Amazon recently launched a whole host of new hardware but for TV streaming fans the standout announcement was the arrival of the next-gen Fire TV Stick and the Fire TV Stick Lite along with a redesigned Fire TV interface.
With consumers streaming billions of hours of content each month, the updated replacement for the current best selling Fire TV Stick device offers a slicker experience and enhanced features.
Chief among these is support for HDR including HDR10, HLG, and HDR10+, though Dolby Vision is not included. Dolby Atmos has now also been added so viewers with the correct speaker setup can experience full 3D cinematic audio where available. The enhanced 1.7 GHz quad-core processor makes the all new Fire TV Stick 50 percent more powerful than the previous generation and, while the extra processing power helps deliver smooth 1080p streaming at 60fps, it consumes 50 percent less power than its predecessor. There’s 8GB of internal storage for apps and games and Bluetooth 5.0 is included to enable pairing with compatible speakers, headphones and video game controllers etc.
Since streaming is reliant on stable wireless connectivity for the most frustration-free consumer experience, the all new Fire TV Stick uses dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi and supports 5 GHz networks for fewer dropped connections. Additionally, since this is the more expensive of the two two new devices, it also comes with an Alexa Voice Remote that incorporates dedicated power, volume and mute buttons for easy control of TVs, soundbars, and AV receivers.
The all new Fire TV Stick will sell for £39.99 ($39.99) and is available to order now at amazon.co.uk/firetvstick with shipping for 30th Sep.
The less expensive Fire TV Stick Lite enables consumers access to streaming at Amazon’s most affordable price yet and provides the exact same hardware as the more expensive all new Fire TV Stick except for the TV control buttons on the Alexa Voice Remote and it also drops support for Dolby Atmos.
The new Fire TV Stick Lite will sell for £29.99 ($29.99) and is available to order now at amazon.co.uk/firetvstick with shipping for 30th Sep.
The Fire TV interface has also undergone what Amazon is describing as its ‘most significant experience update’ and the redesign offers a more intuitive, simple and customized experience.
In order to make finding content more easy, the Main Menu is directly at the centre of the screen and there’s a brand new ‘Find’ experience which allows both broad and specific searches based on genre (e.g. comedies, action), helpful categories (e.g. free, sports, Live TV), and more. Scrolling over streaming services and apps brings up a sneak peek at what’s inside so you can decide whether to dive in or not.
Since Alexa is at the heart of the interface, simple vocal instructions such as “‘Alexa, go to live” will take viewers to the Live TV guide and there’s access to new experiences such as recipes, news etc. Connection to smart devices means owners will be able to view picture in picture feeds from Ring security products.
Up to six individual profiles for family members can be set up to allow personalisation of content recommendations, viewing history, watch lists, preferred settings etc. Changing profiles is easy via voice commands and, once set up, Alexa will automatically recognize the voice and switch to the appropriate profile.
Connecting a compatible webcam will allow family members to stay in touch when Alexa video calling is added later in 2020 and support for other services such as Zoom will be added over time too.
The redesigned Fire TV experience will begin rolling out globally later this year, starting with the all-new Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite.
Source: Press Release, Amazon.co.uk
Image Source: Amazon