Amazon announced a new Fire TV Stick that adds functionality that has long been absent from Fire TV products. The new $50.00 item will feature the ability to deliver 4k content as well as give the user the ability to control their TV’s power and volume all in one controller. This will allow users to turn any TV into a Fire TV powered TV. Roku has been using a similar setup with higher end streamers for over a year.
The new capabilities solve a pretty common problem for streaming fans. The problem being the need for more than one remote. Because streaming devices are separate from the TV’s themselves, one remote was needed for the basic TV functions and another is needed in order to handle the streaming, unless of course your TV has the ability to control a device with the included remote through CEC.
Amazon Fire TV devices also serve as a window into the Alexa ecosystem. It means that just like an Amazon Echo device, Fire TV devices can let user turn on or off smart devices in the home, shop and more. Besides that, the integration of Amazon Prime services helps the Fire TV be a great offering for Amazon customers in general.
Should You Upgrade from an older Fire Stick?
You know it depends. I can tell you from experience that whether it is using a Fire TV powered TV or the Roku Ultra with a remote that controls the TV as well as the streaming box, there is something to be said for the convenience of having everything built into one controller. As long as the one remote does not get lost this means you only need it to do everything on the TV, aside from switching inputs. With the Reset DVR integrated into a home setup, which is a totally separate product, you can eliminate the need to switch to local channels.
Depending on your budget and Christmas season plans the $50.00 price tag may seems hefty, but if you have it to spare I think that between the added TV functionality and the 4k capability that the item is a good investment for some time moving forward. We have a feeling here at the Streaming Advisor that a new streaming stick was on the way. On the other hand, I would not expect to see another pendant device. Look for Amazon to keep their family at 2 streaming devices for the moment.