The brand new amazon fire stick tv 4k it can be happy or sad depending on which way you hold it this is actually a pretty decent upgrade from Amazon we haven’t seen actually a real upgrade and hardware lately from them and this one actually, this performs better than their flagship fire TV devices including the cubes so we’re gonna be digging a little bit deeper into what this device.
This will run $49, you see it you get the device itself a power adapter a remote control and an HDMI extension cable for that price they also have an Ethernet adapter that will plug into that USB port at the bottom that costs an additional fifteen dollars I think if you’re doing a lot of 4k streaming and you’re not sure about how good your Wi-Fi is around the house hooking it up via ethernet is certainly the better way to go and I would recommend doing that especially if you have an Ethernet port near your television.
It supports 802 11 AC wireless it’s actually working pretty decently here and I didn’t have any real problems it’s a little bit larger than the 1080p fire stick that we looked at a little while ago.
I do recommend using the extension cable just because it takes a little bit of weight off your television to do that and you also might pick up a little better Wi-Fi coverage with it as well.
The remote control on the 4k Edition is also a little better than what we saw on the 1080p version you now have a volume control built in to this portion of the controller along with a mute button and a power button here to control your other devices
It does all of that through hdmi cec so you can hit the power button and power up everything and tune to your fire TV stick automatically if your television supports that.
This is an upgrade in hardware it’s got an MTK 8695 plus a MT7668 processor built-in has 8 gigabytes of storage and 1.5GB of ddr4 Ram it will support 4k resolutions up to 60 Hertz it also supports three different HDR modes including regular old HDR HDR 10 which is a new emerging format that you’ll start seeing on some televisions soon and it supports Dolby vision for audio it does most of the digital audio formats that are on streaming services and it also supports Dolby Atmos but there are some catches with that support especially when you’re playing back your own media with Plex or Kodi so that’s it for the overall hardware let’s boot it up now see how it performs .
How it performs we have it running at 4k 60 Hertz on this display, everything is coming to life very quickly and really no lag or anything like that you would typically experience with a lower end device.
Working with home theater setup tested with the LG OLED television that supports HDR and Dolby vision it correctly detected all of those things I didn’t have to go and force anything initially but I did notice it was leaving everything in Dolby vision even things that didn’t support that so I did have to go into the settings menu and go over to the display and sound category and then I went over to display and I set the dynamic range settings to adaptive, it was on always HDR by default and I think if you’re really careful about color you don’t want that so I put it on adaptive so that when it needed to switch into HDR it would but when it didn’t it would switch out and it also made sure to get the right HDR mode selected so for example some things on the Amazon store support HDR and not Dolby vision so it was correctly switching back and forth between those.
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Alexa Voice Commands: There is also voice control on this one so you can hold down the microphone and say show me the weather in New York City tomorrow and you’ll get all of the same a word functionality that you would experience with other Amazon voice control devices like the echo.
Youtube Issue Continues: Youtube issues are still not resolving it had an issue with them for a long time so as a result there is no native YouTube app on fire TV you get this generic icon here this is essentially a bookmark and when you click on that bookmark it goes out to the silk web browser or Firefox your choice and it loads up the Leanback interface of youtube.com.
Proper Deinterlancing of Live TV: One thing This new stick does better than the old one is live TV watching the prior edition has issues when you were in apps like the HD homerun app that interfaces with their network TV tuners you would see a lot of wavy lines on screen because the old stick did not de-interlacing z’ properly this new one does so live TV looks great on the HD homerun app and plex live TV app.
No DRAM: If you have the HD homerun prime tuner which tunes in from your cable system and you have DRM protected channels the fire TVs are not compatible with the HD homerun DRM feature.
Compared to some of the other Amazon boxes out there I think at the moment it’s probably the best Amazon box they make and it’s not the most expensive either, has more features has a better remote seems to perform better and I think if you are deeply invested in Amazon’s ecosystem this is not a bad choice. The main issues with it remain namely the fact that they don’t get along well with Google but otherwise, if you are looking for an Amazon device this is probably the one to consider just because I think it works better than some of their other recent offerings