Google's streaming television stick just got a new competitor. Amazon on Monday launched the Fire TV Stick, an HDMI device that attaches to a television screen or monitor to stream movies, TV shows, photos and other content, along with streaming services such as Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus and YouTube. The device will also connect to Amazon Instant Video, allowing users to rent or buy content directly from Amazon's site.
The Fire TV Stick, which will sell for $39, is being compared to Google's slightly cheaper Chromecast dongle, available for $35. Amazon is cutting the price to $19 for Amazon Prime members who pre-order the device before Wednesday. The company is touting the device as a follow-on to its Amazon Fire TV, a media box it began selling earlier this year.
The device features a dual-core processor, dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi, 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of storage. It also comes with a remote control, although customers can also control the Fire TV Stick with their smartphone through a free mobile app featuring the voice search capability currently employed by the Fire TV.
It will also make use of another feature first introduced on the Fire TV. ASAP, which stands for Advanced Streaming and Prediction, predicts what content users will want to watch next, and preloads the content to reduce buffering times. Media content on other Amazon devices, such as a Fire Tablet or Fire Phone, can be sent directly to the Fire TV Stick. Users are also be able to do the same with content from Android smartphones, and will soon have the ability to do so with iPhones.
The Fire TV Stick can also wirelessly mirror images from Fire tablet displays, Fire phones, and Miracast-enabled phones or tablets including devices from Motorola, Samsung, LG, and Google without any additional apps or software, according to Amazon's press release.
Another Fire TV Stick feature Amazon is promoting is its X-Ray function, a look-up feature powered by the IMDB database. Users with a Fire tablet or Fire phone can see additional information about a movie or TV show as it plays, such as cast and crew info, song names as they play, a list of music in a movie or TV show, trivia items in context with the action on the screen, and character backstories. For music, X-Ray will scroll a song's lyrics line-by-line on the display.
Although Amazon was quick to highlight the Fire TV Stick's technical specs, the company is hoping to pitch it as just one piece of a larger content ecosystem, rather than a device. "Fire TV Stick is not a gadget -- it's a seamlessly integrated service that brings together the features customers expect from Amazon," the company said.
Nonetheless, most of the services that come with the dongle will work with a variety of devices, not just Fire models. Amazon's Whispersync technology, for example, saves and synchronizes video and music libraries across multiple devices. Users can all start watching content on one device and pick up where they left off on another one, including iOS, Android and Fire OS devices.
Posted: 2015-10-07 @ 10:50am PT
How can I get it in Ghana please?