The primary Amazon Fire TV Cube was one in all our favourite media streamers, with the entire options of the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, together with a far-field microphone array and infrared emitters to allow you to use Alexa and management your private home theater solely along with your voice. The brand new, second-generation Hearth TV Dice would not attempt to tweak what the unique already does nicely. It appears to be like and features identically, and has the identical $119.99 value, however a sooner processor makes apps load far more shortly, and help for extra HDR codecs makes it much more versatile when streaming 4K HDR content material to your TV. As such, it as soon as once more earns our Editors’ Selection.
Bodily, the brand new Hearth TV Dice is an identical to the primary one. It is a three-inch dice with shiny black plastic sides and a matte black plastic high, with the entrance face denoted by a translucent strip hiding a sequence of LEDs on the highest entrance edge. The highest panel holds Alexa, quantity up/down, and microphone mute buttons, together with eight pinholes indicating the far-field microphone array. The underside panel, lifted up barely by 4 rubber ft, holds a sequence of grille holes protecting the built-in speaker. The again panel holds HDMI, micro USB, infrared blaster, and energy connectors.
The shiny sides of the Hearth TV Dice conceal an array of infrared emitters that allow the system work as a distant for any close by dwelling theater units. An included infrared blaster, a tiny black plastic dice on the top of a prolonged wire terminating in a 3.5mm plug, might be positioned wherever that the Dice itself cannot attain with its alerts.
The Hearth TV Dice options dual-band and dual-antenna MIMO Wi-Fi suitable with 802.11 a/b/c/g/n/ac. If you’d like a wired connection, that is coated, too; the micro USB port can settle for the included Ethernet adapter, letting you join the Hearth TV on to your router.
The included distant can be an identical to the one which got here with the primary Hearth TV Dice. It is a skinny, flat black plastic wand with a round course pad close to the highest, and a pinhole microphone and energy and microphone buttons above it. Menu and playback controls sit under the course pad, with a quantity rocker and mute button under them.
The Hearth TV Dice’s most notable characteristic is its far-field microphone array for hands-free Alexa use. Simply say “Alexa,” and ask a query or give a command. The Hearth TV Dice will reply with its built-in speaker, and present any associated info on the TV if it is turned on.
It may well additionally management your private home theater units immediately with its IR emitters, and your smart home devices over Wi-Fi in the event that they’re suitable with Alexa (and the overwhelming majority of main dwelling automation merchandise are).
On the media streaming facet, Hearth TV has an enormous choice of apps and companies, beginning with Amazon’s personal like Amazon Music, Audible, and Prime Video. It’s also possible to watch Crunchyroll, Hulu, Netflix, SiriusXM, Sling TV, Spotify, Tidal, Twitch, and YouTube, together with tons of of others. As well as, the Hearth TV Dice affords your selection of net browser, with each Amazon’s Silk browser and Firefox accessible.
Whereas the brand new Hearth TV Dice is nearly precisely the identical because the earlier one by way of options, it affords one notable improve in its media streaming capabilities: expanded HDR. The primary Hearth TV Dice solely accepted HDR10, whereas the brand new mannequin helps HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Imaginative and prescient, and Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG). The extra HDR codecs allow dynamic metadata in video alerts, which might enhance distinction efficiency in sure scenes.
In addition to the expanded HDR help, the one actual change the brand new Hearth TV Dice affords is an upgraded processor. The unique Hearth TV Dice had a quad-core ARM CPU with clock speeds of as much as 1.5GHz per core. The brand new Hearth TV Dice bumps that up significantly with a hexa-core ARM CPU packing 4 cores at as much as 2.2GHz and two extra cores at as much as 1.9GHz.
The primary Hearth TV Dice wasn’t significantly sluggish usually use, however the brand new mannequin blows it out of the water. The brand new CPU makes an enormous distinction in opening apps, switching between them, and navigating menus. Whereas YouTube, Verve, and Pluto TV take 4 or 5 seconds to load on the previous Hearth TV Dice, they every open in only a second or so on the brand new mannequin. Leaping between the apps and the Hearth TV’s menu can be snappy and responsive, and movies load and play shortly. It is a noticeable enchancment in efficiency.
Quicker Hearth TV
The brand new Amazon Hearth TV Dice would not attempt to repair what is not damaged. It appears to be like an identical to the earlier model, and it would not supply any vital new options apart from higher HDR help and a sooner processor. These two tweaks are welcome upgrades, although they most likely aren’t sufficient to justify changing your present Hearth TV Dice with the brand new mannequin. For those who’re seeking to improve your TV’s streaming interface, although, the second-gen Hearth TV Dice takes an already unbelievable media hub and makes it just a bit higher, incomes our Editors’ Selection within the course of.
Amazon Hearth TV Dice (2019)
The Backside Line
The second-generation Amazon Hearth TV Dice improves on the the media streaming capabilities and hands-free Alexa controls from the primary model with sooner efficiency and expanded HDR help.
Amazon Hearth TV Dice (2019) Specs
|HDR||Dolby Imaginative and prescient, HDR10|
|Platform||Amazon Hearth OS|
|Voice Assistant||Amazon Alexa|