Amazon Announces New Streaming Device, Fire TV Stick, Special Limited Pricing Of $19

Fire_TV_StickThis morning Amazon announced a new HDMI streaming device called the Fire TV Stick, which is already available for pre-order and will ship before black Friday. (Nov. 19th) Amazon is offering Prime members, or those who sign up for Prime, special pricing on the stick for only $19, for the next 48 hours, after which it will retail for $39. Many might be quick to compare this to Google’s Chromecast stick, but unlike Chromecast, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick won’t require another device to use it. Amazon’s streaming stick comes with a remote and most, but not all, of the functionality of their $99 Fire TV box.

The Fire TV Stick has a dual-core processor (Broadcom Capri 28155, dual-core 2xARM A9), 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, Bluetooth 3.0 and dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO). From a CPU standpoint, on paper it beats Roku’s Streaming Stick and Google Chromecast in terms of performance many times over. The Fire TV Stick comes with the same user interface as the Fire TV and has support for all of the current content channels on the Fire TV, with the exception of some gaming apps. Casual games can still be played on the stick, like Angry Birds, but some complex games, requiring more controls aren’t supported.

The remote that comes with the Fire TV Stick doesn’t have the same voice search functionality as the Fire TV remote, but it is compatible with the voice remote if bought separately for $29. Users can also use a free Android app on their phone to search for content with their voice and Amazon says an app for iOS is coming shortly. Non-gaming apps that are written for Fire TV will automatically work on the Fire TV Stick, which is also based on a flavor of Android. Amazon also confirmed that they are on track to have support for HBO Go on the Fire TV before the end of December, with the Fire TV Stick getting HBO GO in the new year.

Amazon told me they have “made a lot” of the Fire TV Sticks in preparation for the pre-orders, but in usual Amazon fashion, won’t disclose how many are available before they sell out or if they expect there to be a shortage during the holidays. Amazon has placed a buying limit of two devices per Prime member, at the special $19 price point.

While Amazon’s new stick is good for consumers, it’s bad news for Roku, which now has even more competition, at a lower price point. I love my Roku box and it still has more premium content channels than any other $99 or less device, but it’s only a matter of time before Amazon’s streaming stick, or Google’s new Nexus Player for that matter, catches up with Roku in terms of content choices. Roku simply can’t compete with Amazon or Google’s marketing dominance and their ability to package these products in with other services.

In the long run, the non-gaming streaming device space is going to be won by Apple, Google and Amazon. They all control multiple devices that tie into a larger ecosystem, make money from many avenues and at some point, Amazon or Google is going to get the price on these sticks down to where they are free. It’s not hard to imagine Amazon giving them away with a Prime membership or Google giving it away with a Nexus tablet or phone. At $19, the price point doesn’t have far to go before it reaches zero.

  • kr

    I’m a prime sub..still says 39

    • danrayburn

      Add it to your cart and go to the checkout page. There it will apply the discount.

  • TXDD

    It works, I ordered 2 and the discount was taken at checkout.

  • tompick

    So are there any reasons left to buy the original Fire TV for $99?

    • brody

      I’m sure the fire TV has more room for rooting, hacking, and alternate OS than the fire tv will. It also does have more processing power so should be slightly faster, personally the $20 price point is too much to argue with

    • Criminals

      I’d buy the FireTV ($99) so I could integrate it into the home theater setup I have downstairs but the bedroom TVs will be getting the stick. At $19 it seems like a steal. Going to order 2 in a few minutes.

  • Tori

    It really does work. I ordered 2 at the discount price.

  • R

    “In the long run, the non-gaming streaming device space is going to be won by Apple, Google and Amazon.”

    And Microsoft. Xbox was the best living room streaming device for years and is still very much in the mix.

    • disqus_FQgrm4l56P

      Meh. I really don’t think so. Xbox was the best for a while simply because there was nothing else and a lot of homes already had an Xbox. Although the new Xbox has a lot more of those features, it is still primarily a gaming console and a streaming device second. No one is going to consider Xbox One when looking for a streaming device unless then also want an Xbox One. If they just want a streaming device there are plenty of them below $100 or even $50 while the Xbox One is $400.

  • Kari

    But still no HBO go… 🙁

    • disqus_FQgrm4l56P

      It will in the new year. But that is really HBO’s fault and not Amazon’s.

      • JOOZROX


        • disqus_FQgrm4l56P

          No need to go ALL CAPS on me. Amazon Prime does include HBO programming and you currently can watch HBO programming on Amazon Prime with your Fire TV. HBO Go is something completely separate and the fact that HBO has yet to make a working HBO Go app for the Fire TV is still HBO’s fault.

          • foo

            Everybody and their brothers are making streaming devices. It’s got to be hard to keep up.

        • DirkBelig

          Amazon Prime’s HBO offerings are incomplete, like only the first three seasons of True Blood are free whereas everything from the other four seasons is on HBO GO, not to mention current shows the moment the first airing concludes. (e.g. Game of Thrones can be streamed at 10 pm EST)

  • Caryn

    now limiting to just one? I tried to buy two and Amazon posted an error message and forced a reduction to one stick.

  • Krinj

    I still can’t find a reason to buy any of these devices. My PS3 and my tv seem to do everything that they do. Who doesn’t own a device that already does all of this?

    • guest

      They are great for a second TV in the home .. also for wall mounted TVs so you don’t need to have a lot of boxes hanging around.

      • Krinj

        That was my exact reason for considering getting one, but then I realized even my cheap second tv had wifi and all the major apps that the media streamers offered. I guess if I still had an older tv, maybe. But a lot of older tv’s don’t have the connectivity (hdmi, usb) that you need for these things (and a lot of older sets are not hd).

        • PK

          PS3 does horrible for Plex and other in home media center management. Sony is not condusive as a complete media system, where as these sticks can stream youtube, plex server, straight mp4 files etc. The fact that you can move them around from TV to TV and it integrates with Amazon Prime, HBOgo, etc. It’s great for someone that is really into playing online or home media content on any TV. Even streaming shows like Teen Wolf from

    • DirkBelig

      Yes, but the noise and power you have to burn running your console is easily trumped by the silent, power-sipping streaming boxes. Now I only need to fire up my PS3 to play games or watch BDs.

  • luke

    Could you tell me what this device does?? Please explain

  • Jane

    Does anyone knows if this fire tv stick works with a sony HD tv or vizio HD tv? Those are the only brands I have at home

    • DirkBelig

      I have the Fire TV Stick on my Vizio and it works fine.