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Amazon Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite announced, starting at $ 30

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite

Amazon

Amazon announced two new Fire TV products during its major online hardware event Thursday. Amazon Fire TVs compete directly with Roku and Apple TV, giving people access to popular apps like Disney +, Netflix, Hulu, and more.

Amazon says people are spending more time in front of TVs than ever before due to the spread of the Coronavirus. He sees TV as the center of the family and wants to have more features for users to bring them back. New features may help compete more strongly against Roku, which still holds 50% of the market share of global connected TV hours with strong growth opportunities, according to an analyst from Deutsche Bank in August.

The new Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite will be the first Amazon streaming tools to feature a redesigned home screen when it launches next week, although changes will come to existing Fire TV devices starting in Q1 2020 as well.

Here’s what you need to know.

Easier to find things to watch, new user profiles

Amazon Fire TV’s new interface, which includes user profiles.

Amazon

Amazon Vice President and General Manager of Fire TV, Sandeep Gupta, told CNBC that Amazon had received comments from users indicating that the home screen was too crowded. Amazon has redesigned to make it easier to find things to watch and quickly switch to live TV.

“Today, you can search for comedies, or things written by Tom Cruise, but we tried to locate a landing when you don’t know what you want to watch. This offers you free stuff, like movies and TV shows, broader categories and apps and more,” said Gupta. Gupta said quick access to the TV Guide will provide a familiar experience for people making the transition from cable TV to live broadcasting.

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The new software supports up to six user profiles. This means you can log into your profile and watch shows and movies that Amazon recommends to you, while your significant other can use a separate account for their personal recommendations. You can also create kids’ profiles that display only kid-friendly content that you have approved. Previously, you had to switch personal files within each app, like Netflix or Hulu, to see your recommended content within those apps.

The latest software offers a new option to watch ready Ring or Alexa camcorders on TV through picture-in-picture – like seeing a small window on your screen – while watching movies or TV shows.

Finally, Amazon is expanding its Alexa voice assistant on Fire TV. Gupta told CNBC that there are billions of requests submitted to Alexa and it has seen an 80% growth in requests for Fire TV over the past year, although he did not provide specific numbers.

“It’s a good indicator for people like Alexa and they use it more to manage shopping procedures and recipes, whatever they are, in a central place,” he said. Alexa responses now appear and cover only a small portion of the screen so you can continue watching or doing what you’ve been up to without being interrupted.

Video chat for Amazon Fire TV Cube

Amazon Fire TV cube

Amazon

Amazon Fire TV Sticks new price and release date

The new Amazon Fire TV Stick

Amazon

It is relatively similar to Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick. They will cost $ 39.99 and $ 29.99, respectively. Fire TV Stick provides support for newer technologies, such as HDR and Dolby Atmos if your TV and speakers support them. None of the videos support 4K and are limited to 1080p so don’t buy them if you have a 4K TV and want the best quality possible.

If you need 4K, go for Fire TV Stick 4K, Which costs $ 49.99 but doesn’t ship with the new software. Fire TV Stick Lite is more basic without Dolby Atmos and some more advanced Wi-Fi support for more stable streaming. Both are said to be 50% faster than the last generation Fire TV Stick, and both come with audio remotes that you can use to talk to Alexa to unlock movies, TV shows, apps, and more.

Pre-orders for the new Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite begin Thursday and will begin reaching customers on September 30th.

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Thelma Binder

"Explorer. Devoted travel specialist. Web expert. Organizer. Social media geek. Coffee enthusiast. Extreme troublemaker. Food trailblazer. Total bacon buff."

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