Beating top OTT streaming platforms such as Roku and the Apple TV to the punch, Amazon on Thursday introduced a new version of the Fire TV that supports 4K/Ultra HD and Amazon's Alexa platform, along with a “Gaming Edition” of the Fire TV and an array of new tablets.
Amazon, which offers a small but growing library of UHD content from its own service as well as from Netflix, said the 4K-capable Fire TV is available for pre-order for $99.99, with plans to start shipping the model on Oct. 5.
Examples of shows available to the new Fire TV in 4K format include Amazon’sTransparent, Better Call Saul, American Hustle, and Amazing Spiderman 2, as well as Netflix’s Narcos. The new Fire TV supports HEVC/H.265, a codec that is about 50% more bandwidth-efficient than H.264. Amazon said it will also use HEVC to deliver HD streaming in 1080p format “in the coming months.”