Technology never works right. And video technology never works right even harder.
The Amazon 4K Fire Stick is a pretty cool bit of kit. It’s an Android device which can push 4K HDR video with surround sound to your TV. But, like any technology, it’s buggy. Here’s the bug report I’ve tried to send to Amazon and the BBC. They haven’t answered – so I’m publishing it here as well.
BBC iPlayer supplies 4K video – but the app doesn’t switch to 4K mode, it stays at 1080p.
To turn on the Fire stick’s debug mode – and get access to X-Ray – follow these instructions.
This lets you see the bandwidth being used, HDCP information, and audio/video information. Here’s a 4K presentation via Amazon’s own video player.
In the top left is the HDMI output information and bandwidth stats. On the right is the video codec data.
Within iPlayer you can opt-in to the beta programme, this gives you access to 4K content. But let’s take a look at the debug information.
4K video is being streamed at 25fps. But if we look in the top left corner, the app hasn’t switched out of 1080p @ 60fps.
The end result is a juddering rescaled mess.
So, if you or a friend works for either Amazon or the BBC, please ask them to take a look, eh?