Issue causing blank/broken images and icons is affecting Fire TVs — Here are possible solutions

There’s an issue that seems to be affecting select Fire TVs which causes all images and icons on the home screen to be blank. The issue also affects the app row, making it impossible to distinguish one app icon from another. The Fire TVs suffering from this issue are otherwise working fine, but it makes navigating the main Fire TV interface very difficult. Read more ›

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Google to remove YouTube from new Roku devices on December 9th

History repeats itself, only this time it’s not Google leveraging the popularity of YouTube against Amazon and Fire TVs, but against Roku and new Roku devices. Google has stated that it will be removing the YouTube app from the Roku channel store on December 9th, which will prevent new and factory reset Roku devices from accessing the video service, according to Variety. This is a result of negotiations between Google and Roku regarding app distribution terms going nowhere for the past 6 months, which has already resulted in the removal of YouTube TV from the Roku channel store. Read more ›

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Amazon’s News app for Fire TV now includes 158 cities and 259 channels for local news

Amazon has significantly increased the number of local news channels and cities in its News app for Fire TV devices. The app first launched its local news coverage with 12 cities and then expanded that to 88 cities earlier this year. Now the app takes another significant jump in coverage to include 158 cities where local news is available within the app. That takes the total channels available in the app from 126 to 259 and Amazon says more than 90% of U.S. households should find at least 1 local channel in the app, while 50 metros have 2 or more options to choose from. Follow this guide to learn how to select your local news channels within the Fire TV News app.

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Ring appears to be preparing a dedicated Amazon Sidewalk Bridge Pro device

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 ›

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Amazon Fire TV Recast OTA DVR is on sale for $169.99

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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Future Google TV devices may include a User Profile button on their remote

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 ›

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Amazon Fire TV Cube now comes with the newer 3rd-gen Alexa Voice Remote — UPDATE: Now available in the US, Canada, & Japan as well

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 ›

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First streaming stick running Google TV launches and new Google TV features coming next month

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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Most Fire TV models are on sale at nearly their Black Friday / Prime Day prices

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.

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Benchmarking which Fire TVs launch apps the fastest — A comparison of all Fire TV models with surprising results

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 ›

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