The newly announced Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K has replaced the 3rd-gen Fire TV (pendant) in Amazon’s Fire TV lineup by seemingly being better than it in almost every way. However, one highly sought after feature by home theater enthusiasts, that is currently uniquely available on only the Fire TV 3, is Video Frame Rate Matching. This is the feature, that arrived in a recent update, that allows the Fire TV to adjust the TVs refresh rate to match the frame rate of the video people played, resulting in perfect one-to-one picture syncing. The good news is that Amazon has confirmed to me that Frame Rate Matching will be available on the new Fire TV stick 4K.
I suspect that Frame Rate Matching is one of those features that mostly appeals to enthusiasts (a.k.a. crazy tech nuts) like myself and those that frequent this site. Since the feature hasn’t yet made its way to any Fire TV models other than the now discontinued Fire TV 3 (pendant), there was a bit of concern that it would be left behind as an abandoned experimental feature. Thankfully, that isn’t going to be the case because the Fire TV Stick 4K will support the feature. This new Stick is shaping up to be a killer streaming media player that continues to check all the right boxes.
I still don’t know if Frame Rate Matching will be coming to other existing Fire TV models, but I’m confident that at least the Amazon Fire TV Cube will eventually receive the feature. The Fire TV Cube is currently on a 6.2.2.X version of Fire OS, while the Fire TV 3 received the Frame Rate Matching feature when it was updated to a 6.2.5.X version of Fire OS, so the Fire TV Cube is lagging behind a bit, probably due to its much more complex set of universal control features. I expect that when the Fire TV Cube gets updated to 6.2.5.X or newer, which will probably around the end of the month when the new package that includes the new Alexa Voice Remote ships, we’ll see the Frame Rate Matching feature get added.
Sweet! At last, an inexpensive device that is a real upgrade.
This thing will be awesome. The only concern I have is if the 1.5gb of ram will bottleneck performance. But I realize they will shooting for a price point.
The new Stick has 1.7Ghz
Dang it. Was saying since they bumped the processor to 1.7GHz it may not that big a deal.
Faster IPC/MHZ can still be bottleneck if there is not enough cache or ram. But I suspect the Amazon engineers are on top of it.
It depends on the app. If you’re viewing live tv from a hdhomerun, the app uses ram to support tv pausing/rewind if the dvr service is also not used.
Would this help with the stuttering I saw on Thursday night football. Both PlayStation Vue and the HDHOMERUN app were having issues. I didn’t try MrMC but InstaTV seemed to work fine. I would like to try the HDHomeRun service but with the shaking I won’t be able to
This wouldn’t help in that case. It’s only real benefit is matching the frame rate to 24p, which is used for movies, to avoid 3:2 pulldown judder. Sports typically use 60p which is an even multiple of 30p, so no judder. In your case, the stuttering was probably due to network bandwidth issues.
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Curious, will Mediatek usurp Amlogic as the ubiquitous SoC provider for all the price/power conscious streamers?
Didn’t Jared Newman or someone mention it being 80% faster than the S905’s? And checks off all the new codecs (HLG, DV, 10+, etc).
I believe it is 80% faster than the 2nd gen stick, not the pendant/cube.
What’s interesting is that Amazon said the Fire TV 3 Pendant was 40% faster than the 2nd-gen Stick when it launched. Going by those figures, that means the new Fire TV Stick 4K is 40% faster than the Fire TV 3 and Fire TV Cube.
I’m working on a benchmark/power estimate post that puts everything we know about the SoC of the 4K Stick together.
Interesting observation. 40% faster would be pretty good IMO. I was looking at the size/weight dimensions earlier today. The new stick is only a tiny bit larger, but significantly heavier than the old stick. Wondering if they have a heavy metal heat sink to cool it. Still weighs less than the pendant though.
I had until recently a Fire TV Stick 2, still have a couple of Fire TV2, a Fire TV3 and a Fire Cube. Don’t see any distinguishable “speed” difference between the last three, the Stick was a little bit slower, maybe +/- 20%. When I read 80% faster, 40% faster, I can’t help thinking: marketing.
Yeah, I suspect they cherry pick a synthetic benchmark for some of these figures. I actually sold my three FTV2 boxes and went to the pendant, because I got a lot of money for the FTV2s, and I didn’t notice much speed differences between ftv2/ftv3 in my daily usage. I’m sure if I played games on the devices, it may have been different.
Don’t forget about the good old FTV2. It has 2x @ 2GHz & 2x @ 1.6Ghz + 2 GB RAM. The hardware should easily be able to handle this frame rate feature. But I guess Amazon wants us to buy the new stick instead. Not economic or ecologic in any way, since they subsidize their FTV hardware on top, so you should think that they want customers to use the hardware as long as possible, to get as much return on investment as possible out of it. I really don’t get it.
Does it also automatically change between SDR and HDR? And does it support passtrough of HD-Audio (and Atmos, DTS:X) in Plex or Kodi? Because I’m thinking about switchting from the Apple TV 4k to the new FireTV Stick and this would be my first FireTV.
DD+ yes I’m assuming like w/FTV3 pendant, but likely no DTS-MA, X nor TrueHD, ATMOS passthrough.
But, thrilled to read that auto refresh rate will be there, and hopefully proper 23.976.
Atmos passthrough should be there, don’t you think? The device supports at least the (lower quality) streaming atmos format. Or is it the case that apps like kodi do not have access to atmos then? Only official/certified apps like netflix and amazon?
ATMOS (EC3_JOC variety) only for streaming services like Amazon’s own Prime Video. And, maybe Netflix, Vudu, etc.?
And, no HD audio for local media and Kodi, MrMC, etc.
This is just sad…. Thank you for clarification!
Btw:I am surprised that a MediaTek SoC is capable of all those features. I mean… All HDR and Audio capabilities are very often mentioned by the tech sheet upon release or announcements of MediaTek SoCs, but they usually never arrive on customer hardware. Either it is a license issue or bad/buggy/incomplete drivers. Yet Amazon does provide everything out of nowhere.
I know you’re a kodi enthusiast @hdmkv, do you happen to have heard that some kodi devs or so have put eyes on MediaTek SoCs for the future?
Apparently the kernel/drivers are ready for every single media center feature that would be important for kodi users (except 3D MVC framepacked unfortunately).
I don’t get it… why isn’t there a single device which supports DV, HDR10 and passthrough for all the HD-Audio formats? Every device has a downside, eg. supports DV but no HD-Audio or supports HD-Audio but no DV.
I agree I go d it so frustrating..only thing out there is this
My AFTV3 still has pacing issues where audio is out of sync when people talk/move on screen (more noticeably when using a soundbar). I’ve almost given up on my AFTV3 in favor of the AFTV2. When the hell did this “Video Frame Rate Matching” option become a feature on the AFTV3?
Would be interested, if Amazon pushes other app developers to support Atmos, HDR10+/DV as well as the implementation of frame matching (with 4K as well as 1080p output). Will e.g. Netflix support all of this on the new Stick from launch?
It would be a killer feature for me!
Hopefully amazon will also fix the issue that the sound is out of sync as soon Frame Rate Matching is on while using a AV Receiver or external sound device. This lip sync issue with Amazon Prime video is not just a Fire TV issue btw. I had this issue with the amazon video app on a Shield TV and I have it now a my AppleTV 4K. It’s always only the amazon app. It worked/works great with the Netflix app on the ShieldTV and now with the AppleTV 4K. It’s a big reason for me for hardly watching anything anymore with the amazon video app. Maybe when amazon will fix it for their own device, others will follow.
Any chance that the Netflix app on this will support frame rate matching too?
Wait so this stick is faster than my cube? Cuz I would sell my cube than and buy this. Still waiting for video frame rate switching on my cube.
Great article, thanks. But I don’t quite understand how frame rate switching is considered a newer feature for Fire TV, when MrMC was able to make use of this feature back in 2016?
I’ve noticed my MrMC on FireTV has done frame rate switching for quite a long time.
Several months at least.
Am I missing something new or different with this announcement?