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Amazon Fire TV Stick Beats Price Tags of Google, Roku Streaming Devices

By    |   Wednesday, 29 Oct 2014 10:21 AM

Amazon's new Fire TV Stick, announced this week, will go head-to-head with Google's Chromecast and Roku's Streaming Stick.

All of the devices are low-cost alternatives to Apple TV, Roku 3, and Amazon's own Fire TV. Like the set-top boxes, the new generation of streaming devices allow users to run apps like Netflix, Hulu, WatchESPN, YouTube, HBO Go, and Amazon Prime directly on their TVs.

All require a WiFi connection and come with a remote control. The Fire TV Stick is the most inexpensive option, preselling for $39 to the general public, and $19 for those who currently have a subscription to Amazon Prime.

Google's Chromecast is $35, and Roku's Streaming Stick is $50.

Most streaming set-top boxes cost around $100.

As The Wall Street Journal reported, the lower-priced dongles have faced criticism for not having the processing power and features of the higher-priced set-top boxes, such as Apple TV and Roku 3.

Amazon is trying to preempt that criticism for its own hardware with claims that the Fire TV Stick has "6x the processing power, 2x the memory, and 32x the storage of Roku Streaming Stick" and "50% more processing power and 2x the memory of Chromecast."

One of the more popular features of the Fire TV box is a built-in voice search, which will cost $30 extra for those who want to buy the voice-search remote for the Fire TV Stick — bringing the total cost to nearly $70 for some customers.

Tech journalists haven't been able to test the new offering just yet, as it's only available for pre-order. It will ship to customers November 19.

"Based on what's been announced, it seems that some features will remain exclusive to the Fire TV set-top box," wrote Consumer Reports in a recent article.

"At least on paper, Fire TV should be faster. Also, it's not clear if the Stick has the Fire TV's Free Time, a password-protected area for younger kids that lets parents choose what their kids can see, and set time limits for how long they can watch shows. In addition, while the Fire TV Stick has casual games, it lacks the more robust gaming capabilities of the Fire TV."

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Amazon's new Fire TV Stick, announced this week, will go head-to-head with Google's Chromecast and Roku's Streaming Stick.
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2014-21-29
Wednesday, 29 Oct 2014 10:21 AM
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