Amazon Taking On Google Chromecast, Roku Streaming Stick With New Fire TV Device

Chuck Bednar for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Amazon on Monday revealed the Fire TV Stick, a new $39 streaming media gadget scheduled to ship on November 19 that is designed to go head-to-head with Google’s $35 Chromecast and Roku’s $35 Streaming Stick.
According to PCMag.com software analyst Jill Duffy, the Fire TV Stick USB device resembles Chromecast in appearance but works more like Roku’s devices, tapping directly into Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and other apps and streaming content services, delivering them directly to your television.
Like its competitors, the Fire TV Stick is a Wi-Fi enabled dongle that plugs directly into the HDMI port of a TV set and is powered by a separate USB wire, said Wilson Rothman of the Wall Street Journal. In addition, it has a processor and memory that should help it run more smoothly than similar devices, and also comes with a remote, he added.
Specifically, Amazon said that its device has 8GB of flash memory, which “on paper… soundly surpasses Chromecast’s 2GB, while its full gig of RAM doubles both Roku and Google’s options,” said Ars Technica’s Sam Machkovech.
“Meanwhile, the Fire Stick’s listed dual-core processor may very well outpace its rivals’ single-core offerings, but that’s not saying much considering it’s using the same Broadcom 28155 chip that debuted in a Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus refresh that launched early last year,” he added.

The device can be used to project whatever is on the screen of a Fire phone, Fire tablet or Miracast-enabled device onto a television set, and personal photos and videos can be viewed once they are uploaded to an Amazon Cloud Drive account, Rothman said. It will also feature the new Advanced Streaming and Prediction (ASAP) system, which will predict what viewers will watch next and queue up the show or movie so that it streams more quickly.
Despite the many benefits, however, Rothman pointed out that there are “compromises” with the new unit. “Most significantly,” he said, “the Fire TV Stick’s remote is lacking built-in voice search that was so popular on the Fire TV box. The Fire TV Stick will take voice commands through the Android app, and through a coming iOS app, but that’s less convenient.”
The base price of the Fire TV Stick is $39 dollars; however, Machkovech noted that Amazon Prime members can obtain one for just $19 if they place an order by Wednesday morning. He added that it “remains to be seen” whether or not this new smaller, streamlined device’s performance “will be enough to render its $99 sibling obsolete.”
Shop Amazon.com – Fire TV – Say it. Watch it.
That device, originally unveiled by Amazon in April, was approximately the same size as an external hard-drive and was touted as more than just a streaming video player, promising that users could access music services such as Pandora and iHeartRadio as well as gaming content including Minecraft, the Walking Dead and more.
However, while the $99 dollar device “advertised itself as a legit gaming device, complete with an Xbox-styled controller,” Machkovech said that there had been little “legitimate gaming content from Amazon” released over the last six months, “and since the TV Stick will support low-powered games by default as well – this Stick may very well stab the original Fire TV’s heart.”
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