FIRE TV, OUR EXPERIENCE WITH FIRE TV STICK AND ITS IMPORTANT UPDATE



Fire TV, the operating system, now receives its biggest update to date, with an emphasis on content discovery and customization.

In short, we can say that it has better Alexa integration, personalized recommendations and individual user profiles, but there are more, as shown on your website.

We're talking about the biggest major software update yet, starting with a new home screen experience. They've redesigned it to make it easier to find things to look at, including scroll previews that allow you to directly access favourite shows on supported streaming services. Live TV, our library and pinned apps can also be accessed from the home screen.

They also have a new tab called Search, where Amazon will display navigable categories, genres, and custom recommendations on what to see next.

When it comes to individual profiles, we can create up to 6 with their own viewing history, viewing lists, settings and more, ideal for families who don't want to mix likes and favourites. Child profiles are also supported, which block content that is not considered eligible for families.

About Alexa'senhanced integration: we can navigate through the content using the wizard, as well as switch profiles, for example, thus forgetting the remote control.

The update is now being rolled out for Amazon's next-generation Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite. More devices, including Fire TV Stick 4K and Fire TV Cube, will follow early next year if everything goes according to plan.



Our experience with the Fire TV Stick

After years of using Chromecast, using Fire TV has been quite an experience, very rewarding. Similar to what Google's latest model already does, Fire TV Stick Lite has its own remote control, doesn't require the use of a mobile "to send content", and that's something that's always appreciated.

Fast streaming, Full HD quality, Alexa built into the controller so you don't rely on an external assistant, thousands of apps, Alexa Skills & channels, live TV (both pay-per-view and free channels), the ability to listen to music streaming with Amazon Music, Spotify and others... and all with less than 5 minutes of installation and just under 30 euros... if Amazon wanted to get Alexa into every home, it's getting it.

The only thing that didn't just convince me is the design of the Stick. It's a rectangular prism that takes up a lot of space behind the TV, and although it comes with an extension cord so it's not perpendicular to the TV (something unworkable if there's little space), it doesn't have the same aesthetic as a Chromecast (which is more subtle).

On the other hand, there is another important difference: while the Chromecast only needs the USB connection of the TV to power, the Fire TV Stick needs its own plug, so more cables are facing the wall. The reason is clear: the USB power of the TV is not enough to power the hardware that offers mobile independence nor to power the power of its processor. It has a Quad-core 1.7GHz MediaTek MT8695D, with GPUIMG GE8300 with OpenGL ES 3.2 and 1 GB of RAM.

What has me in love is its integration with Alexa. Being able to talk to the remote control to control smart home devices, play/pause/skip/rewind what we're watching, search for content, open apps and anything else Alexa can normally do... it's very useful. The remote control is also capable of controlling the power and a sound level of your TV via IR.

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