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Amazon Launches Web Browser For Fire TV ( 61

An anonymous reader shares a report: You'll never convince me that using an internet browser on a television set is anything but awkward and bad, but if for whatever reason you've been waiting to browse the web on Amazon's Fire TV devices, the company has answered that call. The Amazon Silk browser, which already comes on Fire tablets, is now available for Amazon Fire TV set-top boxes, sticks, and Fire TV Edition HDTVs. You can download it from the app store on supported devices. For now, as noted by AFTVnews, support is limited to first- and second-gen Fire TV boxes and the second-gen Stick -- plus the Westinghouse/Element 4K TV that runs Amazon's Fire TV software as its operating system. The most recent Fire TV released this fall can't yet run the Silk browser; Amazon says an update due in December will fix that.
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Amazon Launches Web Browser For Fire TV

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    but a lean, mean, spying machine that offloads processes to amazon's "cloud" (i.e. all traffic goes through amazon), not so browsers can run better on shitty hardware, but so they can see *everything you do*. no wonder amazon wants to get its "browser" up and running on these devices.

  • > The most recent Fire TV released this fall canâ(TM)t yet run the Silk browser...

    I'm wondering what unfortunate twist of software turned the word "cannot" into "canâ(TM)t"? It seems like an implausible replacement.

  • Wowzers! It's a ... WebTV ... updated for 2017!
  • Feels like 1996 [] all over again (WebTV). Then again it could be 2007 [] all over again(Wii). From WebTV to Wii there seems to be a trend of announcing the internet in your living room every 10 years. I guess if you go 10 years before WebTV(1996) you run into Ceefax [], ExtraVision [], and Telidon [].

  • by darkain ( 749283 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2017 @01:57PM (#55644533) Homepage

    With the right devices, browsing on a TV is actually just fine. At my house, we have an AndroidTV box with an "airmouse" attacked. It acts as a gyroscopic mouse, similar to how a Wii Remote controls a cursor on the screen. On the back side, there is a full QWERTY keyboard. For a living room environment to load up the usuals on the TV, that being OTA TV, YouTube, or other streaming services, this is actually quite a good experience for navigation. If Amazon had a better remote, this would be a decent experience, probably.

    • On the back side, there is a full QWERTY keyboard. For a living room environment [...] this is actually quite a good experience for navigation.

      I bet you live in Australia.

  • You'll never convince me that using an internet browser on a television set is anything but awkward and bad

    I've been using Waterfox for Android and a Logitech K400 wireless keyboard and it rocks! Perhaps it isn't the TV or the browser that is awkward and bad? I will admit though that every other browser I've tried (Chrome, Opera, Firefox) all felt a little off for one reason or another.

  • ..and again, and again, ad infinitum. They keep trotting this out, and it keeps falling flat on it's face. When will they learn?
    • Are you sure it is failing? Most of the internet is being concentrated into a few larger providers, carrier grade NAT is making the internet unidirectional, and net neutrality is coming to an end.

      • The problem is it's usually not upgradeable, and if you're talking about a web browser on anything in 2017, that's essential to it's continued usefulness. Also, in 2017, nothing is really ever 'write protected', so there will inevitably be some zero-day or other exploit that will have to be patched. Assuming it's upgradeable, think about how proactive manufacturers are about upgrading software/firmware on appliance-type devices.
  • Does the browser support full screen porntube?

  • Major problem with it is the input, and if you have solution to that, be it bluetooth keyboard or a TV with cool remote like LGs, well, where is the issue?

    I actually... listen to music like that (radio swiss jazz site). My TV is also capable of switching off screen, while playing audio.

  • First off it is silk, so meh. From what I can tell there's no multi-tab support. You can choose between bing, google or yahoo as search engines. You can turn on do not track and turn off javascript but there's no adblock. bloated sites can slow it down or lock it up, an example is CNN video. The browser's own search/bookmarks/info menu has links to cnn video. embedded youtube works fine. Even if you have a keyboard paired you'll still need the remote to click on links. It doesn't work well for long text entry because the on-screen keyboard stays up even if you're using a bluetooth one. so editing a post or say a webmail will be frustrating. Navigation uses a cursor style approach which works better than the hotspot centric approach the old WebTV's used. There's a text scaling option which you might need if you sit far away. There's no gopher support, I checked. As a TV web browser I would rate it slightly higher than the old webtv, I'll write more in depth about comparisons in another post. I wouldn't rate the experience as well as say the PS4's browser, which has multiple window support and doesn't show the OSK when typing in a text entry field. And it most certainly isn't as good as say a 10 tablet running chrome with a bluetooth keyboard. But it IS a web browser on your TV, which some people might find useful.

    • Yeah, I know it's not good form to reply to one's own post, but I wanted to add further commentary since my first internet access device was a WebTV so I'm probably a bit more familiar with the quirks of browsing on TV's than most.

      Navigation is a killer when browing on TV's. WebTV's hotspot-arrow-key navigation was fine for simple sites in the early days of the net, but complex sites were difficult. Some would have a huge number of tiny hotspots to move between. So Silk using a mouse-ish pointer controll

      • The fire stick is pathetic by modern standards, so no matter what I'd never expect a good browsing experience out of it. You can however sideload bluetooth settings, and pair a normal mouse and keyboard. However, if you're going to go to all that trouble, why not also sideload Brave?

    • There's no gopher support, I checked.

      Gopher as in the hypertext protocol preceding the web?

      Does it support <blink> and <marquee>?

  • Makes it easier to use the stick in a hotel HDMI port on Wifi to enter my name and room number without streaming from my mobile device.
  • Remember the term "surfing"? That's not what you're trying to do when you use a web-browser on your TV. This is for things like connecting your plex account to the plex app you just installed, or being able to hand off sites from your kindle to the big screen to show the family without a lot of fussing about and transferring stuff.

    This isn't a new browser, it's the kindle/alexa ecosystem browser becoming available on a kindle/alexa ecosystem device, so the "PRAAHVAHCY!" response to this smacks of knee-to-th

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