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Amazon Fire TV officially arrives in the UK next month; get a media streaming, games playing set-top box for £79

Tom Morgan
3 Sep 2014
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Pick up Amazon's streaming media player slash micro console from this evening from £79

Amazon has officially set a date for the launch of its Fire TV streaming media player in the UK, bringing the company's first set-top box across the pond from the US following an incredible few months of sales.

Capable of 1080p streaming over HDMI, as well as dolby digital surround sound over optical S/PDIF, FireTV also has dual band, dual antenna MiMo wireless for uninterrupted streaming. Combined with ASAP, a pre-loading system that looks for the types of shows you like to watch and downloads the next episode or similar shows automatically, you shouldn't ever have to wait for a stream to load or a video to buffer.

The fully integrated voice search has been adapted for British English voices, letting you search for a specific film or TV show, actor or director, or simply films based on a particular theme without typing with an onscreen keyboard. The bluetooth remote control has a built-in microphone, so you don't have to shout at the TV to start a search. According to Amazon over 92% of all the searches made on FireTV in the US are done with voice search, and the company is keen to point out how much faster it is than competing media streamers.

You can of course buy digital films or TV shows from Amazon's extensive library, but the company expects most people to start initially with video streaming. As well as US-based streaming services like Netflix, YouTube and Amazon's own Prime Instant Video, FireTV in the UK will also arrive with third party apps and services specifically catered to us brits, including Sky News and Demand 5. You'll also be able to stream live gameplay via Twitch, and access a large number of smaller services directly from the UI. There are plenty of music services too, with Amazon Music, TuneIn Radio and Spotify.

Unlike streaming only devices like Google's Chromecast or the Apple TV, FireTV is more than a streaming media player, too. With a quad-core processor and dedicated GPU, it's also a fairly competent games console, and can play using the bundled remote control or the optional Amazon game controller. There are currently several hundred optimised games, including MineCraft and Asphalt 8, which all play at 1080p at a smooth frame rate.

You can buy a FireTV streaming box directly from Amazon from tomorrow onwards for £79, and will ship from the 23rd of October. The box should arrive pre-registered to your Amazon account, meaning there's no need to set it up; simply plug in and go. Prime members will only have to pay £49, for a limited time only.

Now that you'll actually be able to buy one, we'll be bringing you a full review as soon as we get a FireTV into the office.

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