New! Fire TV stick…$19 for Prime members for 2 days only

New! Fire TV stick…$19 for Prime members for 2 days only

More on this later, but I think a quick sell out is a real possibility.

Fire TV Stick (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

$19 for Prime members for two days (limit two**) otherwise $39. Should be a great holiday gift!

Don’t wait!

Update: I’m glad I told people not to wait! **They’ve already changed it so that Prime members can only get one on that deal, instead of two…and I do think it could still sell out (although they might get more before the holidays). I ordered my two at about 10:48 AM…and my delivery date is December 4th (being released on November 19th). Another one of my readers said they had a December 16th delivery date.

So, why the frenzy, and what is it, anyway?

It’s a “stick” (about the size of a finger…like a “thumb drive”) that you plug into your TV’s HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) port. Modern TVs will pretty much all have them (some may have several).

It also looks to me like it needs to be plugged into power…the HDMI port won’t power it, but that’s not a big deal.

Once you have done that, you connect it to the internet…and then the fun begins.🙂

It’s similar to the

Amazon Fire TV (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

which I use every day.

It puts content on your TV…Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu+, and more.

It’s interesting to me that it comes with a free month of Netflix (probably not for existing members) in addition to the free month of Amazon Prime.

It even has that Kindle-like 30 day return policy…no risk, pretty much (you would pay return postage, I assume).

So, think about it: you could really cut the cord (stop using cable), at least for movies and TV shows that aren’t local without a lot of expense.

Now how much would you pay? But wait, there’s more!😉

You want music? It has music…Prime music, Pandora, Spotify, iHeart radio, tunein radio…and more.

Convinced? No?

What about games? These aren’t console games, but more like mobile games…and again, there are a lot…hundreds: including Flappy Birds Family and You Don’t Know Jack.

Okay, okay…you need a bit more of a push?

How about anything you have on your tablet or phone?

Yep, you can mirror your tablet or SmartPhone (that will include iOS, although not quite yet). That’s how I’ll probably use it most. I’ll take it to work, where we tend to have HDMI equipped TVs in meeting rooms. Slip in the stick, plug it in, and mirror a PowerPoint from my

Kindle Fire HDX 7″ (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

and I’m good to know. No lugging around big projectors which cost thousands of dollars…and aren’t that sharp anyway. I do think I could use my

AAXA P4 P4X Pico Projector, 125 Lumens, Pocket Size (at AmazonSmile*)

with it, but that projector just isn’t that bright. I use it at works sometimes, but the conditions have to be right…the TV will be better.

Personal photos, personal videos, all of that…shared with family and friends on the big screen.

Okay, an obvious question: why get this and not the very popular Google Chromecast, which is $4 less than the normal price of $39?

Some reasons:

  • The hardware is better! Four times the flash storage (8GB versus 2GB), twice the memory (1GB versus 512MB)
  • A remote control!
  • Voice search! (either by app, or you can buy the voice remote separately. I’m guessing that the voice remote that came with my Fire TV will work with it
  • Dual band wi-fi!
  • An available (purchase separately) game controller!
  • ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction)! I love this on my Fire TV…it guesses what I will want to watch next (like the next episode in a TV series, and pre-loads it. It seems silly to feel like waiting ten seconds to watch something is too long, but you can really feel the BAM!
  • Because Amazon!😉

As one of my readers Edward Boyhan pointed out, the timing is interesting. Here we had a disappointing (for many investors) financial report from Amazon, and all these cries of caution that Amazon was investing in too much…and then this happens. If they can keep it in stock, I think this is going to be one of the big sellers of this holiday season.

It’s already passed Google Chromecast to be the top-selling electronic at Amazon!

I’m very excited to get it, and I think it will live up to people’s expectations, for the most part.

Oh, and one more thing…if this is so good, why bother to buy the Fire TV?

The regular Fire TV (I don’t want to call it the “big one”…it’s not that big, it’s like a mass market paperback, but thinner) has even more memory and performance, better games, an included voice remote, and better integration (audio out, for example, to go with a home theatre system).

Still, for many people, the Fire TV stick will be just fine.

Actually, let me just add one more point…developers, don’t miss the opportunity. It’s simple…”Get on the stick!” (so to speak).😉

I do think this is going to be big…while being small!😉

What do you think? Is there something it’s missing for you? It won’t have HBO GO at launch, but if you have that on your tablet or phone, you’ll be okay. The Fire TV didn’t have it at first, either. What does this do to you and iTunes? Probably not much…since you could mirror your iPhone to it. What have I missed here? Did you get one? If your delivery date is later than December 16th, what is it? Will this affect the stock price? What questions do you have? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

23 Responses to “New! Fire TV stick…$19 for Prime members for 2 days only”

  1. Zebras Says:

    Bufo:

    My main TV has the Amazon button right on the remote, but for this special price its worth getting for future uses, including travelling. Thank you for alerting us to this offer.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Zebras!

      That Amazon button is actually quite different…it will play Amazon video, but this will also (among other things), mirror your phone or tablet. That’s how I will use mine the most. I’m about to expand the post…I’ll explain about it there.

  2. Harold Delk Says:

    Thanks for the heads up; just ordered one for the RV.

  3. Tom Semple Says:

    I ordered one, though we still cling to our ATV (analog TV, not all terrain vehicle) and so it won’t be for home use for the time being. Converter boxes are available, but just introduce more wiring complexity and cost.

    I have a Chromecast stick and really like it (but for the lack of Amazon instant video and music support). But I expect I won’t use it much once the Fire Stick arrives.

    It will be interesting to see if any mobile app platform will allow ‘dual’ support of casting to both Chromecast and Fire Stick (or equivalently, Fire TV and just announced Google Player).

    Hopefully they’ll add ‘casting’ support to Amazon Instant Video and Music apps for iOS and Android.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Tom1

      I ordered two: one for my use, and one for a holiday gift. We already have a Fire TV, and like you, we have a TV that isn’t HD and doesn’t have an HDMI port (it’s quite old). I expect to use it more for work, and for mirroring there.

      Since it will mirror, you’ll be able to see what’s on your device…and that should include AIV. It also shows both Amazon video and music apps as native to it.

  4. Glenn Says:

    Thank you for the head’s up on this. Ordered two. One for our bedroom TV and the other as a Christmas gift.

  5. Edward Boyhan Says:

    I ordered one — it’ll go into my massive tv streaming box evaluation whenever I get around to it (:grin) (samsung smart tv, roku3, fire tv, fire tv stick, xbox 360, xbox one, and two miracast “throwers”, chromecast, several miracast laptops, and smartphones).

    Sadly, the delivery date they gave me is Dec 16th — too late for my what to buy for Christmas talk (Nov 12th)😦

    This is of course an interesting move — just days past their 3Q results after which most commentators are saying Amazon’s got their fingers in too many device pies. (I love it! :lol).

    Haven’t read the details yet, but I’m guessing this’ll be a “stick” up Google’s nose😀.

    To Tom’s hope for chromecast “dual support”, Google’s Chromecast protocol is proprietary not miracast (which after a quick browse through the PR, the Fire stick apparently uses) — I’d be dubious — not sure what “dual” support in this context even means? Similar to Bluetooth multiple pairing? (which is iffy in most of my experience)??

    On the content side, seems like it’s got Chromecast beat handily (will have to read a few reviews to be sure).

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      The hardware also beats Chromecast…a lot more memory, in particular.

      I got a delivery date of December 4th…I’m looking for it to sell out, but it might get back into stock before the holidays as well.

    • Tom Semple Says:

      Chromecast is proprietary, as you note. But the main advantage is that it does not require an app running on the Chromecast device itself. The app runs on a mobile device, and just hands off the media streaming job to Chromecast. So CPU and RAM requirements are minimal. The mobile app just needs to integrate with Google’s SDK. Because there are no apps installed on CC, setup is simpler, and there are no security details or accounts or ‘authorizations’ to manage (as those details have already been handled by the mobile app).

      But with Fire Stick you have to install an app for each thing you want to stream. The advantage is that it can operate as a standalone device, as well as working in ‘second screen’ mode from a mobile device (again, with a corresponding app on the Fire Stick/TV). But doing that requires more system resources: local storage, more RAM, faster CPU. And for users there are more scenarios to figure out (launch an app directly using dedicated remote, launch with mobile remote app, launching an app on a mobile device and ‘casting’, etc.). And you have to think about how to set up security.

      So in some ways it is apples and oranges comparison. Chromecast is very good at what it does and I don’t find it lacking in streaming options, at least if you are using Android devices with it (with the exception of Amazon Instant Video of course). iOS app support is more restricted, but most of the major sources are on board there.

      Google is launching Nexus Player to compete with Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku. They might consider dropping the price of Chromecast to make it compete better in the ‘stick’ space.

  6. Karen Says:

    I tried to order 2 as you stated in your email but I talked to Amazon and the limit is 1.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Karen!

      It was two when I wrote it, but they have reduced it to one (even on the product page). I indicated I thought they might sell out…that adjustment (which can happen at any time) suggests that they demand may already be higher than they thought. It is currently still available, but I do think that might not last.

  7. Clint K6LCS Says:

    Comes with the remote. Looks like a free app download enables voice recognition. An iOS app is forthcoming.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Clint!

      Yes, that’s correct. You may have seen my initial “alert” post, before I updated it. It comes with one remote (one without built-in voice search), and you can order a separate one that has the voice ability. There will be the iOS app, as you say. That will also do the voice search…which is quite impressive, by the way. I use it on my Fire TV.

  8. Edward Boyhan Says:

    I’m told that the Fire TV remote can be used with the stick — to provide voice control?? Do you know if this is true (two sites have had different opinions on this).

    To be clear the stick uses Miracast — so any Miracast enabled device (phone, tablet, PC) should be able to have its screen content “thrown” onto any TV with a Fire stick plugged in. This includes the Amazon Fire HDX tablets, Fire phone?, most recent MS Lumia phones, all MS Surface tablet hybrids, some Samsung laptops, etc, etc (needs to be tested as Miracast support has been spotty and/or inconsistent in display results). The stick will be my fourth Miracast receiver (Actiontec, two MS devices, and the stick) — it’ll be interesting to see how they all perform. My usage is to throw stuff on my wall-hanging TV’s, and (in more professional venues) to “throw” onto ceiling mounted projection devices (only a few of which have HDMI input — most have VGA — the ActionTec provides miracast to VGA conversion).

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      The remote thing was confusing because the remote that comes with the original Fire TV has voice search built into it (it has a microphone). The remote that comes with the Fire TV stick doesn’t.

      However, you can order a voice-enabled remote for the Fire TV stick…for $30. On the Fire TV stick page, it wasn’t obvious if that was the exact same remote that comes with the Fire TV.

      However, checking the remote advertised on the Fire TV stick page

      Voice remote for Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick (at AmazonSmile)

      it makes it pretty obvious that it is the same. It says

      “Remote for Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick (not included with Fire TV Stick)”

      I’ll have to check out ceiling-mounted projectors at work to see if they have HDMI…it’s possible they do. If not, I may look for a converter.

      • Tom Semple Says:

        If you have an Android or iOS or Fire OS device (the latter with a microphone, obviously), there will be a free app that implements the features of the Fire TV Voice Remote. So most people will probably not want to spend an additional $30 for the dedicated Voice remote.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Tom!

        One interesting group which I think that serves is the group without a SmartPhone. As you point out, that’s going to be the minority…but I think that the Fire TV stick may be seen as a way for non-techies to save money by getting off cable.

  9. hsextant Says:

    It is sort of ironic with all this bad press about 3rd quarter earnings, Bezo’s pulls this stick out of his magic hat and then offers it a half price. Is he poking a little fun at all the oracles of gloom and doom? Or is it the desperate measures of an over valued company that is dying at its core? The sky is falling.

    Seeking Alpha had a reasonable sounding article on Amazon this morning:

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/2599465-amazon-its-business-model-explained?uprof=82&dr=1

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, hsextant!

      If those two are my choices, I pick the former.😉 Obviously, they knew they had this in their “bag of tricks” on the financial call. I think it is going to be a big hit for them, and will help refute any notion that they shouldn’t invest in new things. The article you reference (I was planning to include it in the next round-up) points out that Amazon is doing what they said they would do right from the beginning…investors who don’t know that haven’t done their research…

  10. Brian Hartman Says:

    Hey Bufo! This looks like a perfect gift for the wife who likes to KISS–meaning Keep it Simple, of course. My date is Nov. 19. On an unrelated note, I notice you often write, during your new releases posts, about Kindle pre-orders having no monetary value (unless I’m wrong in my interpretation) but I pre-ordered http://www.amazon.com/Miracleman-Book-Red-King-Syndrome-ebook/dp/B00NTB40PI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414511707&sr=8-1&keywords=MIRACLEMAN by the greatest comic writer Alan Moore at $9.99 and it’s currently listing at $14.74 so I’m glad I did. I just checked my digital orders and the price hasn’t changed. It comes out tomorrow so I can let you know what the real charge is, I think there was a time during the Agency Model when pre-order prices weren’t guaranteed; that may have changed. Anyway, just something I noticed and wanted to share with the blog. Come to think of it, I pre-ordered the new Nora Roberts http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Magick-Cousins-ODwyer-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00INIXJ36/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1414512597&sr=8-2&keywords=dark+witch at $2.99 and it came out today and that’s what I was charged, not the current price. Just a thought. If this is redundant to something I missed, sorry.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Brian!

      That’s only true for items not sold by Amazon, and you are right, that massively changed with the Department of Justice’s actions (although it may be returning, at least for S&S, next year). I copy and paste the intro, so I’ll take a look at it before I do the next one. The publishers generally did honor pre-order prices…they just didn’t have to do so.

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