Though the concept of a smart TV evolved differently than many manufacturers expected, the functionality of a connected TV has found a vibrant niche in set-top boxes and removable dongles. Google has seen strong sales with its versatile Chromecast, Roku remains an established player on the scene, and Amazon came roaring into the market a couple years ago with the Fire TV.
For 2017, Amazon is planning two new Fire TV models that have been detailed in a leak from AFTVnews. The first is a dongle with a permanent HDMI cable, much like the Chromecast. This model is the mid-tier device of the Fire TV series and will not replace the existing Fire TV Stick. Specifications include a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, Mali-450 MP GPU, 2GB RAM, and 8GB internal storage.
The second device is a set-top cube that will serve as the flagship model of the Fire TV series. Features of this model include far-field microphones, a built-in speaker, and Alexa technology with an LED light bar to match other Alexa devices, like the Echo Dot. A voice remote will also be included.
The flagship model will also include an IR emitter that will provide hands-free voice control for TVs that don’t support the HDMI-CEC standard.
The mid-tier Fire TV dongle is expected to retail between $60-$80. The flagship Fire TV set-top unit is expected retail for $100+.
Stay tuned for more news regarding Amazon’s upcoming Fire TV models.