Today Amazon has announced their foray into the market for small HDMI streaming dongles. The Fire TV Stick competes with Google's Chromecast, the Roku Streaming Stick, and the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter. Amazon notes in their advertising that the Fire TV Stick has more powerful hardward and faster WiFi than the Google Chromecast. I'm not quite sure how effective this will be at swaying buyers, as I would imagine many buyers don't care about the hardware inside of their HDMI streaming stick as long as it can stream their 1080p content. I've put Amazon's comparison image between the different streaming sticks below. Notably missing is the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter

The real appeal of the Fire TV Stick is for buyers in Amazon's ecosystem. The Fire TV Stick supports popular streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, and includes expected features like streaming content from mobile devices. On top of all that, it includes the wealth of content available for Amazon Prime subscribers. Anyone who wants to try out Amazon Prime will receive a 30 day trial along with their Fire TV Stick.

At $39 the Fire TV Stick essentially matches the Chromecast on price and provides Amazon users a good alternative to other HDMI sticks. Amazon is also running a promotion for today and tomorrow that allows current Amazon Prime subscribers to purchase the Fire TV Stick for only $19. At less than $20, I can expect many prime users may purchase one simply to try it out.

Source: Amazon.com

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  • danbob999 - Monday, October 27, 2014 - link

    Not bad. No remote was the #1 reason why I didn't choose a Chromecast for my mother in law. She only wanted Netflix but I end up getting her a bluray since I couldn't find anything cheaper that was as convenient.
    Still, I would recommend getting a wired Ethernet solution when you can.
    Reply
  • dhanson8652 - Monday, October 27, 2014 - link

    I bought 2 at the half price.

    It has a physical remote for convenience if my phone is tied to a charger but the ability to control it with a smartphone or tablet of my choice will make for an even better remote.

    the extra flash means a much bigger buffer, a big deal for those on slow or unreliable internet connections (whether it be your wifi, firewall, or ISP to blame).

    and it'll only use a couple of watts to stream 720p or 1080p saving me vs the 30+ watts my old Wii was using streaming netflix, hulu, amazon prime at 480p.

    Don't let the wattage rating of the wall wart fool you, something this small isn't using 16W and neither is the bigger Fire TV box.
    Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Monday, October 27, 2014 - link

    Hrm, that's intriguing. Still no Ethernet port, but a handy little remote. Wonder if one could install the Plex app onto that thing? If so, this just got interesting. But still no Ethernet port. :(

    Did I mention it doesn't have an Ethernet port? I have Cat5e to my entertainment stand, and only 802.11g available at home. Ethernet would work so much nicer than wireless.
    Reply
  • Reflex - Monday, October 27, 2014 - link

    It supports Plex, they added support almost immediately after launch of the first FTV. Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - link

    Excellent! Too bad it's (Fire anything) not available in Canada. :( Reply
  • RU482 - Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - link

    Ethernet port....sounds like you want a FireTV box for FireTV stick prices! Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - link

    Exactly! :)

    The size and shape of the FireTV Stick is great. And it has the right amount of oomph to it. But it lacks the Ethernet port. It's not really worth an extra $60 US to get an Ethernet port, especially considering the size difference.

    Release a streaming stick running Android with a remote and an Ethernet port and I'm sold! I'll even buy 2 (one for home, one for travel).
    Reply
  • Papaspud - Monday, October 27, 2014 - link

    For $19, if you are a prime member, why not. Same price as 2 tickets to a cheap movie. Reply
  • Brandon Chester - Monday, October 27, 2014 - link

    I just paid $19.50 to go see Interstellar in 15/70 IMAX. $19 is basically nothing for the Fire TV Stick. Reply
  • ipebble - Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - link

    Its for the stick only and a free 30 day trial to Prime and Netflix. After that $39/mo and i strongly believe its only Prime (Instant Video) and not the entire Amazon Prime Subscription. I have the full subscription and debating if this is for me. I really like the interface and has many of the other apps our family uses, netflix, amazon, hulu, pandora, youtube. But we also surf other areas of the web which will limit this if i choose this route. So in the end as a full Amazon Prime Member, I see a problem that we don't get to have this interface too, or have a the stick included. Reply

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