Amazon's new Fire TV Stick, a challenge to Chromecast
After Amazon's success with Fire TV (which really is beautiful, fast and smooth, with a burst of new apps recently -- over 600 now), Amazon has added the FIRE TV STICK" - a portable unit that attaches to any HDMI port of an HDTV.
And to bring it to our attention in a big way, this $39 item will be $19 for the next two days only (US only, currently), for new and existing Prime members.
Amazon adds that "Eligible customers get a free 30-day trial of Netflix and Amazon Prime when they purchase Fire TV Stick."
In addition, per Amazon's Press Release, Amazon states: Customers who are new to Prime can sign up for a free trial and also receive this special price. That statement is not seen on the product page but is an important point.
As of late Monday night, Amazon changed its initial "two per customer" to "one per customer." I've had a lot of inquiries about the stick, so that doesn't surprise me.
Here's a quick look at Amazon's comparison chart for the FireTVStick. (See the larger comparison chart in the Amazon product page's popup.)
There will be a free Remote App for Fire and Android (and arriving later, for iOS), which will make Voice Searches possible without the optional Voice remote.
TIP: If you do order the optional Voice Remote, some report that their dogs are attacted to it, so keep them higher, out of reach of pets.
Here's info on how the unit is set up and ways to control it with mobile devices if you don't get the Voice remote control
Some runaway capabilities of the FireTVStick:
1. It has a dual-core processor over the others' single-core processor so will be noticeably faster.
2. It has twice the memory of the other two and will be smoother during processing of streams.
3. The storage is 8 GB versus the 2 GB of the Chromecast and the 256K of the Roku sticks.
4. Those with the FireTV will know how easy the VOICE Search is vs typing in alpha letters.
5. FireTVStick has Dolby Digital Plus certified surround sound feature.
6. It has an optional game controller (sold separately then) and has over 200 games to less than 30 for the Chromecast and less than 100 for the Roku stick.
The Chromecast is at a disadvantage to the other two, even further, as it
1. doesn't have the Dual-band/Dual Antenna WiFi capability
2. doesn't have Amazon Instant Prime.
However, Amazon doesn't yet have HBOGo, though it was mentioned as coming, some time ago. Until that happens, those having Fire tablets can Mirror to the FireTVStick for the HDTV what is on them (HBOGo is an official app for these). But then this can be done with the FireTVStick with other tablets and phones. Amazon's product page emphasizes:
' Use your iOS or Android device to fling music and movies to your HDTV—and control playback—from apps like YouTube and Spotify. Or, share movies, TV shows, music, and photos from your compatible tablet or phone with everyone in your living room using display mirroring. What you see on your Fire OS or Android device is exactly what you’ll see on your big screen. 'Another important feature is Amazon's ASAP for instant streaming. "No more waiting for your movies and shows to buffer—ASAP learns what movies and shows you like so they start instantly."
Amazon emphasizes its ecosystem, which has "over 200,000 TV episodes and movies, millions of songs, and hundreds of games. Amazon's press release highlighted the following:
' ... Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu, WatchESPN, NBA Game Time, Prime Music, Pandora, Spotify, and more for instant access to shows like Transparent, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Game of Thrones, and The Wire—plus the largest selection of movies and TV episodes to rent or buy from Amazon Instant Video. '
I already have the FireTV but have wanted something for my computer room and of course a more portable version that I can take to friends' homes to easily share my own video-streaming favorites and watchlists. While the HDMI Cable on the old Kindle Fire HD 8.9" tablet from 2012 could be used to attach to hotel TVs, Amazon has this info box:
' Coming soon -- take Fire TV Stick with you to use with HDTVs in hotels, college dorms, airports, or anywhere with captive portal Internet access that requires entering a password or a log-in. '
At any rate, I will end this here so more will know right away about Amazon's aggressive 2-day intro rate
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