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Kindle Fire HD: HDMI Out Video Quality?

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Showing 1-25 of 62 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 24, 2012 6:35:42 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 24, 2012 6:38:56 AM PDT
I picked up a cheap HDMI to HDMI micro cable at Best Buy to test the HDMI out on the Kindle Fire HD.

I tested playing a couple of HD movies from Amazon Prime (True Grit and Into the Wild). Both of these movies look fantastic on the Kindle Fire HD. However, when viewing on the an HDTV, the quality of the video is not that good. It's not nearly as sharp as an HD program via Direct TV for example. The picture is kind of washed out and not very clear.

I also noticed that the audio is not being output as Dolby Digital 5.1. I was hoping that it was.

Has anyone had any luck getting great picture quality when using the HDMI out? Or in getting Dolby 5.1 sound output.

Note: I tried it on 2 TV's (One 50 inch Samsung 1080P Plasma and also on a 37 inch Panasonic 720P Plasma). Similar results on both. Maybe it's the cheap "Rockfish" cable I picked up at Best Buy to test with? Maybe I'm missing a setting somewhere? I was hoping for typical HD quality picture when using the HDMI out.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2012 7:09:06 AM PDT
S. Prewitt says:
Thanks for the info. I did a quick web search and couldn't find what HDMI resolution Amazon promises. Hopefully other forum members will know.

Posted on Sep 24, 2012 7:52:15 AM PDT
Doug - I ran a quick test with my Fire HD connected to a Samsung TV via HDMI and I had similar results with HD video. It seemed to me that the video was defaulting to Standard Definition (SD) when played through the cable. I didn't test any further because the TV by itself can play Amazon Prime but it would have been nice to have the Fire HD be capable of playing HD content via HDMI. I haven't found any information regarding the Fire HD's HDMI capabilities - hopefully Amazon will publish something on it soon

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2012 1:35:03 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 24, 2012 1:35:51 PM PDT

Now that you mention it, the video quality that I'm seeing on my HD TV's when using the HDMI does look more like "SD" than "HD" (even when watching an HD movie on amazon prime). I did find a thread on "XDA developers" forum discussing this and they seem to conclude the Kindle Fire is sending out HD via the HDMI port. I'm no expert in this area, but what I"m seeing looks more like SD than HD (ie on the TV....not on the Kindle Fire HD). The playback on the Kindle Fire HD looks fantastic.

Link to XDA Developers forum:

Anyway, I was hoping for better performance through the HDMI port. From the quality of the output I'm seeing, I'd likely never use this option.

Posted on Oct 17, 2012 8:12:41 AM PDT
So how do you get this to work on TV? My TV says 'no signal" I've tried looking for setting on Kindle and TV to tweak to no avail!

Posted on Oct 17, 2012 10:24:39 AM PDT
Try looking for the input settings. Should come up on the TV screen as HDMI1 or HDMI2. Select each one to see if you get a signal from one of them.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 17, 2012 6:41:39 PM PDT
I've done that- nothing

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 17, 2012 7:23:54 PM PDT
Hmm, I'd say you're doing something wrong in your set-up, though I can't suggest what it might be based on the info you've given here. Based on my experience with other devices connected to our Plasma via HDMI, as well as based on current reviews of the KFHD's HDMI output to televisions, the quality of the image/video playback should be fairly exceptional, not washed out or unclear.

Posted on Nov 23, 2012 11:35:18 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 26, 2012 10:51:19 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 10:45:50 AM PST
Rick Hunter says:
What current reviews? Positive ones? None here. From your sentence construction, it looks like your first hand experience is with other devices only.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2012 11:56:32 AM PST
I connect my Kindle Fire HD to the TV with HDMI and it will display what's on the Kindle, including Youtube videos. But when I tried to play an Amazon movie I downloaded, I got a message that there was a problem with the HDMI cable. Any ideas!

Posted on Dec 25, 2012 8:24:39 AM PST
Chris Wilson says:
So just got three kindle fire hds for christmas and was expecting to get HD output to take advantage of my amazon prime account on the main TV/entertainment center this morning. Well, I ran the micro hdmi to hdmi cable from the kindle's port to the back of my AV tuner and experienced the same problem that others were noticing in the discussion above. SD video quality and no dolby digital sound. This is kind of a bummer, tried two separate titles (Christmas Vacation and Rango) with the same results. Outside of reading books this was one of the main reasons I was attracted to this product. You would kind of expect that with an HDMI output you would have both. I think that it is misleading and amazon should note that in their product literature when pointing out the micro hdmi port on this unit (that it's good for standard video and sound only).

Posted on Dec 25, 2012 8:34:55 AM PST
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Dec 25, 2012 7:15:02 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 25, 2012 7:15:36 PM PST
Will it work with HBO GO?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 25, 2012 8:47:46 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 25, 2012 9:17:27 PM PST
Christopher and Doug,
My 7" and 8.9" Kindle Fire HDs do get HD quality on my LG HDTV (it's just a 720p one, with 1080i possible).

It depends, though, on the quality of your WiFi hookup, the speed of it, and stability and how many others are sharing that WiFi when you're using Kindle Fire to get Net data.

People on DSL will tend to have trouble streaming well the HD movies unless the connection's very fast. Comcast cable averages 20-25 Mbps but DSL promises only 6 MBps, and that's more like peak speeds.

I took a picture of my tv showing an ABC TV episode on my KFire HD and it fills the screen (a lot depends on your TV as well as the WiFi) and is clearer than the SD on the TV and DVDs. I have a sample at

It can all be nitpicky on which HDMI input you're using on the HDTV. Mine went onto what is used as HDMI 2 input but it was reported as HDMI 1 and once I got that clear, it was fine. Your remote is used to choose the 'input' you want shown.

A reader wrote that he was at a hotel and hooked his KFire HD up to the hotel room's HDTV and was able to stream Amazon Prime Instant (which I thought wasn't possible and I haven't tried it yet myself).

Doug, I wouldn't count on a cheap cable in this case. I mean, good ones with a rep are only $6 to $10 anyway (on Amazon).

Hope things work out for you on these while it's still close to Christmas day...

- Andrys

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 25, 2012 8:52:47 PM PST
It should. Hulu Plus is the only service I'm sure of that won't work with the HDMI out due to digital rights management issues.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 25, 2012 9:15:57 PM PST
You might try turning off the TV, removing the cable or whatever and any HDMI inputs going in, temporarily. Run the KFire's HDMI-Out to HDMI 1 and then turn on the TV. If still not working, power off the Kindle Fire. Then turn it back on.

At least you can establish that way if the cable works when it's the only one going in. This assumes a good cable (Amazon rate some cables pretty poor).

- Andrys

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 25, 2012 9:34:58 PM PST
R. D. Clark says:
I believe HBO/Cinemax Go are also blocked at the HDMI output, although this may vary depending on which cable provider you authorize your app through. With Comcast and Time/Warner, I believe it's HDMINoGo. These are the same providers that block Go on the Roku; they simply want nothing but a cable box sending premium content to your TV.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 25, 2012 9:37:41 PM PST
I'll have to test HBO GO next time I connect my HD to the TV.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2012 8:52:18 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 26, 2012 8:54:32 AM PST
Chris Wilson says:
I have a fast Wifi connection (wireless N dual band) with verizon fios, last time I speed tested it, it was about 40 mb/s down and 35 up, so my connection speed is not to blame. I looked at it again after my post above and the video was playing back at less than blue ray quality but better than SD, so its comparable to other on demand HD content. The real issue is the sound quality. I've got a pioneer elite that I'm running the HDMI into and it automatically decodes a bunch of different digital audio content (about ten different styles, Master HD, DTS, etc.). The display will indicate which style is coming through, for example with regular on-demand or cable movies I get "Dolby Digital" and the Dolby symbol in the display. When I stream HD movies from the Kindle Fire HD it does not do this (displays "Stereo"), which means no Dolby Digital Sound coming out of my system. So the result is a less rich sounding movie experience than what I can get from even a regular DVD. So, I challenge the amazon folks to come up with a firmware update to fix this or tell me to give up as it's a hardware issue. Seems weird that I'm not getting good digital sound through an HDMI connection since this is what it's designed for, which leads me to think that it's a software/firmware issue.

Posted on Dec 26, 2012 9:25:46 AM PST
Christopher, the Dolby is for the small speaker system on the Kindle Fire itself, from what I've read, and is not meant for sending-along to the HDTV.

- Andrys

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2012 10:07:57 AM PST
R. D. Clark says:
Christopher, you're streaming to the Fire, which is a 2-channel device. Many streaming services send only the necessary data for the receiving device, to conserve bandwidth. So either you will receive only two audio channels, or the Fire will process only the two audio channels it can receive. Either way, the HDMI out from the Fire will contain only two channels.

The same content, received on, say, a Roku, would probably have a multichannel audio stream assuming one is available.

Posted on Dec 26, 2012 3:34:32 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 26, 2012 3:35:43 PM PST
a says:
please link to the hdmi cable for kindle hd on amazon. I can`t seem to find the right one. Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2012 4:31:10 PM PST
Anthony, there are several cables with good ratings from Kindle owners if you search the product pages for "microhdmi cable" ...

The one I chose to buy was a Bluerigger one, which I do link to in the blog article I mentioned. It's the only one I know works well because it's the only one I tried. But you'll see on the product pages many more with very good ratings (and some with not very good ratings).

- Andrys

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2012 4:47:10 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 26, 2012 4:47:56 PM PST
Chris Wilson says:
Ok, so you say it's a hardware issue in that the Fire can only process the 2-channels. I have amazon instant videos on the X-box and have not tried that connected to an A/v tuner with a dolby digital decoder so I can't say whether or not the HD content that streams from Amazon streams with HD audio. I have had similar issues with other internet based streaming video providers where the video approaches blue ray quality but the sound is not (i.e. 2-channel). Still have a problem with Amazon advertising Dolby Digital if the Kindle can only process 2-channels worth of audio, to me Dolby Digital represents the full breadth of sound with at least 5 channels. I'm still thinking that this can be solved on the software side, after all it's just data and bandwidth......and I have plenty of bandwidth.
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  42
Total posts:  62
Initial post:  Sep 24, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 25, 2014

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