A More In-Depth Look at Amazon FireTV

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Geek Smack!

Lots of great stuff this week as I prepare for NYC and TechCrunch Disrupt. Finishing up the NAB videos this week. Also catching up on some products I had in the wings for a couple months.

The studio is getting a spring cleaning so it may look a little different. My office is a mess with boxes and gear I set to the side. I can barely walk through the room anymore!

Still waiting on the Aereo vs ABC supreme court ruling. I’ll keep you updated if anything changes.

TWIGG was awesome last night but I am having a hard time trying to really understand Google Hangouts. The service took my microphone sound and clipped it. Since I can’t hear my own voice, I had no idea until it posted. I’ll have it fixed by next show.

Thanks to all that emailed me about the Glass XE16.11 issues. I showed how my Glass was bricked last night, but will talk about the replacement information today.

 

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Geek Smack: Amazon FireTV – A Real Game Changer

Before I left for Vegas and NAB, Amazon released their streaming media box in the FireTV. I got it within 24 hours to do a video review comparing the 4 streaming devices. Now I am back and more settled, I have decided to take a full week of using the product. You might be surprised what advantages you get with this new box.

First of all, I know a lot of you love your Roku. I do, too. The box is awesome for getting content – especially a lot of my shows through the Techpodcasts network.

Once I really started to use FireTV I noticed it had some advantages even over Roku.

First and foremost – if you rent movies via Prime, watching on FireTV will get you the HD version of the movie. Doing it on a Roku would only be in SD format – with a option to pay for the HD version.

I really started to notice less of a lag in video through my FireTV. Not just of the Amazon service but other services such as HuluPlus. We’re talking a very small – yet noticeable difference. Its like commercials within HuluPlus are instantly ready and queued for playback.

If you really want to see a difference, try loading a HuluPlus show on Chromecast. There are points I wait upwards to 30 seconds for a commercial. When the show starts back up, noticeable skips occur because Chromecast cannot pre-load too much content.

Switching over to games, I was playing some great titles on FireTV. The free game “Sev Zero” showed off some of the system’s graphics. I then loaded up Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for a retro feel. I was impressed how that game brought me back to the 90’s. I also suggest any game company to put their arcade hits on FireTV, for they will get a resurgence.

The real downfall is their voice activated feature. Even though Gary Busey likes it, I find it incomplete. Jennifer showed me how it really lacked wow when she spoke “Hulu Plus” then “Open” – thinking the voice activation would recognize non-search commands.

Overall, if you own a Chromecast or even AppleTV, watching video on a FireTV is a very noticeable difference. I will still be switching between Roku and FireTV because some content is not available on the device. However, with the side-loading of apps and easier developer section, It might surpass the 1,000 apps Roku had right now.


Geek Smack! episode 298 Tech News:

  • No IE – Of course a zero day issue was found, causing even the US government to say don’t use it
  • Nokia’s Direction – New CEO Rajeev Suri has a big uphill battle – giving Nokia (or whatever they will rename it) a new identity
  • Macbook Air Price Drop – Macbook Air got a new processor and $100 price drop.
  • E.T. Exhumed – 31 years ago, Atari dumped their worst game – E.T. – in a landfill. They Dig Dug it up.
  • The TWC – Charter Shuffle – If you are a Time Warner subscriber, find out if you will become a Comcast or Charter customer
  • Novell Finally Loses – In the 20 year anti-trust case between Microsoft and Novell… Wait – What?
  • Netflix on Verizon Getting Better – Netflix strikes a Comcast – similar deal with Verizon to make your movies load better
  • Sonic through Oculus – You can see 1st person version of Sonic the Hedgehog through Oculus Rift

Geek Smack! Geek News


Geek Smack! is a weekly video show and podcast that comes out every Tuesday evening. Your host: Jeffrey Powers – talks tech news, IT news and geek news for the week. Geek Smack! is ©2014 under a Creative Commons no-deriv license. The cold never bothered me anyway. If you would like more information about what is technology, recent news, Geekazine, and Jeffrey Powers, feel free to contact him. Jeffrey Powers does interviews, just ask!

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