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Amazon Fire TV User Review

  • dvdr
    Very user friendly, major flaws in video quality
    Review of Amazon Fire TV streamer by dvdr, Nov 25, 2014.
    An extremely compact, easy to set up box. It has major problems in video-quality, though. The picture itself is amazingly good, but the big CON is video stutter, caused by internal video processing. The box is stuck to a fixed framerate and does not provide framerate synchronization

    1.) The box does not provide 24p-support, BUT: Amazon itself does provide 24p content - that was also confirmed to me by Amazon's support. That leads to micro-stutter, since 24p is not supported by the box and the content has to be converted to the output-framerate of the box.
    2.) I am a european customer, so my Fire TV has a choice of 1080p50 and 1800p60 for the video output. Fire TV does NOT provide automatic content-sensitive switching. So, as Amazon's content in Europe could be 24fps, 25fps and 30fps, you always MANUALLY need to switch between 1080p50 or 1080p60 to avoid stutter, and if the content is 24fps, you are stuck with stutter, no matter what.

    Setup of Fire TV does provide an "automatic" entry, but that only checks the TV-set's capabilities and sets Fire TV to the maximum framerate supported. With modern TVs, this most of the times would be 1080p60.
    The "automatic" option does NOT include framerate synchronization, like some other streaming players (like, for example, Popcorn Hour).
    One real-world example: "Breaking Bad" is provided in two versions - the original, undubbed one and the german-dubbed one. The original version has 30fps, the dubbed version 25fps. Depending on which version you watch, you MUST MANUALLY change Fire TV's video output to 1080p50 or respectively 1080p60 to watch the video without major stutter.

    Since Fire TV has been released in Europe, there have been quite a few complaints and support-queries, but Amazon has not reacted with a firmware update.

    Bottom line: Fire TV is one of the most user-friendly boxes out there, but has major problems with delivering the content in perfect quality.
    This item was purchased for € 49.- from Amazon in 2014. The reviewer still owns this product.

    Pros

    • Easy to set up
    • Overall good picture quality

    Cons

    • Video-quality affected by firmware/processing flaws
    • no framerate synchronization
    • stuttering video output depending on content delivered

    Build Quality

    10

    Performance

    4

    Networking, Internet, Streaming quality

    9

    Features

    9

    Set up, Menus, Remote

    9

    Value for Money

    6

    Verdict

    6
    No comments have been posted on this review yet.
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