Amazon has announced the latest Fire TV Stick and it an extremely impressive little device for the price. Costing just £49.99 The new dongle is said to be 80% faster than its predecessor and brings support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+ as well as Dolby Atmos audio. The Fire TV Stick 4K will ship with Amazon’s new Alexa Voice Remote that has more buttons and is more versatile than its predecessor.
The new stick is bigger than the model launched in 2016 and is based on MediaTek’s MT8695 platform, which is specifically designed for modern media streaming dongles with a variety of smart capabilities, such as voice commands.
The SoC is accompanied by MediaTek’s MT7668 communication chip that brings support for 802.11ac with 2×2 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0.
Many people are lauding the new remote which now has a volume up and down button, as well as mute and power. The remote should be able to control all your AV equipment thanks to HDMI CEC. It is also Alexa enabled similar to last year and you can improve the voice control functionality by using an Echo device to control it.
For me, the best feature is the inclusion of all the main HDR standards, specifically Dolby Vision. During my review of the Sony AF8, it would appear that Dolby Vision is broken within the Netflix and Amazon apps and this problem is affecting a lot of users on AVForums. There are not many streaming devices that support Dolby Vision, and certainly none at this price point. There is also HDR10+ which is used by companies such as Panasonic in their FX50 and FZ Oled TVs.
The Fire TV Stick 4K can decode every media format that you might throw at it including H.265 Main 10 Profile Level 5.1, MPEG2, MPEG4, and VP8 for web videos with an up to 1080p at 30 fps resolution. In addition, the Fire TV Stick 4K supports Dolby Atmos (EC3_JOC), Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, MP3, FLAC, and other audio formats.
The device can handle resolutions up to 3840×2160 at 60 Hz which is more than enough for current and near-future TVs. The device also supports 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0.
The biggest downside with all of the dongles and sticks Amazon have launched is the lack of ethernet. I would prefer not to rely on Wi-Fi when I am streaming 4K, Amazon and third parties sell an ethernet adaptor that combines the power adapter lead with an ethernet port, and costs around £14.
I already own last years version and it is my tor recommended device for streaming, the Shield is great but it doesn't have all the catch-up services and costs a lot more.
Overall I am very impressed with this release and I have immediately pre-ordered it. There is no other device on the market offering this range of HDR standards for anywhere near this price that I am aware of.
You can pre-order today for £49.99 with delivery on November 14, 2018.
If you buy two of them or with an Echo Dot you will save £20.
Full specification below:
|Size||99 mm x 30 mm x 14 mm (only housing), 108 mm x 30 mm x 14 mm (including the connector).|
Actual size and weight may vary by configuration and manufacturing process.
|Processor||Quad core 1.7 GHz|
|Storage||8 GB internal (actual formatted capacity will be less) available for apps and games.|
|Wi-Fi Connectivity||Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO) for faster streaming and fewer dropped connections than standard Wi-Fi. Supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi networks.|
|Bluetooth||BT 4.2 and BLE|
|Voice Support||Yes, with the all-new Alexa Voice Remote (included) or free Fire TV App (available for download on Fire OS, Android and iOS).|
|IR Device Control with included All-New Alexa Voice Remote||The included all-new Alexa Voice Remote can control Fire TV Stick 4K and certain functions (such as power and volume) on a wide range of compatible IR-enabled devices, including TVs, soundbars and A/V receivers. Note: Support varies by country, certain functions may not be available on some IR-enabled devices.|
|Cloud Storage||Free cloud storage for digital content purchased from Amazon.|
|Ports||HDMI output, micro-USB for power only.|
|Audio Support||Dolby Atmos compatibility, 7.1 surround sound, 2ch stereo and HDMI audio pass-through up to 5.1.|
|Content Formats Supported||Video: Dolby Vision, HDR 10, HDR10+, HLG, H.265, H.264 and VP9.
Audio: AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis and Dolby Atmos (EC3_JOC).
Photo: JPEG, PNG, GIF and BMP.
|Output Resolution Supported||2160p, 1080p and 720p up to 60fps.|
|System Requirements||High-definition television with available high-speed HDMI input, high-speed Internet connection via Wi-Fi.|
|TV Compatibility||TV must support minimum HDCP requirements for protected content playback. Compatible with (1) 4K ultra high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 2160p at 24/25/30/50/60 Hz and HDCP 2.2 or (2) high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 1080p or 720p at 50/60 Hz. Learn more.|
|Warranty and Service||Fire TV Stick 4K is sold with a limited warranty of one year provided by the manufacturer. If you are a consumer, the limited warranty is in addition to your consumer rights, and does not jeopardise these rights in any way. This means you may still have additional rights at law even after the limited warranty has expired (for further information on your consumer rights, click here). Use of Fire TV Stick 4K is subject to the terms found here.|
|Regional Support||Certain services may not be available outside the UK.|
|Accessibility Features||VoiceView screen reader enables access to the vast majority of Fire TV features for users who are blind or visually impaired. Watch videos and TV shows with subtitles displayed. Subtitles are not available for all content. Learn more.|
|Included in the Box||Fire TV Stick 4K, HDMI extender cable for Fire TV Stick 4K, Alexa Voice Remote (2nd Generation), 2 AAA batteries, USB cable and power adaptor, Quick Start Guide.|