We’re today spoiled with unnaturally intelligent companions. It started for talking to others with our phones, which were once used but are often discussed to nowadays send texts and to set times. Afterward computers and tablets joined the discussion.
The latest model of the Amazon Fire TV is the first leading streaming media player to harness an AI brain in the cloud to enhance your experience in the living room. On top of faster processors and 4K output, Amazon packed its digital helper, Alexa, into the box that was streaming. She powers voice searches and enables you to look up information like traffic, weather, sports scores and trivia.
But based on our testing of the device, Alexa still has a ways to really go on the TV screen. At the moment, she seems like a little layer built on top of the heart encounter that is flowing. She can’t like place timers do all that she can on the Amazon Echo or play the newest news, and she occasionally gets in the way of hunting by striving to be too smart.
For example, when trying to search for the TuneIn radio program, she jumps in to play with the last thing you were listening to on TuneIn, but the program itself doesn’t launch.
To seek out the app, I needed to type it in by scrolling around an onscreen keyboard together with the direction pad — a slow and frustrating experience that should be solved with voice control.
She additionally isn’t quite as smart as some other virtual assistants. The identical question to Siri returned exactly what I was looking for, although she didn’t understand my question about the past Blackhawks score. Additionally, hunting for “Friends” didn’t return the NBC sitcom until the fourteenth result, nicely after My Best Friend’s Wedding and a group of Barney episodes.
I assume that, just like Siri, Alexa will learn more commands over time, but right now she fails at a number of the very easy questions.
That’s not to say Alexa is worthless. She’s excellent for checking the score of a game you’re finding out the weather, not watching and checking out some of the most recent trivia. The ability to add to your shopping and to-do lists is nice as well, although I’d preferably have the capability to play the news. Much of the gain Alexa offers over Amazon’s previous voice search technology can also be carried through with your phone, which you could be more comfortable talking to if you’re a regular Siri, Cortana or Google Now user.
Another bummer about the Fire TV is the fact that it doesn’t have the outstanding 7-microphone array that the Echo offers. That means you’re stuck holding the remote up to your face every time you would like to speak to Alexa.
I use up the great majority of my video content through the Xbox One, and am often discussing to it to stop, change volume and find content. The benefit of not needing to locate the remote when you need to take a toilet break or turn down the volume during a particularly loud gun fight in an action movie is tremendous, and Amazon could have brought that to the Fire TV with Alexa.
At just $99 for the Fire TV, I can understand why the business left out some of these characteristics, but nevertheless, it would have been fine to see Amazon step up with a premium product that used their already developed mic technology. You ’re stuck wiping the popcorn grease from your fingers when you should play with the next episode. And you need a remote that is second to alter the volume.
While the Fire TV is a letdown in regards to voice-controlled interaction, it is excellent in other areas. The WiFi remote doesn’t require a line of sight, so you can conceal away the Fire TV on a busy media center.
As well as the speeds are wild rapid, quick loading times and enabling simple animations. Amazon’s new high efficiency video coding, which makes it smoother to stream 4K content, additionally makes 1080p content look great and load fast, especially when joined with Amazon’s ASAP pre-bringing service that begins loading content it thinks you’ll play next.
And with 4K streaming, it’s a future-proof device even in the event you don’t have an Ultra HD TV right now.
Or you also can wait for reviews of the Apple TV, which might be a little smarter in regards to finding streaming content.