Amazon has announced the UK's first Ultra HD streaming box, delivering 4K content from Netflix and the company's own Prime Video to all compatible televisions. The box is visually the same as the model it replaces, will cost £79.99 when it goes on sale on 5 October, and can be pre-ordered now.
The Fire TV box has access to an ecosystem of more than 3,000 apps and games, putting it in a healthy position to take on the upcoming fourth-generation Apple TV, which for the first time will have its own iOS -style App Store.
Ultra HD content will be possible for anyone with a compatible television with a 4K resolution, an Amazon Prime account (although many films still cost extra), and an internet connection of at least 15Mbps.
Amazon says over 100 pieces of 4K content will be available from 5 October, although this includes individual TV episodes. Ultra HD content includes award-winning shows like Transparent, Better Call Saul, and Orphan Black, and movies such as Captain Phillips, Men in Black 3, and Money Ball.
The Fire TV's Wi-Fi connection has been boosted to the newer 802.11ac format, providing extra bandwidth and ensuring 4K content is delivered smoothly from your router to the set-top box itself. It is then carried across a regular HDMI cable to your television and (optionally) over an optical cable to your sound system. An Ethernet port is also included, which we would recommend you use if it's practical to do so.
Amazon says its new Fire TV is 75% more powerful than the outgoing model, thanks to a 2GHz quad-core processor, and there is now a microSD card slot for adding up to an additional 128GB of storage.
A new remote control now talks to the box over Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth and is more power efficient than before. Amazon claims the remote will last for one year on the pair of included AAA batteries. The remote, which includes a microphone to search for films and TV shows using your voice, is now available for the first time with the Fire TV Stick, a device which plugs directly into the HDMI port of your TV and now costs £44.99.