The entertainment market is constantly evolving. Customer needs are constantly changing. These days, customers want their music, TV, video, video games and web browsing to be available on a single device.
Big manufacturers and newcomers who want to break into this juicy windfall are competing in ingenuity to grab their share of this market. The devices take various forms and aspects to satisfy all possible and imaginable needs of the customers.
Thus were created TV decoders which do not fully satisfy customers, then there were Android TV boxes, and then, 5 years ago, the HDMI key, which is much smaller than a TV box, but which is equally effective. The Amazon Fire TV Stick is one of those HDMI keys that will become essential to transform your TV into a Smart TV or smart TV or connected TV.
Intended to become a multimedia alternative to the Google dongle , which has been commercially available since 2013, Amazon launched the Fire TV Stick with its own configurations in 2014 in the USA and distributed since 2017 in France directly on Amazon . With features and capabilities that have nothing to envy to those of its competitor, the Fire TV Stick deserves its place in this market.
Amazon Fire TV Stick – Hardware Reviews
Amazon’s Fire TV Stick looks like a big USB key except that it connects to an HDMI port. As most current TVs are equipped with an HDMI port, the installation shouldn’t be too much of a problem for you. Its small size should fit in the location for your TV’s HDMI. Discreet and light, it measures 8.6 cm in length by 3 cm in width, for a weight of 32 grams.
It comes with a power cable, a remote control with 2 AAA batteries, and finally an HDMI extension. The power cable is connected at one end to a micro USB port on the dongle, which should only be used for this purpose, and at the other end to an electrical outlet.
The HDMI extender allows you to plug in your HDMI dongle if the location where it should be on your TV isn’t big enough to plug it in directly.
With 1GB cache and 8GB internal memory, the Amazon Fire TV Stick is big enough for the games and apps you download.
As it is a minimalist device, the USB ports or other SD card holders that you normally use on a TV box with your USB keys and external hard drive and SD or micro SD cards are not available. On the other hand, by purchasing this Fire TV Stick, you will have access to the Cloud for your storage and for all Amazon content. Which is even better, because less bulky.
Here, no cable connection, you connect only by Wifi, which is provided by a double antenna for the occasion to provide stability and speed of the speed of your connection: 802.11a/b/n/ac and 802.11a /b/g/n/ac. With good Wifi quality, which depends on your internet operator, your streaming shows do not experience crashes or bugs. The connection of the Amazon Fire TV Stick is very correct.
In addition, Bluetooth 4.1, very good transfer qualities, allows you to use an audio headset, your gamepad or another device equipped with Bluetooth.
Amazon Fire TV Stick – Software Test & Review
The OS is provided by the Amazon Fire OS, an operating system of the e-commerce box itself. You thus enjoy all the services of the OS: Amazon Music for your music, Amazon Prime video for your videos and films, Amazon Photo, the Amazon App Store to download your game applications like Molotov TV… Developed on the model of the Android system, those used to using the latter should easily find their footing with the Amazon Fire OS.
The Fire TV remote control, supplied with 2 AAA batteries and which is delivered with the Amazon Fire TV Stick, communicates with the HDMI dongle via Bluetooth. Several alternatives are available for those who are not comfortable with this Fire remote, including commercially available universal Bluetooth remotes, and for this, the remote is required. Otherwise, there is obviously voice control via Alexa which is currently only available across the Atlantic.
Nevertheless, after a little time of adaptation, you will find your initial remote control more practical and more flexible than any other universal remote control bought in specialized stores. The Fire TV remote is effective albeit fragile according to discussion on a user forum.
In addition, the interface for classifying the present applications is not so practical. The apps are tidied up a bit haphazardly, it’s hard to find what you want at first sight, because you have to rummage through everything, especially if your app isn’t one of those recognized by the masses. A search tool benefits from being installed there.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick – Performance Reviews
Opinions are unanimous on the forum, because despite its very small size, the Amazon Fire TV Stick is as responsive as an ordinary Android TV box. No bugs, no latency, fluid, fast, it is very efficient and very intuitive.
Kodi is not pre-installed on the Amazon Fire TV Stick. Fortunately, to have it easily, you have to download it and install it there afterwards. This setup is interesting in that the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Kodi provide the best combination of streaming between the device and the streaming application. You could thus benefit from all the formats supported by Kodi for your HDMI key which will be all the more interesting.
JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP formats are supported by the Amazon Fire TV Stick. 4K digital image resolution is currently not supported by this TV dongle.
Nevertheless, 720p and 1080p outputs up to 60 fps are supported and already give a very acceptable resolution of your screen viewing, whether in photo or video. 4K resolution will soon hit Amazon’s “online bins”.
Audio & Video
Audio formats MIDI, MP3, HE-AACv1 (AAC+), AAC-LC, HE-AACv2 (eAAC+), AC3 (Dolby Digital), FLAC, Vorbis, PCM/Wave, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), AMR-WB, AMR-NB are playable by the Amazon Fire TV Stick. On the video side, the H.264 or MPEG-4 AVC and H.265 or MPEG-4 HEVC formats can also be read by this HDMI key.
All this to tell you that most audio and video formats are compatible with the Amazon Fire TV Stick, and that with an image and sound quality that would satisfy you.
The video games available in 2D are very satisfying. The Amazon Fire TV Stick is certainly not a reference, but it is very usable despite the usual crashes and jerks to the usual games found on TV boxes.
The Fire TV remote is usable for video games, but a Bluetooth controller may be more useful for that. In short, we could have found better to play with the Amazon Fire TV Stick, because it is not fluid enough to allow us to play it with total satisfaction.
Amazon Fire TV Stick Tech Specs
|Mark||“Amazon Fire TV Stick”|
|General||Core: Dual Core CPU: BCM75839 GPU: Model: RAM: 512MB RAM Type: ROM: System: Type: Processor: MIPS 4KE Dual Core CPU 750Mhz|
|Product Detail||Interface: HDMI version: Network: 1000Mbps LAN, Wifi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 Ghz, Bluetooth 4.0LAN: Ethernet: 10/100M, standard RJ-45|
|Feed||External Power Adapter Mode|
|Dimensions and weight||Package size (L x W x H):132x87x26 Package weight: Product size (L x W x H): Product weight: 144|
|Package contents||1 x “MXQ PRO Amlogic S905W Smart TV Box”, 1 x Remote Control, 1 x HDMI Cable|
Created on the model of the Google dongle, a small compact device that provides all or almost all possible multimedia entertainment: photos, video, music, internet browsing, the Amazon Fire TV Stick has however a very great asset which characterizes it by in relation to its “model”: autonomy. Indeed, if the Google key requires the use of a telephone, the Fire TV dongle has its own OS. Its size is not an obstacle with all that it can give since the Amazon Cloud is available for Fire TV customers.
Two versions of the Amazon Fire TV Stick are sold in the market: the basic edition and the version with Alexa voice. Only the first is available in France and the second is only marketed across the Atlantic. Nevertheless, we can hope that it could soon be bought by French customers given the heaps of possibilities that we have heard about it.
The interest with the Amazon Fire TV Stick also is that it is discreet, light and transportable. Indeed, unlike a TV box, you can take it from one room to another, or even from one place to another without it bothering you much. It’s quite convenient, especially for people who travel often, they can enjoy their entertainment videos, music, streaming shows… as if they were at home, of course, provided the hotel has an HD TV.
You only have to carry in a small pocket of your bag the HDMI key, the power cable, also small, the remote control and if necessary the small HDMI extension cable while for the TV box you need a bigger one. space, because more voluminous. Your purchase could be even more interesting if you are registered with Amazon Prime. But the quality/price ratio even without registration is already very interesting.
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