March 27, 2015
I own a Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, Xbox 360 and Amazon Fire TV. This might seem really excessive, but I don’t have cable I like to have access to as much content as possible. There is also a flaw with each of the boxes that are keeping them from being dominate.
I buy a lot of content from Amazon that I can not get out of my streaming subscription services. I have a large library and have been with the amazon ecosystem for quite some time now.
The Amazon Fire TV almost has the best set top box out of all of them. There is something just fast about the Fire that the other boxes don’t seem to have. Playing video after video just feels like snappier.
The two best features of the box seem like they are not fully complete yet. The Amazon voice search is really incredible. They recognition is really spot on. If the Echo has taught us anything is there voice technology might be the best out there. I love searching with the voice search, but it only seems to look things up in Amazon. I would love to be able to fire open that show in Hulu if I have that app installed or even if they said “on amazon” or some nod to get some content sales but still gave me the option to go to the services that I already pay for it. For those who haven’t used their voice search. If that was able to go across all of your apps and services on the box it would be a game changer. I know have queues on Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. I don’t know where things are all the time.
The other feature is Amazon’s watchlist. I add a lot of the “Prime” movies in there and anything new I might want to rent and check out later. There was a little box on one of my movies it said “watch for free on Hulu.” Its like they know we want it. My dream of one universal queue might be a possibility. But, for now I will take it.
I also but these interfaces need to go. Now, Amazon’s carousel works the best on the TV. But, this layout needs to get away from their tablets and when they try to do another phone. There is something about their design that just leaves me wanting something that gets out of my way. I know the have a mission to drive people to Amazons content. But, these are boxes that people are going to want to install apps on. They are going to want to switch content at times very quickly. I love the fact that there is gaming on here, but I feel like it should be a little more separate than lumping everything under the “apps” label.
If Amazon could open up their search and wish-lists to tap into other apps installed on the device. The Fire TV would be the best box to own hands down.
Written by John Siwicki who lives and works building interesting things. You should follow him on Twitter