Videophiles have long faulted the Amazon Fire TV for only supporting a video output framerate of 50 and 60 Hz. This is an issue because nearly all film is shot at 24 frames per second. Outputting video at a frequency that doesn’t match the source material can result in noticeable tearing or judder. While most people are blind to the issue, it has been a thorn in the side of those who care ever since the Fire TV was released. If you’re one who wants perfect one-to-one framerates from your Fire TV, you’ll be happy to know that, to an extent, Fire OS 5 includes support for 24, 25, and 30 Hz output video.
Before you jump for joy, the new framerate support is not perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, you can’t simply head into the Fire TV’s settings and select 24Hz from the resolution settings. Nor can an app, like Kodi, change the output video frequency on the fly based on the video currently being played. Seeing how this is just the first version of Fire OS 5’s developer preview, with any luck, both of these options will make their way into the final version of Fire OS 5 for the Fire TV.
What you can do with the current developer preview of Fire OS 5 is change the output video to 24, 25, 30, 50, or 60 Hz using the hidden resolution options I discovered last year. By holding BACK, REVERSE, RIGHT, and SELECT simultaneously on the Fire TV remote for 10 seconds, the Fire TV will begin to cycle through additional resolution options not available in the standard display settings menu.
For the final version of Fire OS 5, the button combination to bring up resolution cycling has been changed to holding REVERSE and UP
While you can select 24, 25, and 30 Hz with this method, it’s not fully supported. For starters, selecting one of these hidden output video options results in the display settings menu becoming inaccessible. It immediately closes itself when you try to open it. Also, Kodi’s system report said that the video output was 60 Hz when I had 24 Hz set. As you can see from the following image, the DELL U2415 display, that I connected the Fire TV running Fire OS 5 to, shows that the video signal it was receiving is in fact 24Hz.
While we’re not at full framerate nirvana, we’re very close. The hardware, kernel, and operating system support the new display frequencies. We just need Amazon to polish off the settings and to ensure app developers have access to the output selection.