Amazon announced the Fire TV Stick today. It is on first glance similar to Google's Chromecast and other streaming sticks and solutions.
You connect the stick to your TV's HDMI port and to the Internet to watch all kinds of clips, shows and movies as well as apps and games on the television.
It costs $39 on Amazon but is available for $19 for Amazon Prime members in the next 48 hours. At the time of writing, it is only available in the US and not in other countries.
You are probably wondering how it compares to Google's Chromecast. Here is a list of the most important differences and features:
|Feature||Amazon Fire TV Stick||Google Chromecast|
|Memory||1 Gigabyte||512 Megabyte|
|Storage||8 Gigabyte||2 Gigabyte|
|Remote||yes (basic included)||no|
|Dolby Digital Plus cert.||yes||no|
|Voice search||yes (free: app, paid: voice remote)||no|
|Streaming Services||Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Pandora, PBS Kids, WatchESPN, Bloomberg TV, Crackle, Twitch||Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Pandora, PBS Kids, WatchESPN, Crackle, Twitch, HBO Go|
|Misc||Captive portal Internet support announced|
The hardware that Amazon built into the device is more powerful which should benefit the device's snappiness and speed.
The Fire TV Stick ships with a basic remote which supports all features but voice search out of the box. Voice search is available in form of an app that you can download on your smartphone or as special voice remote control that can be purchased separately and is identical to the remote that Amazon's Fire TV box uses.
Amazon's stick ships with a native interface which you can control using the remote or an app, while Google's Chromecast requires that you use an app either on a mobile device or a PC to do the same.
There is also the question how it compares to Amazon's Fire TV box. Amazon promises that the stick offers the same experience than the Fire TV box and while that may be the case for streaming contents, it is not entirely true.
The core differences between Fire TV and Fire TV stick are the following ones:
|Feature||Amazon Fire TV Stick||Amazon Fire TV|
|Memory||1 Gigabyte||2 Gigabyte|
|Voice Remote||optional ($29.99)||included|
|Optical audio out||no||yes|
|Gaming||casual games||high performance games|
The Fire TV box is more powerful hardware-wise thanks to its quad-core processor and 2 Gigabyte of memory.
It ships with an Ethernet port in addition to Wi-Fi support and optical audio out for home theater connections.
So, if you want to connect the streaming solution to an Ethernet cable, require optical audio out or want to run the latest and greatest (available) games on the device, you may want to consider getting the Fire TV as the Fire TV Stick does not support those features.
If you are all about streaming media, the Fire TV Stick may be all you require though. Currently, it appears to be the better deal when compared to Chromecast.
Now You: Are you using a streaming solution or plan to buy one in the near future? If so which and why?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.