Amazon's next Fire TV may double as an Echo speaker

Isaac Cain
September 11, 2017

Amazon (AMZN) is set to launch two new Fire TV devices in October, according to a report from AFTVNews on Monday. The report claims that the first of Amazon's new Fire TV streaming devices will be a dongle that hangs off of the side of the TV (similar to the Chromecast), while the second model is a cube-shaped set-top box that features far-field microphones, a built-in speaker, an LED bar and doubles as a Alexa-equipped Echo. It will aim to replace the current $100 Fire TV, which is unavailable from Amazon at the moment. Beyond the far-field microphone and LED bar, the larger Amazon Fire TV device will also have an IR emitter that will allow it to work with older TVs that don't support the HDMI-CEC standard. The new high-end device could arrive in time for the holidays but may be pushed back to early 2018.

This news comes from a report from the AFTV Fire TV news site, which states that both will offer 4K streaming.

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A previous leaked benchmark revealed that the upcoming third model will have a 1.5 GHz quad-core CPU, Mali-450 MP GPU, 2GB of RAM and presumably the same 8GB of internal storage.

But let's talk about the new Fire TV box, which packs the functionality of an Echo Dot (complete with the physical buttons on top and the familiar blue Alexa strip) with an upgraded Fire TV set box into a black cube casing. A speaker built into the Fire TV allows you to hear responses from Alexa if your television is turned off. At least the Fire TV Stick isn't going away - according to the leak, it'll continue to serve as the budget model for people who don't care about 4K or hands-off voice input. It is likely that this new top-tier Fire TV model will have additional ports and functionality not found on the new mid-tier model, like Ethernet and expandable storage, but details are unknown.

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