Amazon has updated the Silk Browser for Fire TV devices to support 4K video playback on YouTube. The new update, carrying version number 22.214.171.12440.85.30, is starting to roll, but the new version appears to only be rolling out to select devices, as it’s not yet available to all Fire TV models.
If you own one of the newer Fire TV models and are thinking to yourself that you’ve already been able to watch 4K YouTube videos in Silk for a while, you’re not wrong. Amazon quietly released partial 4K video support in Silk back in April with version 65 of the browser, but that update only brought 4K YouTube playback to some of the Fire TV models. This new update adds that support to all 4K capable Fire TVs, which are the Fire TV Cube, Fire TV 3 (pendant), Fire TV 2, and the Fire TV Edition televisions.
For all 4K capable Fire TV models except the Fire TV 2, the Silk Browser is always displayed in 4K and browsing YouTube in the browser will automatically stream 4K videos when available. For the Fire TV 2, things are a little different. Since the Fire TV 2 only supports 4K at 30 frames per second and is intended to only switch from 1080p to 4K for video playback, the Silk Browser actually only switches your television to 4K when you’re browsing YouTube. Loading any other website will leave your TV set to 1080p. Presumably, this is done to preserve the smoothness of 60 frames per second navigation.
This update appears to be rolling out in phases, similar to how Fire TV operating system updates roll out slowly to a few devices at a time, so the Silk update may not be available to your specific device yet. It seems as though the Fire TV 1 and Fire TV 2 are only receiving the update so far.