The Fire TV home screen might look a lot different to cord-cutters next month

Amazon Fire TV users will start seeing a major change on their streaming players next month, as Amazon rolls out its biggest interface overhaul in more than four years.

The new Fire TV experience has been available on Amazon’s third-generation Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite since December, but Sandeep Gupta, Amazon’s VP and GM for Fire TV, said in an interview that more devices will start getting the update in March. Those include the Fire TV Stick 4K, first- and second-gen Fire TV Cube, and the pendant-shaped Fire TV.

With the update, Amazon is trying to simplify its formerly chaotic menu system with fewer redundant sections and easier ways to browse for content. The new interface also adds system-wide user profile support, so that each family member can have their own personalized home screen.

“It’s a massive change in navigation model, in discovery, and everything else, and we wanted to make sure that customers got it, understood it, and liked where it’s going before we rolled it out to everyone,” Gupta said.

It’s certainly an improvement over the previous interface, but as I’ve found from using it myself, it also preserves a few of the Fire TV’s old frustrations.

See what’s streaming

With the new interface, Amazon has tried to rein in some of the sprawl that made Fire TV devices tough to navigate. Whereas Fire TV devices used to have separate top-level menus for free content, movies, TV shows, and apps, the new interface consolidates all those sections into one menu, called “Find.”

firetvfind Jared Newman / IDG

With the “Find” section, Amazon has pared four menus down to a single hub for finding things to watch.

That leaves just four main areas for navigation, including the Home section, the Library for video purchases and watchlist items, a Live section for linear video streams, and Find.

At the same time, Amazon has found more places in which to cram recommendations. Your six favorite apps now sit right next to the Fire TV’s top-level menus, and they can each suggest movies and shows to watch when you scroll over them. The aforementioned Find menu also has new genre-based categories, such as Drama, Westerns, and Comedy Movies.

Source Article