Amazon Announces Fire TV Stick To Compete With Chromecast

(Amazon)

(Amazon)

Where there once was plenty of room on the streaming TV field, things are now getting a little bit more crowded, as Amazon has announced a rival to Chromecast. The Fire TV Stick is a dongle similar to other streaming media devices that connects to an HDMI port on HDTVs, and will allow users to watch content from Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus and more.

The Fire TV Stick follows Amazon’s set-top box, the Fire TV, which debuted last winter. But while that device sells for $99, the new stick sells for $39 (compared to Chromecast’s $35 price tag) and can do much of what Fire TV does, and seems to be a direct bid to compete with Chromecast and the Roku streaming stick for customers’ affections.

Amazon is touting features like the Fire TV Stick’s dual-core processor, 1 GB of memory and “4x the storage and 2x the memory of Chromecast,” as well as features like “ASAP,” which “learns what movies and shows you like so they start instantly” instead of taking time to buffer.

In addition to TV apps, the Stick has the option for playing games, though you’ll likely need a separate controller for ease of play.

There’s also a remote and app option for controlling the Stick, or a voice search option that allows users to speak what they want and control the device that way — but that remote is sold separately and doesn’t come free when you order the device.

Amazon is taking pre-orders now for the $39 devices, with Prime customers getting the option for two days only to buy it for $19. Orders will begin shipping on Nov. 19.