The little dongle is already available to pre-order if you’re an Amazon Prime member. New members can grab the Fire TV Stick for just £7/€7, after a refund, if they purchase before March 26th and existing Prime members can pre-order one for £19/€19, which is still a good deal. For comparison, the Google Chromecast costs £30 from the Play Store.
As for why you might want to choose an Amazon Fire TV Stick over a Chromecast? For a start, there’s superior hardware specifications, with 4 times in the internal memory (8GB vs 2GB), twice the RAM (1GB vs 512MB) and a dual-core processor. Amazon has also made a fuss about its Dolby Digital Plus surround sound for superior audio and a dual-band dual-antenna WiFi configuration for a more consistent, smoother streaming experience. The TV Stick also comes with its own remote control, giving you control over the system without the need for your smartphone.
Amazon’s dongle also has access to the company’s extensive media library, Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Youtube and region specific services, such as BBC iPlayer and News, Demand 5, and Sky News for the UK, or Tagesschau and ARD in Germany. The only major downside is the lack of access to your existing Google Play media library, if you have one.
This launch could pave the way for a roll-out in other European countries too.