Sunday, August 2, 2015

Amazon Fire TV Stick Review

    The future of entertainment is online. We all know that cable is quickly becoming an outmoded and expensive commodity, and that most of our entertainment now comes from the internet. With the rise of devices such as the Roku and Apple TV, many are streaming entertainment services directly to their television. The Amazon Fire TV stick may not be the first of such devices, but it is one of the most comprehensive, offering everything from streaming movies through Amazon Prime, to music and even video games. Streaming movies can be enjoyed with or without a Prime membership, as the Fire TV Stick links the consumer’s television set to a broad range of streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, and more). Prime members, of course, get access to Prime. Like any streaming device, the Fire TV can be taken on go and plugged into any television with a USB port, granting the customer access to all the streaming media they want when they stay in hotels.

   For movies and music, the Fire TV Stick is all you need to stream from just about any service. For games, well, it probably won’t replace your home console any time soon. There’s an optional controller that can be purchased, which is based on the XBox 360 design, though blockier and less ergonomic. This isn’t really an issue, though, because the games available aren’t what anyone would call hardcore. The gaming library consists mainly of minor distractions like Flappy Bird and Tetris--although it does have a few classic gems, like Sonic 2. 

   The basic TV Fire Stick package retails for $39.00 USD. That makes it only slightly more expensive than the Google Chromecast ($35.00), and far less expensive than the Roku and Apple TV ($49.00 and $69.00 USD respectively)--and the Fire Stick has all three beat for the range of streaming services it connects with. Only the Fire Stick has Amazon Instant Video and Fox Sports Go, in addition to Sling and all of the other services offered by other streaming devices. More and more consumers are ditching cable and satellite. Streaming is the future of entertainment, and although it it somewhat lacking in the games department, the Amazon Fire TV Stick is certainly the definitive single device for online video and music streaming.

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