Amazon currently sells two media streaming devices as part of its Fire TV lineup: the 2nd-gen Amazon Fire TV which sells for $90, and the 2nd-gen Amazon Fire TV Stick (which has a list price of $40, but which is currently on sale for $35).
But according to AFTV News, Amazon may be working on two new models that would replace the $90 model. One would be a mid-range model that would offer 4K video support at a lower price point, while the other would be a new high-end model with beefier graphics.
The latest clues come from a post by an app developer in Amazon’s forums, mentioning new devices with the codenames AFTN and AFTA. Benchmark results for the AFTN first appeared earlier this year, while this is the first time we’ve heard the AFTA name.
The AFTN appears to be one of the first Fire TV devices to support 4K video playback at 60 frames per second. The Fire TV 2 can handle 4K video, but only at up to 30 fps. The AFTN also supports HDR content, which the current model does not.
AFTV News notes that benchmarks indicate the AFTN may offer better video playback features… but it actually has a less powerful GPU which means it will likely be a less capable gaming device than the current model, which is nearly two years old.
We don’t know much about the AFTA, but it seems likely that it would be a pricier model with all the features of the AFTN, but a more powerful GPU that would allow it to be a true follow-up to the Fire TV 2.
Then again, it’s not like Amazon hasn’t decided to focus on price rather than bleeding edge specs before. A few years ago the company offered Fire tablets with up to a full HD display, but these days you won’t find any current-gen Fire tablets with anything better than a 1280 x 800 pixel screen. So I suppose it’s possible that both new Fire TV models will be cheaper than the current model… and less suitable for gaming.
Meanwhile blogger Dave Zatz notes that Roku will likely launch a new Streaming Stick with 4K support soon, and Apple could unveil its first 4K-capable Apple TV device as soon as next week.