TECH

Amazon Fire TV Hands-On Review: Do You Need To Replace Your Apple TV?

03/04/2014 08:51 BST | Updated 27/10/2014 10:59 GMT

Amazon has unveiled the 'Fire TV', its new set-top box designed to turn your boring old screen into a fully connected smart TV set.

But should you get one - and is it that much different from existing boxes like the Roku, Apple TV, Now TV and Google Chromecast?

In pure specs, the box is impressive. It features a quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and a full range of ports on the back. It's very thin and will sit neatly next to your TV. The interface, meanwhile, is "incredibly image heavy" according to Engadget, with immediate video suggestions for TV shows and films you might want to watch.

amazon fire tv

Neatly the Fire TV comes with a voice complete with voice control, meaning you can search the archive and find out more about TV shows using natural speech. There's also 'FreeTime', an area of the interface cordoned off for kids that you can let them use without worrying they'll watch something they're not supposed to see.

The box has a number of other functions, too, with apps (most of the usual video fare like Netflix) and games, which will work with a dedicated game controller - including Minecraft, as well as games from studios like 2K and Ubisoft.

Unfortunately, there's currently no word on a UK release date or price, so we'll probably have to wait to see it on these shores. It will come here eventually, though, and could be an interesting proposition once it does.