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Sunday, May 24, 2015

New Tech - Episode 5

I like tech, and whilst I can't afford to buy new tech on a regular basis, when I see a potential, value-for-money opportunity, then I will grab it.

I did this with the Amazon Fire TV, and wrote about that here.

When the Amazon Fire TV Stick was announced I was intrigued; so I bought one.  Why?  Well, I love the main Fire TV - it's used almost everyday, both for Amazon Prime content, but also for BBC iPlayer.  The kids enjoy playing some of the games too.

So, why get the Stick version?  Well, since the Fire TV can only be watched on one TV, and it's not always convenient to watch when I want, having a second device, means I can access the content in another room.

Why not a second box?  That's a good question, but I suppose it comes down to cost.  The new Fire TV Stick is currently available for £25; so doesn't break the bank.  Also, the stick is small, and doesn't need a table top - so, it's ideal for a wall-mounted television.

It's so simple to set up (although the one downside is that you must have a dedicated power supply - the USB port on the TV isn't powerful enough!)  This is a shame, but not a showstopper.

So, I plugged it into the HDMI port, connected the power cable and within seconds I was asked to select the language, enter the password for my network and away it went.  Since I purchased it from my Amazon account, I was asked if I wanted to use my account on the stick, and then the setup was completed.

The included remote is different to the one supplied with the main Fire TV box; it's not quite as sleek, and there is no voice search (although you can do this via the free Fire TV app, available from Google Play, or App store).

With 8Gb of flash storage, to download apps or games, and a dual core processor, this small stick is not sluggish.

As well as BBC iPlayer, there is Demand5, Vevo, Netflix, Vimeo, Sky News, BBC News and much much more.

Performance was as expected; no buffering, and the picture quality is excellent; as is the sound.  The selections played flawlessly and as it's a cloud based service, it knew the last point I'd watched an episode of a programme, and asked if I wanted to resume.  You can also see photos or videos stored in your Amazon Prime cloud storage.

The question is, should you get one?  If you have an Amazon Prime account, this is a no-brainer.  And having the TV Stick means you can easily move it from room to room; take it away, use in student digs etc.

For me, this is the best way to get the most value for money from my Prime account, and at just £25 (the current offer; normal price £35), means I can consume even more Prime content.


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