YouTube now stabilizes audio volume on Fire TV, Android TV, and Google TV

The YouTube app on Fire TV, Android TV, and Google TV devices has rolled out a new feature that stabilizes video volume. Google says it “balances the range between quiet and loud, continuously adjusting volume levels to reduce variations in sound.” The feature is on by default, but you can turn it off under the Settings menu of any video. Once you turn it off, it remains off for all videos until you turn it back on. Some streaming devices and soundbars have volume leveling features of their own, so you may want to experiment with turning some of them off if you’re experiencing audio issues.

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Fire TV’s are getting an official Microsoft Xbox Cloud Gaming app

Amazon and Microsoft have announced that an official Xbox Cloud Gaming app is coming to select Fire TV devices in July. Similar to Amazon’s Luna cloud gaming service, the app will allow you to play Xbox’s extensive library of over 100 games through the cloud on your Fire TV, without the need for an Xbox console or PC. Read more ›

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Report highlights challenges in Alexa Gen-AI redesign, possibly explaining overpromised, underdelivered Fire TV search update

Amazon is struggling with its generative AI redesign of Alexa, according to a report from Fortune (syndicated free on Yahoo). The report, which sources numerous former Amazon employees, suggests that the new Alexa may never live up to the contextually aware and more conversational version that was demoed at Amazon’s big devices event last fall. That’s, reportedly, due to Amazon’s struggle with supporting all the current Alexa capabilities with the new LLM-based Alexa. Read more ›

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Amazon slightly shrinks the full-screen auto-playing ad on the Fire TV’s home screen

Amazon has updated the size of the full-screen auto-playing video ads that appear on the Fire TV home screen when you first power on the device. The change, which was first spotted by Cord Cutters News, reduces the size of the ad slightly to keep the navigation bar and your app row visible at the bottom of the screen. Read more ›

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TCL reveals its new S5 and Q6 4K Fire TVs for 2024 — The first with Fire OS 8 and a New Remote

TCL is rolling out its 2024 lineup of 4K Fire TV Smart TVs, mirroring last year’s offerings with the release of the new S-Class TVs—TCL’s economical 4K options—and the Q-Class TVs, their more impressive QLED 4K models. While there’s, unfortunately, no indication that we’ll see a Fire TV variant of TCL’s top-end QD-Class TVs, which are distinguished by mini LED backlights, the latest TCL Fire TVs stand out as the first smart TVs to run Fire OS 8 and the first to ditch Amazon’s remote for TCL’s new remote made for Fire TV. Read more ›

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Amazon launches its new AI-powered voice search on Fire TVs but leaves out the best parts

Amazon has announced the launch of its new AI-enhanced voice search for Fire TV devices which promises to make finding “personalized TV show and movie recommendations using natural language” simple and easy. The update was first announced last fall and looked impressive in the demo video, but what’s starting to roll out now is missing some of the useful flair that was demonstrated last year. Read more ›

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When Fire TV Software Updates could stop for every model and which ones have already reached their end-of-life

A few years ago, Amazon published its official policy around software update releases for its Fire TV devices. At the time, the company guaranteed at least 4 years of security updates after the device was last available for purchase and it continues to stand behind that guarantee. Since then, several Fire TV models have stopped receiving updates. Here’s a breakdown of when each generation of Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Stick 4K Max, and Fire TV Cube could stop receiving updates and the ones that have already stopped being updated. Read more ›

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Careful! Downloading some Fire TV apps will now automatically subscribe you to the service by default

Amazon has made a sneaky change to how apps are downloaded on Fire TV devices that is bound to trick some people into unintentionally subscribing to streaming services when all they meant to do was download a free app. When searching to install select apps, such as Paramount+, Apple TV, Philo, Starz, and others on a Fire TV, the default option is no longer to simply download the free app, as it has been for the last 10 years. Instead, the default option has now changed to both download the app and simultaneously subscribe to the service. Read more ›

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Matter Casting is now rolling out to more Fire TV devices and coming soon to more streaming apps

Earlier this year, Amazon was the first to support Matter Casting, the open alternative to proprietary casting formats like Google Cast and Apple Airplay, when it first rolled out the feature to the Echo Show 15. Amazon is now rolling out the feature to most Fire TV devices over the coming weeks, according to The Verge. While Prime Video is still the only streaming app that supports Matter Casting, that won’t be the case for long. Read more ›

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2nd-gen Fire TV Stick 4K is now available in India for the first time

When Amazon launched the 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick 4K late last year, it was available in nearly all locations globally where Fire TVs are sold, but one exception was India. That’s now no longer the case as the latest 4K Firestick is now available to preorder in India for the first time. Unfortunately, you still can’t buy the Fire TV Stick 4K Max or the Fire TV Cube in India, so the 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick 4K is the most powerful Fire TV you can buy in India. It’s available for ₹5,999, which is about $70 USD, and will be released on May 13th.

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