The last Apple TV model was launched in January 2012 and an update was really needed. Waiting for it was worth it, because Apple paired it with a Siri remote and there are lots of applications uploaded to the Apple TV App Store which you can choose from. Amazon has been busy also, working on a new version of the Fire TV, and the new digital media player supports 4K video. If you’re undecided which device to buy, check out this comparison between their specs and features.
The Apple TV will be available in two variants: the one with 32GB of storage will cost around 150 dollars, while the 64GB variant will be 50 dollars more expensive. The Fire TV will be priced at 120 dollars and likewise its rival, it will go on sale next month.
The Apple TV 2015 will measure 98 x 98 x 33 mm, it will weight 425 grams and will be powered by an Apple dual-core A8 chip, which will be backed by 2GB of RAM. It will support a maximum output video resolution of 1080p, the two important ports will be a IR receiver and an USB-C, while the connectivity options will include Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi.
The Amazon Fire TV will measure 115 x 115 x 17.8 mm, it will be a lot lighter, weighting 270 grams, and will be powered by a MediaTek processor consisting of two cores running at 2GHz and two cores running at 1.6GHz, which will be backed by 2GB of RAM, as well. This video streamer will have a lower internal memory of 8GB, but it will support expansion up to 128GB. It will feature a USB 2.0 and will support Bluetooth 4.1 and 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi. As we were saying in the intro, the Fire TV will support 4K video (Ultra HD).
Both devices look like black boxes, but the Fire TV is longer, wider and thinner, while the Apple TV is thicker and narrower.
OS and UI
Apple developed a new OS called tvOS, which has a pretty interface and an app store from where you can download various applications. In addition, you will be able to set a HD video screensaver which will be enabled when the Apple TV will be idle. The icons of the apps and channels are easier to see and to navigate through them.
The Fire TV runs on Android, but it has a custom HTML5-based skin on top of it. The tiles have different sizes, depending on their content (movies, games, TV shows), while on the left side of the screen can be found a menu containing the search function and the settings. To navigate more easier, you will use voice commands.
The Siri Remote is so smart that it can respond to various commands. It will help you to find movies with certain actors, it will fast forward and rewind across a video, and even give you information about the weather. With the directional buttons, you can navigate through menus and with the built-in IR transmitter, you will be able to control the volume of your TV. The built-in battery which powers up the remote can be charged via the built-in Lightning connector.
The Fire TV has also a remote with voice control, so it will be very useful when searching for a TV show or movie.
Both streamers support gaming, but they are not as powerful as a genuine console. The Fire TV offers over 100 games, and the most important titles are Minecraft-Pocket Edition, The Game of Life, Asphalt 8 or Amazon’s Sev Zero. The company is collaborating with many indie game developers in order to bring more titles in the future.
The Apple TV will have many exclusive games, which will be controlled with Siri Remote’s touchpad or by third party game controllers.