Some companies like to spend months building hype for even the smallest updates to their hardware — and then there’s Amazon. As the tech community continues to investigate the new 4K Apple TV, it looks as though Amazon will quietly announce the official release date of two new Amazon Fire TV devices at a private press event in Seattle on Wednesday, according to the Verge.
Despite a private press event shrouded in secrecy, what streaming video lovers will get out of the two new devices has been pretty common knowledge for some time. The leaks of two new Amazon Fire TV streaming devices surfaced a few weeks ago with photos in tow. According to AFTVnews, both will support 4K video at 60fps, and sport all-new form factors. The two models will occupy the mid- and high tier of Amazon’s Fire TV price range.
The most affordable of the new models will be a square, Chromecast-like dongle that connects to a TV with a fixed HDMI cable. In terms of market, the dongle will be aimed at those who want an Ultra HD and High Dynamic Range-capable upgrade from the affordable Fire TV Stick. The new midrange model will feature a 1.5 GHz quad-core CPU and a Mali-450 GPU, as well as offer 2 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage — better specs than the current Fire TV Stick, but still considerably less powerful than the latest Fire TV box.
Amazon’s new flagship option will come in the form of an Alexa-integrated cube with familiar volume, mute, and action buttons on top. It will replace the current second-generation Fire TV box. The device appears as though it will function like a set-top Echo device, with far field microphones and the same blue LED lighting seen around the top of other Amazon Alexa models. The new Fire TV cube will integrate more easily into larger home theater setups thanks to a built-in infrared emitter for controlling other gear, and will likely feature additional ports — such as a built-in Ethernet port — that aren’t found on lower-tier Amazon Fire TV models.
Just like we’ve seen on previous Amazon Fire TV products, both new devices will be able to turn on and control any TV that supports the current HDMI-CEC standard. The high-end model’s far field microphones and built-in IR emitter means that the entire media center of one’s home may soon be controllable via simple Alexa commands — an enticing thought, to say the least.
Fans of Fire TV who have been waiting for an upgrade will probably not need to wait long; The current flagship Fire TV box, which supports 4K and HDR, is out of stock on the Amazon website, a fact that points to a near-term release from the tech giant.
Just like a firm release date, pricing has yet to be officially announced for either model, but estimates place the new midtier dongle at somewhere between $60 and $80, and the high-end cube at just over $100.
We will update this article as we get more concrete information about the two devices.