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