Amazon has packed a host of improvements into its latest generation Fire TV Stick, which debuted today for only a dollar more than its $39 predecessor.
Chief among the streaming media dongle’s assets is Alexa, Amazon’s pervasive personal digital assistant, which is embedded in the remote. Thus armed, the remote can be told to search across more than 90 channels and apps; rewind and fast-forward programming; and execute the thousands of “skills” that programmers have provided the open platform.
The latest iteration is also 30-percent faster than the original version thanks to a quad-core processor, 802.11ac MIMO Wi-Fi, and Advanced Streaming and Prediction (ASAP) for Amazon Video. It also offers support for High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC), giving customers more 1080p HD streams from their existing Internet connection, Amazon said.
As an added incentive, eligible customers who purchase and activate the device by Oct. 31 will also receive a free content package worth up to $65, including one month of Sling TV, two months of Hulu (Limited Commercials), and a $10 credit toward rentals or purchases from Amazon Video.
“The new Amazon Fire TV Stick has been completely redesigned with incredible performance, powerful voice search and the included Alexa-powered remote to deliver instant access to a vast selection of movies, TV shows, games and Alexa skills at just $39.99,” said Marc Whitten, VP, Amazon Fire TV.
The stick is available for pre-order today and will begin shipping to U.S. customers on Oct. 20.