Amazon's next Fire TV box is basically an Echo Dot with an HDMI port.
Amazon is planning to release two new Fire TV models before the end of 2017. As reported by AFTVnews, the new flagship Amazon Fire TV set top box will have built-in Alexa functionality and support 4K and HDR content, while Amazon is also set to release a new mid-tier dongle — essentially a cross between a scaled-down Amazon Fire TV box and Google's Chromecast — that will also support 4K and HDR.
The new Fire TV dongle features 2GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, and a 1.5GHz processor which will make it slightly less powerful than the current generation of Amazon Fire TV box, fitting in nicely between the budget Fire TV stick that isn't going anywhere and the new flagship Fire TV box.
But let's talk about the new Fire TV box, which packs the functionality of an Echo Dot (complete with the physical buttons on top and the familiar blue Alexa strip) with an upgraded Fire TV set box into a black cube casing. With built-in far-field microphones and a speaker, the Fire TV box will be able to listen and respond like any other Echo Dot would — even when the TV is off.
The new Fire TV box will support HDMI-CEC controls for powering on the TV and also includes a built-in IR blaster for older TVs that don't support the HDMI-CEC standard. This means you'll be able to control much more using just your voice and the Fire TV box, although Amazon is still including a remote with a built-in microphone as well.
Pricing and full specs for the new Fire TV box have yet to announce, but AFTVnews speculates that we'll learn more before the end of the year. Meanwhile, expect the Fire TV dongle to be formally announced by Amazon sometime later this month.