Amazon's voice assistant has finally arrived on British television screens, with the latest edition of its Fire TV stick. The £40 ($50) device transforms any TV screen into a streaming service and it will now come with Alexa - the female helper from Amazon Echo - as standard. Upgraded hardware will let new viewers quickly search for content and rewind programmes using only their voice, while software updates mean owners of previous versions can also get in on the act. Amazon has released a new version of its bestselling Fire TV streaming stick which comes with voice assistant Alexa built in. The new Fire TV Stick has been completely redesigned, with a quad-core processor and faster Wi-Fi.
Amazon's Fire TV streaming devices have always had the same mission: Turn any TV into a smart one for cheap -- and with Amazon services front and center. The new Fire TV Stick 4K bundles plenty of streaming sources with a new Alexa voice remote that incorporates the same kind of infrared (IR) blaster on most TV remotes. And it supports almost all of today's formats: Dolby Vision, HDR, and HDR 10 . It also costs just $50. SEE ALSO: The difference between Fire TV vs. Roku Premiere: How the streaming media players compare Fifty bucks isn't much these days, but there are less-full-featured streaming dongles available for less.
Amazon is releasing a new version of its Fire TV Stick that includes support for its Alexa virtual assistant, the company announced on Wednesday. It will be priced at 39.99, just like the older model, and begins shipping on Oct. 20. The addition of Alexa means Fire Stick users will be able to perform tasks like finding content by genre and launching apps without tapping any buttons on the device's remote control. "Go back 30 seconds," etc.), will only be available when viewing TV shows and movies from Amazon Video, not third-party apps like Netflix. Amazon also says the new Fire Stick will be 30% faster than previous models.
The dedicated streaming media device market continues to heat up. Today, Amazon announced the latest addition to its streaming media Fire TV lineup, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K. Amazon is calling the device "the most powerful streaming media stick available and the first to support Dolby Vision and HDR10 ." The Fire TV Stick 4K delivers access to a catalog filled with thousands of 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Vision, and HDR10 content, thanks to its new quad core, 1.7GHz processor, which will bring consumers a faster streaming experience, quicker load times, and better picture quality. Along with the new features, the Fire TV Stick 4K continues to provide consumers access to an array of channels, apps, Alexa skills, live TV options, music streaming services, and more.
Before Amazon's second-generation Fire TV Stick showed up for review, I thought it could be the cheap streaming device to beat. Amazon has claimed a 30 percent performance boost over the original Fire TV Stick, whose biggest problem was sluggishness. Apps took a long time to load, and were prone to bouts of freezing and stuttering. The device didn't seem built to last in an age of increasingly sophisticated streaming apps such as Sling TV and PlayStation Vue. The 2016 Fire TV Stick--still priced at $40--alleviates those issues, but it doesn't completely solve them.