A new software update has started rolling out to 2nd-gen Amazon Fire TVs. The software update carries version number 18.104.22.168 and build number 574262620. It’s not clear at this time if the update adds any new features or if it just contains bug fixes. So far, I’ve only heard of 2nd-gen Fire TV set-top boxes receiving the update, so it may not be released to other Fire TV models. Sound off in the comments if you receive the update, which device it arrived on, and if you notice any changes.
For those wondering, this update has nothing to do with the new blacklisted app. The two things are not connected, since I’ve confirmed that devices still on older software versions still receive the updated blacklist.
A new software update, carrying version number 22.214.171.124 (build 565189420), just popped up on Amazon’s source code notice page. The update is currently listed under the 2nd-gen Fire TV and the 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick. There is a very good chance this update will include the new revamped user interface that is expected to arrive by the end of the year. Amazon said the new interface would come to 2nd-gen devices first, so it makes sense this new software version is currently only listed under 2nd-gen devices. Fire TV 1 and Fire TV Stick 1 devices will get the new interface later this year.
I haven’t heard of anyone getting this new update yet, so I don’t know if it’s already rolling out. Be sure to comment below if you receive this update and let us know what has changed.
Target.com is currently selling the Fire TV 2 for $63.75. That is the new lowest price that I’ve ever seen for the 2nd-gen Fire TV. Target is matching Amazon’s $74.99 sale price, but is taking an additional 15% off at checkout. This is bound to sell out fast, so get in as quickly as you can if you want to pick up the Fire TV at an all time low price.
It looks like this has sold out, but it’s still worth checking for yourself since it’s not uncommon for a few to be available sporadically throughout the day. You can also try price matching at a physical Target store.
Amazon’s Black Friday Sales are now live! The Amazon Fire TV 2 Gaming Edition is $114.99. This is the second lowest price it has ever been. The lowest is when it was just $5 less during Prime Day earlier this year. The Gaming Edition comes with an Alexa voice game controller, a 32GB microSD card, and a few more extras. It does not go on sale as often as the regular Fire TV 2 package, so this is your chance to save. Be sure to check all the Black Friday deals on Amazon devices.
Amazon has revealed that the Fire TV 2 will be on sale for $74.99 during the Black Friday sales event. We already knew the Fire TV Stick 2 would be $29.99 during the big sale, but it wasn’t clear until now if the Fire TV 2 would also go on sale, since its retail price was just lowered last month. The sale price of $74.99 will be the second lowest the device has ever been. If you recall, the Fire TV 2 was $69.99 during Prime Day earlier this year, which was the lowest it has ever been. We don’t know exactly when the sale price will go into effect, but it will likely either be midnight on Thanksgiving morning, or midnight the morning of Black Friday.
Jade Empire: Special Edition has been released for the Amazon Fire TV 2. This is a very popular RPG that was originally released on the original Xbox. It’s a single player game with an estimated 40+ hours of gameplay. It’s unfortunately not compatible with the Fire TV 1 or the new Fire TV Stick 2, and as you’d expect, you’ll need a game controller to play.
Amazon has just lowered the price of all of their available certified refurbished Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks. The refurbished 2nd-gen Fire TV 2 (latest 2015 model with 4K support) is now $64.99. The old price was $79.99. The refurbished 1st-gen Fire TV (2014 model with 1080p support) is now $49.99. The old price was $69.99. Lastly, the refurbished 1st-gen Fire TV Stick (2015 model without a voice remote) is now $24.99. The old price was $29.99. All three prices are new all-time low prices that we’ve never seen before. If you’re interested in any of these devices, be sure to order soon because refurbished units tend to sell out fast, due to limited supply, after a price drop like this.
In the video above, I show how the Amazon Fire TV 1, Fire TV 2, and Fire TV Stick 1 each handle playing video encoded with the h.264 and h.265 codec. I run all three devices through several different test videos at various bit rates. The purpose is to show that, as long as the video codec being used is supported by the device’s dedicated hardware decoder, the CPU of the device is nearly irrelevant when it comes to playing high quality video. This is why, even though the Fire TV Stick has a fairly weak CPU, it can still play video as well as the Fire TV boxes. Continue on if you’d like to read the transcript of the video. Read more ›
This is a new method of blocking software updates on a rooted Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. It involves setting a custom software version number in the device’s build.prop configuration file. Rbox came up with this idea and asked me to test if it works. The main advantage to this update blocking method is that it can be implemented from within TWRP custom recovery before the device boots. That means, if you factory reset (i.e., wipe data partition) a Fire TV, you can ensure the device does not update during the initial setup process. Prior to this method, you had to rely on external router or OpenDNS update blocking methods when going through the Fire TV initial setup process after factory resetting. Now you can block updates internally before starting the initial setup process. If you have a rooted device and are blocking updates using the “pm disable …” method (method 1 in my blocking guide), it’s a good idea to also follow this guide to have an additional update blocking method in place. Read more ›