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The Amazon Fire TV Stick sells for $49.99 on Amazon Prime and the Fire TV Cube costs $119.99 on Prime.
What do I need to know about Amazon 4K?
For years, high definition has been the gold standard for home viewing. While 1080p video still looks great today, we now have something even better. As a little back-of-the-napkin math will tell you, 4K images deliver nearly four times the pixel resolution of standard HD TVs. While a 1080p image is 1,080 x 1,920 pixels, a 4K Ultra HD screen provides 2,160 x 3,840 pixels. This means you get a sharper image and more vivid colors than ever before. Blacks are darker, colors pop off the screen, and support for 60 frames-per-second videos creates the smoothest image on the market.
The best Amazon Fire 4K channels
If youre looking for 4K action at the lowest price, no platform offers more content than Netflix. Everything the company produces is released in Ultra HD 4K, so from original movies to original series, youve got hundreds of options to choose from. Netflix has also licensed a few of its most popular third-party titles to keep viewers happy. Non-Netflix programming (like Planet Earth, Breaking Bad, Blue Planet, Better Call Saul, Ex Machina, and Ghostbusters) is currently available in Ultra HD along with the Netflix catalog. Remember, youll need a Premium Netflix membership to programming. Premium membership costs $14.99 per month.
Your standard Amazon Prime membership comes with free 4K shows and movies to watch, something that sets Prime apart from Netflix. Like Netflix, most of the 4K content streaming on Prime is from the companys studio. Amazons original films tend to be thoughtful, low budget indie projects, like the Oscar-winning Manchester by the Sea. While these films are beautiful, if youre looking for action youll want to check out Amazons series. Original shows like Jack Ryan and The Man in the High Castle provide plenty of fireworks.
3) has one of the largest libraries of free 4K content anywhere online. Youve just got to know how to find it. From music videos to web series and documentaries, YouTube is a never-ending font of content. If youre not sure how to get started, just do one of your normal searches and add 4K to your search terms. Youll be streaming jaw-dropping video in no time. Upgrade to a YouTube Premium
Vudu is the best digital rental space on Roku with a massive library of 4K movies for rental and purchase. Each week, new releases hit the store often before they hit physical locations like Red Box. Vudu users can purchase Venom, for example, a week before the Blu-ray is released. The only potential issue is that 4K titles are often only available for purchase for their initial release window. Still, purchased titles are cheaper than going to the movies. If you dont mind watching standard HD, Vudu also has a large collection of free, ad-supported movies and shows to enjoy.
4K makes movies look incredible, but its ability to bring documentaries to life cant be overstated. Curiosity Stream is a budget-priced documentary service with 2,000-plus shows available for just $2.99 per month or $11.99 per year. Topics cover everything from the underwater cave systems of Americas national parks to Mars exploration. Curiosity Stream is an affordable and educational open the door to exploring the world from the comforts of home.
If life has you stressed out, try relaxing with Spectiv’s soothing programming. For $5.99 per month, subscribers get access streams of gorgeous nature footage, ambient sounds, and peaceful imagery. Spectiv is certainly a niche service, but after testing it, we’re sold. The footage is stunning, and coupled with a good sound system. it’s a legitimately relaxing experience.
7) Apple TV+
Though it only has a small library of launch titles, independent tests have found that Apple TV+ content has the highest quality 4K streaming. Splashy launch titles like Dickinson and The Morning Show have been the talk of social media while beautifully shot projects like The Elephant Queen will show 4K in all its splendor. The current cost of Apple TV+ is , though if you own certain Apple products, you may qualify for a discount.
Boasting a massive library of titles from the Disney vault, alongside new content like The Mandalorian and the live-action reboot of Lady and the Tramp, Disney+ is already making a lot of noise despite its recent entry into the streaming wars. Monthly subscriptions are $6.99, and a bundle that offers Disney+ along with Hulu and ESPN+ is $12.99 per month.
Amazon Fire 4K cons
4K sounds like a perfect experience, but as with all emerging technologies, there are a few downsides to consider. Here are the hidden frustrations that come with Amazon Fire 4K at the moment.
1) Rental cost and availability
Services like ? Youre going to pay extra. While the standard HD package costs $11 per month, 4K Premium streaming is $14 per month. If this cost included everything on , that would be fine. But 4K is primarily limited to Netflixs original programming and a few licensed titles.
thankfully does not charge a premium for 4K content. However, it only offers original series and Amazon produced movies for free to Prime subscribers. That wouldnt be such a big deal if Amazon made action movies, but its thoughtful and meditative indie movies dont always call for Ultra HD.
3) No 4K streaming TV
Currently, there are not any streaming TV services that offer 4K content, though has tested beta versions of 4K channels. While your 4K TV will upscale standard HD content to look better than before, its not a true 4K picture without a 4K signal. Still streaming HD sports on your Roku to a 4K TV looks much better than a traditional HD image. Hopefully in 2019 4K live TV streaming will finally become a reality for .
4) Data caps
4K streaming requires a high-speed internet connection, and we mean high-speed. A standard HD video only requires a 5Mbps connection. Meanwhile, an Ultra HD 4K stream needs around a 25 Mbps connection to get the most out of your set. If your internet service provider sticks you with low speeds and data caps, 4K might require you to renegotiate your contract to enjoy fully.
What is the best 4K device for Amazon?
That all depends on your needs. If you want to optimize your television for 4K content and simply get down to watching high-quality film and TV, then the Amazon TV Stick 4K is probably the right option for you. The cost-effective option is simple to set-up and easy to use. The Amazon TV Stick 4K also now has Alexa-enabled voice commands, so you can use it with a remote or hands-free.
Some users might want a more robust option that is ideal for a user who has created a “smart home” environment. While you can set-up an Amazon TV Stick 4K to do things like controlling your lights, thermostat, and other devices, the Fire TV Cube is designed to interface with your home’s numerous devices and create a kind of leisure hub. The more robust functionality and ease of connectivity will be more than enough to justify the price hike for many users.
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