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  #1  
Old 04-02-2014, 11:28 AM
pjpjpjpj pjpjpjpj is offline
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Amazon Fire TV

http://www.engadget.com/2014/04/02/a...reaming-stick/
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It's powered by Android and HTML, which should make porting apps extremely simple. The device will launch with access to Hulu and Prime (obviously) but other partners will be added over time, Including Netflix, Plex, and NBA Gametime, if the demo screens are to be believed. It can pull in content from other Amazon services as well.
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  #2  
Old 04-02-2014, 03:38 PM
NetworkGuy NetworkGuy is offline
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And It works with PLEX.

I wonder if there is a way to use it as an extender?
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  #3  
Old 04-02-2014, 03:42 PM
samgreco samgreco is offline
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This one has got my attention. The fact that it is open Android and HTNL makes me very happy. And it's available now. Hmmm.
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  #4  
Old 04-03-2014, 06:58 AM
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tmiranda tmiranda is offline
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This looks promising. I generally like Amazon services. I have a Kindle and and a Kindle Fire, and both are excellent devices. The fact that this gadget can be used to play Minecraft will make my 12 year old son very happy!
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  #5  
Old 04-05-2014, 11:31 AM
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phelme phelme is offline
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I have one sitting here in its box, have yet to open it. I thought it could replace my Sony GS7 Google TV box, but the app selection for it at the moment is quite limited (thought that will change rapidly I imagine). Kinda bummed that it doesn't have a web browser out of the gate. It is encouraging though that a number of Bluetooth keyboards appear to work.

Going to read a few more user reviews before I decide what to do with it.
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  #6  
Old 04-05-2014, 02:06 PM
gtallan gtallan is offline
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I picked one up, and started playing with it last night. My streaming player to date has been a Panasonic BDT220 Bluray player which was driving me insane by its indescribable slowness, relative to my SageTV HD-200. While waiting for the Fire TV to arrive I spent a bit of time adding Plex Media Server to my NAS4Free box, and reading up on the plex-sagetv integration options.

After one night's use it does seem like a night and day difference. The speed is amazing. Also useful, it has enough memory that apps keep running, so after starting them the first time you can just switch between them without any restart wait (since last night, netflix, hulu and plex are all still there)

Most of the reviews so far are pretty superficial, as you might expect.

As expected, the voice search and most of the UI is totally biased towards selling Amazon services. I can probably learn to ignore this. It would be nice if it could be customized more (or at all). We do have subscriptions to Prime, Netflix and Hulu Plus but no desire to "buy into" any ecosystem in particular.

The voice search does pull up matches from Hulu Plus, although you do need to go into the "more ways to watch" to find it. Choosing the Hulu option does start your video playing directly rather than just starting the hulu app, as some reviews suggested. The accuracy is pretty good, but without returning netflix results it's not that useful to me.

Honestly, Plex does seem mostly superior to using the HD200 for general media playback - mainly because the UI is so fast. I never really got my media organized well enough for BMT to be happy with it, but plex managed to make more order from my chaos :-)

The HD200 is still more capable in some ways -the Fire TV can't play back high bitrate BD rips without transcoding, no 5.1 audio (from plex), things like that. Probably some of these will get fixed, the bitrate limit seems more fundamental but isn't bothering me much. I can't really say anything about the audio issues since I just play everything through a 1980's-vintage stereo anyway!

I installed the "SageTV/Phoenix Channel for Plex Media Server" by stuckless. Oddly, I couldn't configure it from the plex web ui, but was able to enter it and set username/password/etc from the firetv plex app. We only have OTA TV now, and so just a handful of things being recorded - this seems like a viable alternative to watch them vs the HD200 (though the difference is less marked than general media). We'll see what we settle down to over time.

I've only used vudu a couple of times on the BDT220 - it's missing on the firetv, though maybe it will show up sometime.

That's all I can think of for now.

Graham
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  #7  
Old 04-05-2014, 06:21 PM
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bialio bialio is offline
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I'm very curious if it will play HDHR and HD-PVR recordings without transcoding. That's my biggest issue with Roku-PLEX playback.
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  #8  
Old 04-06-2014, 03:49 PM
texneus texneus is offline
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Word on the street is it doesn't support MPG2, so HDHR (and ATSC) recordings would require transcoding. Looks like a nice device otherwise...
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  #9  
Old 04-06-2014, 05:54 PM
MattHelm MattHelm is offline
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How about high bit rate MKVs??? (I hate the idea of transcoding anything on the fly)
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  #10  
Old 04-06-2014, 08:05 PM
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phelme phelme is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texneus View Post
Word on the street is it doesn't support MPG2, so HDHR (and ATSC) recordings would require transcoding. Looks like a nice device otherwise...
hmm, thats odd. my Sony Google TV (GS7) will play them fine, using Plex (Direct Play) or ViMu. and thats a measly Marvell 1500 dual core Android box. someone will no doubt get around to supporting it.

i think i'm going to send my Fire back, unopened.
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  #11  
Old 04-07-2014, 07:54 AM
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tmiranda tmiranda is offline
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I am waiting for the controller to become available so my son can play Minecraft
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  #12  
Old 04-07-2014, 08:34 AM
MattHelm MattHelm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phelme View Post
hmm, thats odd. my Sony Google TV (GS7) will play them fine, using Plex (Direct Play) or ViMu. and thats a measly Marvell 1500 dual core Android box. someone will no doubt get around to supporting it.

i think i'm going to send my Fire back, unopened.
That's because of licensing issues. MPEG2 cost $$$$$, MPEG4 is by unit sold, only, I think. (I do know there is a HUGE price difference)
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  #13  
Old 04-07-2014, 01:42 PM
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phelme phelme is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattHelm View Post
That's because of licensing issues. MPEG2 cost $$$$$, MPEG4 is by unit sold, only, I think. (I do know there is a HUGE price difference)
I read somewhere that it was a $3-4 fee per unit.

There seems to be some talk on the XBMC forums that MPEG-2 *does* work, someone with an HDHR said they had success, so I'm not so sure now. I may have to open my box and try it myself. http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php...light=mpeg+zod

But I'm more interested in the Android TV rumors now to be frank.
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  #14  
Old 04-07-2014, 07:17 PM
emveepee emveepee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phelme View Post
hmm, thats odd. my Sony Google TV (GS7) will play them fine, using Plex (Direct Play) or ViMu. and thats a measly Marvell 1500 dual core Android box. someone will no doubt get around to supporting it.
The problem is rarely mpeg2 playback it is many devices have no or poor h/w de-interlacing and software de-interlacing usually won't work well. The 1500 with Qdeo is actually better than most, maybe even better than the Sigma Design SoC's in the HD300.

Martin
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  #15  
Old 04-07-2014, 10:10 PM
7up 7up is offline
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I plugged mine in today to replace a first gen Roku and its a nice upgrade. Not a lot of apps yet but I expect that to change given that its an Amazon device and its running Android. If you can't wait for some of your favorite apps to be officially released, you can side load them as many do work based upon early reports, including someone who claimed to have already rooted it. I suspect there will be a lot of development for this device and a month from now it will have a lot more functionality.

On a related note, did anyone see this:

http://www.theverge.com/2014/4/5/558...-is-android-tv
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  #16  
Old 04-08-2014, 05:26 AM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7up View Post
I plugged mine in today to replace a first gen Roku and its a nice upgrade. Not a lot of apps yet but I expect that to change given that its an Amazon device and its running Android. If you can't wait for some of your favorite apps to be officially released, you can side load them as many do work based upon early reports, including someone who claimed to have already rooted it. I suspect there will be a lot of development for this device and a month from now it will have a lot more functionality.

On a related note, did anyone see this:

http://www.theverge.com/2014/4/5/558...-is-android-tv
If they do it right that will be very cool.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:26 AM
7up 7up is offline
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Originally Posted by panteragstk View Post
If they do it right that will be very cool.
If Google does actually release a competing Android TV box, I'm sure it will have a larger selection of available apps/games as I would expect them to allow access to Google Play although some apps optimized for tablets/phones may not function well for use with a remote. The downside of the new Google box would be that it likely won't have an app for Amazon content, which isn't the end of the world unless you use Prime like we do. The one major differentiator they could pull out of their hat would be an overlay function to integrate online content with your existing cable or satellite content and install in between your existing STB and TV. I think but not sure the original GoogleTV may have had this function and the Xboxone supposedly has this feature. Now if we only had a SageTV extender android app...
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:09 PM
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tmiranda tmiranda is offline
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Originally Posted by 7up View Post
Now if we only had a SageTV extender android app...
Yes, I was also thinking it would be nice if this could be used as an extender for SageTV. It's Android based so it should be possible. I think the existing Android app doesn't stream due to smart phone limitations (I could be wrong on that). I wonder if FireTV has the same limitations?
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  #19  
Old 04-09-2014, 06:00 AM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7up View Post
If Google does actually release a competing Android TV box, I'm sure it will have a larger selection of available apps/games as I would expect them to allow access to Google Play although some apps optimized for tablets/phones may not function well for use with a remote. The downside of the new Google box would be that it likely won't have an app for Amazon content, which isn't the end of the world unless you use Prime like we do. The one major differentiator they could pull out of their hat would be an overlay function to integrate online content with your existing cable or satellite content and install in between your existing STB and TV. I think but not sure the original GoogleTV may have had this function and the Xboxone supposedly has this feature. Now if we only had a SageTV extender android app...
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmiranda View Post
Yes, I was also thinking it would be nice if this could be used as an extender for SageTV. It's Android based so it should be possible. I think the existing Android app doesn't stream due to smart phone limitations (I could be wrong on that). I wonder if FireTV has the same limitations?
With the FireTV being android as well I won't be all that long before someone grabs the .apk for use on other android STB's.
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  #20  
Old 04-09-2014, 06:07 AM
pjpjpjpj pjpjpjpj is offline
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Originally Posted by tmiranda View Post
I think the existing Android app doesn't stream due to smart phone limitations (I could be wrong on that). I wonder if FireTV has the same limitations?
The "Phoenix for SageTV" Android app does streaming.
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