4K Ultra HD Specifications

Only Amazon Fire TV (Gen 2, Gen 3) and Fire TV Edition 4K models (not HD models) support playback of 4K UHD media. To support 4K playback, you must adhere to the supported output resolutions, DRM systems, and codecs for 4K UHD content.

Certification and Performance Testing

Apps that support Ultra HD video will be certified by Amazon to ensure they meet the required customer experience. Typically, certification takes a couple of weeks.

When you submit your app, add a note that it is 4K-enabled. Most likely in your app's description, you would already highlight to users that your app offers 4K Ultra HD media playback. But adding a manual note will also let Amazon know to apply 4K performance testing on the app during the certification process.

Resolution and Refresh Rate

The following output resolutions are supported:

Fire TV Cube
Item Details
Resolution and Refresh Rate 4K UHD at 24 fps
4K UHD at 25 fps
4K UHD at 30 fps
Full HD (1080p) up to 60 fps
HEVC 4K UHD at 60 fps
AVC up to 4K @ 30 fps
Note that specs for Fire TV (Gen 3) and Fire TV Cube are mostly the same.
Fire TV (Gen 3)
Item Details
Resolution and Refresh Rate 4K UHD at 24 fps
4K UHD at 25 fps
4K UHD at 30 fps
Full HD (1080p) up to 60 fps
HEVC 4K UHD at 60 fps
AVC up to 4K @ 30 FPs
Fire TV (Gen 2)
Item Details
Resolution and Refresh Rate 4K UHD at 24 fps
4K UHD at 25 fps
4K UHD at 30 fps
Full HD (1080p) up to 60 fps

Special Notes for Amazon Fire TV (Gen 2)

Amazon Fire TV (Gen 2) is expected to stay mostly in Full HD (1080p) mode at 60 FPS, even on TVs that support 4K UHD format. Fire TV (Gen 2) switches to 4K UHD mode only for 4K UHD content playback.

The following frame rates are recommended when playing content:

  • For Full HD (1080p) and HD (720p) content, leave the device in Full HD (1080p) 60 FPS mode and use frame rate conversion from the content’s native frame rate (as in Fire TV - Gen 1).
  • For 4K UHD content, switch to the nearest 4K UHD mode before starting playback. For example, switch to 4K UHD at 24 FPS to play 4k UHD content of 24 FPS or 23.97 FPS, switch to 4K UHD at 25 FPS to play content of 25 FPS, and switch to 4K UHD at 30 FPS to play content of 30 FPS or 29.97 FPS.
  • Initiate a mode switch only if the user enters the playback window or if the next title in the queue requires a different playback resolution / frame rate.

HDMI Mode switch

By default, Amazon Fire TV (Gen 2) operates at 1080p at 60 FPS mode even when connected to a 4K UHD TV. Hence, in order to play 4K UHD content, you must switch the TV to 4K UHD display mode. This switching between HDMI display modes is referred to as an HDMI Mode switch. The HDMI Mode switch is triggered by the application when it needs to play 4K UHD content. For more details about HDMI Mode switch, see APIs for HDMI Mode Switch (Fire TV (Gen 2) only).

Amazon Extension Library for 4K

Amazon developed an Amazon Extension Library for 4K that provides high level APIs to trigger this HDMI Mode switch and show a user-friendly overlay message before the TV starts switching the display mode. This overlay message improves the overall customer experience.

Fire TV Edition - Toshiba 4K (2018)
Item Details
Resolution and Refresh Rate 4K UHD at 24 fps
4K UHD at 25 fps
4K UHD at 30 fps
Full HD (1080p) up to 60 fps
4K UHD at 60 fps
AVC up to 4K @ 30 fps

Special Notes for Fire TV Edition 4K Models

Fire TV Edition's hardware decoder supports playback of 4K @ 60 FPS. To play 4K @ 60 FPS, the timing requirement of media pipeline is aggressive and the app may not be able to render 4K frames at 16 msec interval due to thread and process scheduling limitations of the kernel. This may result into frame drops and a sub-par movie experience. To get the best out of the hardware, use Tunnel Mode playback. For details, see Tunnel Mode Playback.

Fire TV Edition - Element 4K (2017)
Item Details
Resolution and Refresh Rate 4K UHD at 24 fps
4K UHD at 25 fps
4K UHD at 30 fps
Full HD (1080p) up to 60 fps
4K UHD at 60 fps
AVC up to 4K @ 30 fps

Special Notes for Fire TV Edition 4K Models

Fire TV Edition's hardware decoder supports playback of 4K @ 60 FPS. To play 4K @ 60 FPS, the timing requirement of media pipeline is aggressive and the app may not be able to render 4K frames at 16 msec interval due to thread and process scheduling limitations of the kernel. This may result into frame drops and a sub-par movie experience. To get the best out of the hardware, use Tunnel Mode playback. For details, see Tunnel Mode Playback.

DRM Systems

The following DRM solutions are supported:

Fire TV Cube
DRM Feature Version
Playready PlayReady 3.0
Widevine Widevine L1/L3
HDCP HDCP 2.2
Fire TV (Gen 3)
DRM Feature Version
Playready PlayReady 3.0
Widevine Widevine L1/L3
HDCP HDCP 2.2
Fire TV (Gen 2)
DRM Feature Version
Playready PlayReady 2.5
Widevine Widevine L1/L3
HDCP HDCP 2.2
Fire TV Edition - Toshiba 4K (2018)
DRM Feature Version
Playready PlayReady 2.5
Widevine Widevine L1/L3
HDCP HDCP 2.2
Fire TV Edition - Element 4K (2017)
DRM Feature Version
Playready PlayReady 2.5
Widevine Widevine L1/L3
HDCP HDCP 2.2

Codecs

The following codecs are supported:

Fire TV Cube
Item Details
Supported Codecs MediaCodec that supports HEVC main10 L5.1 profile and HDR10 color space

MediaCodec that supports H.264 High Profile up to Level 4.1
Fire TV (Gen 3)
Item Details
Supported Codecs MediaCodec that supports HEVC main10 L5.1 profile and HDR10 color space

MediaCodec that supports H.264 High Profile up to Level 4.1
Fire TV (Gen 2)
Item Details
Supported Codecs MediaCodec that supports HEVC main L5 profile

MediaCodec that supports HEVC main10 L5 profile (The output will be in 8-bit Rec 709 color space for both 8-bit and 10-bit color input.)
Fire TV Edition - Toshiba 4K (2018)
Item Details
Supported Codecs MediaCodec that supports HEVC main and high profiles up to L5.1

MediaCodec that supports HEVC main10 L5 profile The output will be in 8-bit Rec 709 color space for both 8-bit and 10-bit color input.

(10-bit color input is supported by the codec, but the output does not support 10-bit output.)
Currently, 10-bit HEVC support on Fire TV Edition has known issue. The issue will be fixed in an upcoming release.
Fire TV Edition - Element 4K (2017)
Item Details
Supported Codecs MediaCodec that supports HEVC main and high profiles up to L5.1

MediaCodec that supports HEVC main10 L5 profile The output will be in 8-bit Rec 709 color space for both 8-bit and 10-bit color input.

(10-bit color input is supported by the codec, but the output does not support 10-bit output.)
Currently, 10-bit HEVC support on Fire TV Edition has known issue. The issue will be fixed in an upcoming release.

Input/Output Color Formats

The following color specs are supported:

Fire TV Cube
Item Details
Input Color Formats / Output Color Formats 8-bit Rec. 709 (HEVC Main profile L5) / 8-bit Rec. 709
10-bit Rec. 709 (HEVC Main10 profile L5) / 10-bit Rec. 709
10-bit Rec. 2020 (HEVC Main10 profile L5) / 10-bit Rec. 2020
Fire TV (Gen 3)
Item Details
Input Color Formats / Output Color Formats 8-bit Rec. 709 (HEVC Main profile L5) / 8-bit Rec. 709
10-bit Rec. 709 (HEVC Main10 profile L5) / 10-bit Rec. 709
10-bit Rec. 2020 (HEVC Main10 profile L5) / 10-bit Rec. 2020
Fire TV (Gen 2)
Item Details
Input Color Formats / Output Color Formats 8-bit Rec. 709 (HEVC Main profile L5) / 8-bit Rec. 709
10-bit Rec. 709 (HEVC Main10 profile L5) / 8-bit Rec. 709
10-bit Rec. 2020 (HEVC Main10 profile L5) / 8-bit Rec. 709
Fire TV Edition - Toshiba 4K (2018)
Item Details
Input Color Formats / Output Color Formats 8-bit Rec. 709 (HEVC Main profile L5) / 8-bit Rec. 709
10-bit Rec. 709 (HEVC Main10 profile L5) / 8-bit Rec. 709
10-bit Rec. 2020 (HEVC Main10 profile L5) / 8-bit Rec. 709

(10-bit color input is supported by the codec, but the output does not support 10-bit output.)
Fire TV Edition - Element 4K (2017)
Item Details
Input Color Formats / Output Color Formats 8-bit Rec. 709 (HEVC Main profile L5) / 8-bit Rec. 709
10-bit Rec. 709 (HEVC Main10 profile L5) / 8-bit Rec. 709
10-bit Rec. 2020 (HEVC Main10 profile L5) / 8-bit Rec. 709

(10-bit color input is supported by the codec, but the output does not support 10-bit output.)

Power Consumption

Power consumption varies by app and device. For example, Fire TV Edition draws most of its power through the screen, and the max power consumption depends on the screen size and brightness. You can calculate out the max power according to size using the formula "Power < 0.12 x Amps + 25 Watts". In general, you can get a good idea of power consumption by looking at the CPU and GPU utilization from System X-Ray in the Developer Tools.

If the power consumption from your app exceeds the limits for the Fire TV device, Fire TV will throttle the performance of your app. If throttling is not enough to reduce the power consumption, Fire TV resets the system.

To measure power consumption on Fire TV Stick, run your app about 10 minutes before taking a measurement. For Fire TV, run the app for at least 30 minutes before taking the power measurement. Your power measurement can continue for 5 minutes.

See Identifying Amazon Fire TV Devices for more details.