Amazon unveiled Fire TV Stick, a media streaming HDMI stick, to take on Google’s hugely popular Chromecast and Apple’s Apple TV.
Just like Chromecast, Fire TV Stick will allow users to plug it into the HDMI port of their television to stream multimedia content from Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, low-cost movie rentals, live and on-demand sports, music, photos, games, and more.
Amazon’s Fire TV Stick is powered by a dual-core processor with 1GB RAM, and comes with 8GB built-in storage and dual-band/dual-antenna MIMO Wi-Fi. You can control it using a remote control or using the Fire TV Remote app that will be available for Amazon’s Fire phone, Android phones and the iPhone. Amazon points out that its Fire TV Stick has 50% more processing power and 2x the memory of Chromecast; and it has 6x the processing power, 2x the memory, and 32x the storage of Roku Streaming Stick.
“Fire TV Stick is the most powerful streaming media stick available—a dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage, dual-band and dual-antenna Wi-Fi, included remote control, voice search with our free mobile app, easy set-up, an open ecosystem, and exclusive features like ASAP for instant streaming,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “The team has packed an unbelievable amount of power and selection into an incredible price point—Fire TV Stick is just $39.”
Fire TV Stick also supports third-party apps, and gives access to popular video and music services such as Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu, WatchESPN, NBA Game Time, Twitch, SHOWTIME ANYTIME, Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, Vevo, Plex, A&E, PBS, PBS KIDS, WATCH Disney Channel, YouTube, and more.
Fire TV supports AirPlay-like Amazon’s Fling technology, which allows users to switch between their their television and Fire tablet or Fire phone while watching movies and TV Shows. The Fire TV stick also supports DIAL so users will be able to fling services like YouTube, Spotify, and coming soon, Netflix, from their Android phone or iPhone. Users can also wirelessly mirror from their Fire tablets, Fire phone, and Miracast-enabled phones or tablets including devices from Motorola, Samsung, LG, and Google to their television via Fire TV Stick.
It also supports Amazon’s X-Ray technology, which is powered by IMDb, which will allow users to use their Fire phone or Fire tablet like a second screen to see X-Ray information as their movie or TV show plays on their TV via Fire TV Stick. They can see information about cast and crew, the names of songs as they play, as well as a list of music in the movie or TV show, trivia items in context with the action on the screen, and character backstories.
The Fire TV Stick is available for $39, but Amazon Prime members can get it for just $19 for the next two days. You can also buy the Amazon’s Voice Remote for Fire TV Stick for $29.99 to use voice search to find TV shows, movies and games. The Fire TV Stick goes on sale on November 19th, but there seems to be huge demand for the device as I got an estimated delivery date of December 18th.
There have been several rumors which have indicated that Apple is planning to launch the next generation Apple TV, devices like Nexus Player, Fire TV Stick should certainly put pressure on Apple to respond to growing competition.