Amazon Sidewalk is a low-bandwidth shared network for devices like trackers and motion sensors to be able to connect to the internet without needing full-fledged Wi-Fi or cellular connections. The connection is intended to emanate from devices you already own, like Echo smart speakers and Ring cameras, which is why it is a bit surprising that Ring appears to be working on a standalone dedicated “Amazon Sidewalk Bridge Pro” device that just appeared in a new Bluetooth regulatory filing last week. Read more ›
Amazon has just put the Fire TV Recast on sale for $169.99, which is 26% off the regular price of $229.99. That price is for the 500GB model with 2 tuners. The 1TB model with 4 tuners is on sale for $219.99, which is also $60 off its regular price of $279.99. These are average prices for Amazon’s over-the-air tuner and DVR. If you wait for Black Friday in about a month, you’ll probably be able to save an extra $40. The 500GB model can store about 75 hours of HD video, while the 1TB model will double that to 150 hours. While you can record more content at once with the 4 tuner model, you are still limited to 2 simultaneous streams on either model. Most Fire TV Sticks and Cubs are still on sale, but some devices are at slightly higher prices than they were last week.
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Last week, Google announced that user profiles were finally coming to Google TV devices next month. TW Electronics, the manufacturer of the Google-designed G10 remote that many Android TV devices have been shipping with, has revealed in a tweet that manufacturers can actually select whether they want to include a user profile button in place of the bookmark button that has been on all G10 remotes so far. Read more ›
Ever since the 3rd-gen Alexa Voice Remote was introduced, which gains a guide button and 4 app shortcut buttons compared to the older remote, it began being bundled with more and more Fire TV models. The 3rd-gen Fire TV Stick was the first bundle to receive it and the new remote was bundled with the Fire TV Stick 4K when that model was finally released in Australia, Brazil, and Mexico. Similarly, when the Fire TV Cube was released a month later in India for the first time, it too included the new remote. More recently, Amazon swapped the new remote into Fire TV Stick 4K bundles in many countries and, of course, the new Fire TV Stick 4K Max includes it. Now, the last Fire TV model with the old remote is losing it as well, as the Fire TV Cube has now been bundled with the new remote in most countries. Read more ›
While there have been several smart TVs that have adopted Google TV, the version of Android TV that uses Google’s newer interface, the only stand-alone streaming media player running Google TV has been the 2020 Chromecast with Google TV. That changes with the release of a new streaming stick from Realme in India this week. Additionally, there are a couple of new features coming to Google TV next month. Here’s an overview of the new streaming device and those new Google TV features. Read more ›
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Amazon has put most Fire TV models on sale at some of the best prices we’ve seen all year. If you missed picking something up during Prime Day or can’t wait until Black Friday, these are very likely the best prices you’ll see outside of those major sale events. To start, the Fire TV Stick Lite is on sale for $19.99, which is 30% off and just $2 above the lowest price it has ever been. The 3rd-gen Fire TV Stick is on sale for $24.99, which is 38% off and is also just $2 above the lowest price it has been. The Fire TV Stick 4K drops to $29.99 when you use promo code ADDFTV at checkout. That bundle includes the new remote with a guide and app shortcut buttons, but, if you prefer, the same code works for the older remote bundle as well for the same discount. Lastly, the Fire TV Cube is on sale for $89.99, which is 25% off the regular price of $119.99. That price is $10 above the lowest it has ever been.
Every time a new Fire TV model is released, I run it through benchmark utilities like Geekbench and GFXBench and post the results compared to all previous Fire TV models. Those tests serve as a good way to measure the raw performance of a device, but I always preface the results by saying that it’s not a good representation of how the devices will perform in actual daily use. A better indication of real-world performance is seeing how quickly each device executes the most common task of a streaming device, which is the launching of apps. I measured how fast every Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Cube model launches apps and the results were quite surprising. Read more ›
I’ve spent a large part of today testing how fast every Fire TV model can launch apps for a performance benchmark article I plan to put up on Monday. Something I immediately noticed is that Netflix launches fast. Like, very fast. Actually, it launches too fast. From a fresh reboot of the device, most apps take several seconds to launch. Netflix, on the other hand, launches in 1 to 2 seconds every time. It shouldn’t be launching that fast when the device was just rebooted because there shouldn’t be any apps in memory (RAM). After a bunch of testing, I’ve determined that Amazon is preloading Netflix into memory on Fire TV devices before it is ever launched, making it load faster when/if you do decide to launch it. Amazon is not doing this for other apps, including Prime Video. Read more ›
The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max has been released today and there is a lot of information to unpack about the new streaming device. I’ll be rounding up all the various articles I write about the new device in this one post, with the most significant first, and keeping it stickied at the top of the site for easy perusal. Feel free to comment below if you have any questions about the Firestick 4K Max or if there is something you want me to test. Read more ›
The original Fire TV Stick 4K was first introduced in 2018 alongside the 2nd-gen Alexa Voice Remote, which brought TV power and volume controls to the Fire TV lineup for the first time. Since then, Amazon launched the 3rd-gen Alexa Voice Remote with the 3rd-gen Fire TV Stick and the Fire TV Stick 4K Max. Now, Amazon has also decided to bundle the 3rd-gen Alexa Voice Remote the original Fire TV Stick 4K. The new bundle costs the same as the old bundle and the old bundle is still available if you prefer to older remote. Read more ›