. The refurbished Fire TV 1 is $52.99, which is $3 more than the lowest price I’ve ever seen for it. If you’re looking for something a bit more powerful than the Fire TV Stick but don’t want to spend the money for the Fire TV 2, the Fire TV 1 is still a very capable device. Plus, it’s the only model that has an optical audio port, which many can’t live without. The refurbished Amazon Tap is $79.99, which is not that enticing of a price, considering the brand new Tap was on sale for just $10 more just a few days ago.
In the video above, I show how the Amazon Fire TV 1, Fire TV 2, and Fire TV Stick 1 each handle playing video encoded with the h.264 and h.265 codec. I run all three devices through several different test videos at various bit rates. The purpose is to show that, as long as the video codec being used is supported by the device’s dedicated hardware decoder, the CPU of the device is nearly irrelevant when it comes to playing high quality video. This is why, even though the Fire TV Stick has a fairly weak CPU, it can still play video as well as the Fire TV boxes. Continue on if you’d like to read the transcript of the video. Read more ›
This is a new method of blocking software updates on a rooted Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. It involves setting a custom software version number in the device’s build.prop configuration file. Rbox came up with this idea and asked me to test if it works. The main advantage to this update blocking method is that it can be implemented from within TWRP custom recovery before the device boots. That means, if you factory reset (i.e., wipe data partition) a Fire TV, you can ensure the device does not update during the initial setup process. Prior to this method, you had to rely on external router or OpenDNS update blocking methods when going through the Fire TV initial setup process after factory resetting. Now you can block updates internally before starting the initial setup process. If you have a rooted device and are blocking updates using the “pm disable …” method (method 1 in my blocking guide), it’s a good idea to also follow this guide to have an additional update blocking method in place. Read more ›
After getting back to work on TWRP custom recovery fixes for the Fire TV 1, it didn’t take long for rbox to figure out the issues causing some first generation Fire TVs to loop/blink when trying to access recovery. A new final version of TWRP custom recovery for the Fire TV 1 has been released, labeled TWRP Image 3.0.0-7. This new version also fixes issues where owners of 720p TVs were seeing duplicate/overlapping menu items. You can download the new TWRP release from the usual XDA thread and use these instructions to install it. Read more ›
After taking about a month off due to travel and being busy, rbox is back in the swing of working on TWRP custom recovery for the 1st generation Fire TV. If you recall, some people were having looping/blinking issues with the original version of TWRP for the Fire TV 1. A test version of TWRP, labeled bueller-twrp-test8.img, that fixed some of the issues was released by rbox about a month ago, and now he is picking up where he left off to finalize the necessary fixes. Rbox just released a new version of TWRP for the Fire TV 1, labeled bueller-twrp-test9.img. If you’re still having issues with TWRP on the older Fire TV and are willing to help test new releases, try this new version of TWRP and report back in the XDA thread to help rbox out. Once TWRP for the Fire TV 1 is stable for everyone, rbox can move on to creating pre-rooted ROMs of the latest 18.104.22.168 software update, and then work on TWRP and ROMs for the Fire TV Stick.
By default, the Amazon Fire TV only recognizes USB drives and microSD cards formatted with a FAT32 file system. This poses a problem for storing and accessing files larger than 4GB, since that’s the limit of the FAT32 file system. If your device is rooted, you can mount drives and cards using other file systems, like NTFS, and access files stored on them within apps like Kodi and ES File Explorer. This guide will show you how to mount non-FAT32 USB drives and microSD cards on a rooted Fire TV 1 or 2. Read more ›
If you’ve installed TWRP on a rooted 1st-gen Fire TV and have run into the looping/blinking issue that some have experienced, there is now a partial fix that should allow some of you to get into TWRP to flash the pre-rooted Fire OS 5 ROM. The fix is only available for devices with an unlocked bootloader for now. Rbox told me he’ll be out of town until next week, so he won’t be able to make the fix compatible with all 1st-gen Fire TVs until later. While working to get to the bottom of the looping/blinking issue, rbox also managed to correct the issue causing incompatibility with 720p displays. Read more ›
TWRP custom recovery allows rooted Fire TV owners to install custom ROMs and images, as well as allowing them to restore their device to working condition in case the operating system no longer boots up correctly. It is highly recommended for all rooted Fire TVs to have a custom recovery installed. This guide will show 1st-gen Fire TV owners who have ClockworkMod installed how to install TWRP and upgrade to Fire OS 5 without losing root. This guide also shows 1st-gen Fire TV owners on Fire OS 5, that rooted with KingRoot, how to install TWRP. Read more ›