Now that the first vehicle with Fire TV for Auto, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, is on the road and the second vehicle, the Chrysler Pacifica, has been announced, more detailed information is available about what exactly is powering the Fire TV systems built into these vehicles. While you’re probably not going to be cross-comparing the CPU and RAM powering the rear screens when you’re car shopping, like you would when shopping for your next streaming media player, it’s still interesting to know what hardware is used, especially when these vehicles might be on the road for decades. Here are the hardware specifications for Amazon’s first Fire TV rear screen entertainment system.
The following specs are for the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. I suspect that the Chrysler Pacifica has the exact same specs, seeing how the two vehicles fall under the same parent company and were announces a few months apart. There is a good chance that these specs may also be shared with the future BMW vehicle that will come with Fire TV integration.
Powering each of the two rear screens is an Amlogic V901DZ quad-core 1.6GHz Cortex-A55 CPU and a Mali-G31 MP2 GPU. These are very similar specs to the 4K AmazonBasics Fire TV Smart TVs released in India earlier this year. That’s a pretty decent SoC, especially when the system maxes out at 1080p 60fps and doesn’t need to support 4K, since the small screens in the vehicles are not 4K screens.
Something else that’s good to see is that it has 2GB of RAM. Even the Fire TV Stick 4K, which is a decently snappy device, has only 1.5GB of RAM, so these first Fire TV for Auto systems should feel quite snappy to use. This is the first time a 1080p Fire TV device has had more than 1GB of RAM, so the extra 1GB in these vehicles should provide plenty of overhead.
Internal storage comes in at 16 GB per screen, with about 9 GB available free after you account for the OS and pre-installed system apps. That figure is quite important because Fire TV for Auto is the first Fire TV system to support downloading content for offline playback. For reference, the Prime Video app for phones and tablets uses about half a gigabyte to store an average movie in “Good” quality for offline viewing. Since Fire TV for Auto allows for content stored on one screen to be mirrored to the other screens in the car, you’ll have about 18GB of free storage between the two, which would be approximately 36 movies if you have nothing else using that space, like other apps or games. More realistically, with other apps and various data/cache taking up space, you can probably comfortably fit 10-15 movies on each of the two rear screens.
Connectivity for the system is 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0 with BLE support. Considering the average age of a car is currently about 12 years and many vehicles are used for over 20+ years, WiFi 6 802.11ax support would have been nice to see for future-proofing. It’s likely that the Fire TV system in these vehicles may be among the last 802.11ac devices their owners use at the end of the vehicle’s lifespan.
As for video support, all the codecs you would expect are present. The system supports h.265 HEVC, at 8 or 10-bit color depth, and h.264 AVC, which are the most common streaming codecs used today. It also supports AV1 hardware decoding, which gives it some more future-proofing, since Google/YouTube, and others, are really pushing for a switch from HEVC to AV1 video. The system does not support any HDR or Dolby Vision formats, which is unsurprising since the screens that the system runs on don’t either. Similarly, there is no support for Dolby or DTS surround sound, since the car speakers or the headphones that the audio is being piped through aren’t going to take advantage of it.
Overall, these are decent specs. They’re not going to blow you away in performance but it’s nice to see that there does seem to be a bit of extra overhead added here and there. That could help keep the system somewhat snappy when it’s 20 years down the line and the vehicle is sitting on a used car lot having gone through half a dozen owners.