Amazon’s Fire TV box is launching in the UK in October, offering on-demand TV, apps and smartphone content, putting the online retail giant in direct competition with the likes of Google’s Chromecast and Apple TV.
Speaking on the first day of the IFA technology show in Berlin, senior vice president of devices David Limp said: ‘We think that the products that are out there – and we sell a lot of them on Amazon – just haven’t offered customers the value that we think you can, and this is an existence proof that you can put a lot of horsepower and performance into a box, at a great value.’
The Fire TV box will be shipped in Europe on October 23. It can be pre-ordered for £79 and Amazon Prime members can pre-order it for £49 for five days.
Amazon said that the box is designed to offer users access to films and bring photos, music and games to the living room in one place.
As well as Netflix and Prime Instant Video, owners of the new box will be able to access Sky News, YouTube as well as music services – Amazon Music, Spotify and TuneIn.
Voice search will allow users to say the name of a film, TV show or actor, for example into their remote to find a film. This means no more scrolling through an alphabetical grid.
A function called ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) will suggest films and TV shows that people will want to watch and buffers them for playback before a user hits play.
For film buffs, there’s a feature called X-Ray where they can see information about the cast and crew as well as movie trivia.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder and CEO said: ‘Tiny box, huge specs, tons of content, incredible price- customers love Fire TV and we’re thrilled to introduce it in the UK.
‘Voice search that actually works means no more typing on an alphabet grid. Our exclusive new ASAP feature predicts the shows you’ll want to watch and gets them ready to stream instantly. And our open approach gives you not just Amazon Instant Video and Prime Instant Video, but also Netflix, Sky News, YouTube, Spotify, and more.’
Users will be able to buy a separate controller for £34.99 and download games to play through Fire TV.
Watch this (somewhat bizare) promo video for Amazon Fire TV below, featuring actor Gary Busey: