I've spent most of the week with the new FireTV Stick from Amazon, and have set it up both on TVs and computer monitors during my time with it. All I have to say is Roku, Google, and Apple better watch out!
When Amazon released the FireTV box earlier this year for $99 its quad core processor and games library set it ahead of the pack when it came to the set-top box segment. Now that the FireTV Stick has hit the market at $39 with a dual-core processor with 6x the processing power of Roku Streaming Stick, a dedicated VideoCore4 GPU, and 8 GB of storage—4x that of Chromecast and 32x that of Roku Streaming Stick.
Streaming was fast and responsive from Amazon Prime and Instant Video thanks to its ASAP software, which tries to predict what you will watch next and buffer it in advance. It comes in especially handy when you are watching TV shows, as it is easy for it to assume you will be watching the next episode. Attention to detail in the little things like this are what have made Amazon so successful with the Kindle, and that success will continue with the FireTV line if they can get them in peoples hands. Getting them into peoples hands is going to be the problem this holiday season. Underestimating demand, Amazon entered the holiday shopping season with pre-orders having pushed delivery dates past the first of the year. If you go to their website today, an order will not arrive until January 15, 2015.
Everything I tried worked pretty well on this device, and I tried almost everything. I streamed video from not only Amazon but Hulu and Netflix with no issues. I played 3D games from the online store with the FireTV Game Controller, and the controller paired without issue and then games played just as well.