I definitely consider myself an early adopter, TV for me means watching what I want when I want. In time I’m sure everyone will watch TV this way.
We cancelled our satellite and since then we have been streaming all our content. It obviously takes a bit of setup initially but once you are up and running it works like a bought one.
Now that brings me to this nifty little device, the Amazon Fire TV Stick. It is an HDMI dongle slightly larger than your standard USB flash drive but packs a whole lot into that tiny body.
So what’s in the Box?
- The HDMI stick itself in all its hugeness LOL (It’s small actually)
- A Remote Control
- USB Cable
- Power Adaptor (US Plug)
- Quick Start Guide
In terms of Power, the device can run off a USB port, so you simply plug the stick into the HDMI port of your TV or AV receiver and then the USB cable into a spare USB port of your TV (if you have one). Amazon don’t really recommend this and always seem to stress the need for external power. I tried the USB thing on a few TV’s with about a 50% success rate. In the end I used the wall plug because then the device is always on 🙂
It has an Operating System based on Android, a dual core processor (which means it is faster than most of its competitors), some RAM and about 8 Gig’s of storage space… Okay enough techie stuff who cares what the specs are! Does it work well? Why, yes it does 🙂 in fact I have owned earlier versions of Android based TV boxes and they were crap, slow slow slow! I was hesitant considering my past experience but this baby runs very well. It is incredibly snappy!
The interface is pretty and simply laid out with a multitude of Amazon titles to choose from BUT before you get too excited there are a lot of content restrictions in place so here in SA we can’t buy / rent many of the titles available including the games but some are available. You can preview trailers on all of them though. I kind of figured this would happen before even turning it on but Amazon’s content wasn’t necessarily what I was buying it for, I bought it for my own content and streaming stuff. It is after all a device that can run apps so the possibilities are endless.
I played some of the games which run really well including a racing game (Beach Buggy Racing) but without a proper Game Controller it wasn’t that easy. I will definitely be buying one, Amazon sells it for $40 but then there is the headache of shipping it to SA and the price just about doubles 🙁
Is there anything I didn’t like?
Since it is new the app store is not very vast at this stage and I found myself having to jigger a few bits and bobs to side load my apps (This is perfectly doable and acceptable but takes a bit of effort). I’m sure in time the selection will improve.
I haven’t really experienced any issues with the running of the device except maybe a stutter or two on playback but nothing that has concerned me.
What’s my final word?
I like it so much I’m buying a second one for the bedroom 🙂 I think for the price of just under $40 it’s a great deal. Now I had to pay a little more as Amazon don’t ship this particular item to South Africa but there are importers who do.