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Amazon Introduces $39 Fire TV Stick to Compete with Chromecast, Roku Streaming Stick

Amazon has decided to put Fire TV media player functionality into a low cost HDMI TV stick called “Fire TV stick” to offer an alternative to the likes of Google Chromecast, and Roku Streaming Stick. The device is based on a Broadcom BCM28155 dual core processor with the same VideoCore IV GPU/VPU found in BCM2835 SoC used in the Raspberry Pi.

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Fire TV stick hardware specifications:

  • SoC – Broadcom BCM28155 (Capri) dual core ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 1.0 GHz with VideoCore IV GPU/VPU
  • System Memory – 1GB RAM with half reserved to the system, and the other half dedicated to video.
  • Storage – 8 GB internal storage
  • Video / Audio Output – HDMI 1.4b output, w/HDCP 1.4. Resolution: 720p and 1080p up to 60fps
  • Video Codecs – H.264
  • Audio – AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis
  • Connectivity – dual-band/dual-antenna 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (2×2 MIMO),  Bluetooth 3.0 (HID, HFP, HPP profiles). Other part of Amazon website indicates Bluetooth 4.0 however.
  • USB –  1x micro USB 2.0 port for power only.
  • Dimensions  – 84.9 x 25.0 x 11.5 mm
  • Weight – 25.1 grams

The device runs FireOS based on Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean), and ships with Amazon Fire TV remote control, a USB cable and power adapter, an HDMI extender cable, two AAA batteries, and a quick start guide. The Bluetooth remote control is different to the one included with Fire TV media player, as there is no “Voice search” button, and the dimensions and weight are different. So if you want voice search, you’ll need to purchase a  $30 Amazon Fire “Voice” remote. You can play over 200 different games with the optional Amazon Fire Game Controller. The Broadcom processor found in Amazon stick is not quite as powerful as the Qualcomm Snaprdragon 600 powering Fire TV media player, but Linaro frequently mention Broadcom “Capri” in their monthly releases, so the latest kernel should be available.

Comparison of Fire TV Stick, Chromecast, and Roky Stick
Amazon Fire TV stick regular price is $39, but for the first two days it will be available for $19 to Amazon Prime customers. At this time, the stick is only available in the US.

Source: CNXSoft

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