Amazon India launches the Amazon Fire TV priced at INR3,999

Amazon India launches the Amazon Fire TV priced at INR3,999

New Delhi, April20:Amazon India launched the Amazon Fire TV stick today, priced at INR3,999. Having launched its video streaming service, called Amazon Prime Video, some time ago, this was the logical next step for Amazon India, as the Prime video app is not available for streaming on most smart TVs. The biggest competition for Amazon’s streaming stick is, of course, Google’s Chromecast 2. The first and second generation Chromecast have been available in India for quite some time. Let’s see how the two products fare in comparison.

 Design

Amazon Fire TV stick resembles a big USB drive at first look. In a way, it is like the Teewee stick produced in India and the American Roku stick. The first Chromecast too had a similar look. However, Chromecast 2 is sleeker, sporting a smaller puck-like design that is a much better fit for wall mounted TVs.

Amazon’s device comes with a remote control, so even if users don’t have a smartphone around to control the streaming, they can sit back and relax. The Chromecast on the other hand relies on a smartphone, tablet or a PC connected to the same network.

BECK DIEFENBACH / REUTERS

Specs & Functionality

Chromecast runs on 1.2 Ghz Dual Core Arm Processor, whereas Amazon Fire TV stick has a Quad core MediaTek processor. That doesn’t really make a world of difference as Amazon’s device actually has to host and run the apps while Chromecast acts as a pipeline most of the time.

The new Chromecast has a RAM capacity of 512 MB as compared to 1 GB RAM included in Amazon Fire TV stick. Additionally, the stick comes with 8 GB of internal storage. Both devices have house dual-band WiFi adapters for faster streaming. (For tech geeks, Chromecast does support additional codecs such as MPEG-4 and VP8. Apart from that, all the formats under H.264 codec are supported.)

One of the major upticks for Chromecast is that it is easy to broadcast any laptop screen, browser or phone on to the TV screen. Even local content can be streamed through all kinds of devices through apps. This can be tricky to do in the case of Fire TV and users might need to perform extra tweaks.

Although, one downside with Chromecast is that it does drain your battery if the device is handling streaming over long periods. With the Amazon Fire TV stick, you can handle that by remote. The remote has voice control as well which can be used for the search. There are no Alexa functions but search phrases of Indian accent is picked up well

Apps and the interface

While Chromecast has its own app where you can find more content, you essentially don’t need separate apps for the device. If any app such as YouTube, Netflix or Hotstar has Chromecast compatibility, users can stream music or video directly to the TV at the click of a button. Nor is there a home interface for Chromecast. The device just acts as the streaming carrier from apps to the TV screen.

The Fire TV Stick has its own set of apps loaded on the platform or, rather, the device. You can browse through the catalog using the remote on the tile-like interface. Additionally, there is voice search which can help users find the apps. During initial usage, I found the aspect-ratio a bit weird and the apps are not as well made as the ones on the Apple TV. Streaming through the apps was a good experience though.

Pricing and closing thoughts

The new Chromecast is priced at ₹3,399 in India while the Fire TV Stick will set you back by ₹3,999. Both serve different purposes. If you have most of your content on streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube and Hotstar, Amazon’s stick with a remote is a better choice.

But if you want to stream local content, mirror your screen (broadcast content on the screen of your choice) besides streaming, Chromecast is a good all round device for making your TV smart.

India is the fifth market in which the Fire TV stick has been launched, after the US, UK, Germany and Japan. The stick, priced at INR3,999, allows customers to stream content directly into any HDTV set by just plugging it in. It also enables the replication of an online video library on television via a Wi-Fi connection.

To mark the launch of Fire TV, Amazon Prime Video has made its animated series Baahubali: The Lost Legends available to subscribers of its video-on-demand (VOD) service. The launch of episode one of the SS Rajamouli, Graphic India and Arka Mediaworks created show comes just days ahead of the theatrical release of the movie Baahubali 2. The remainder of the series will be available for streaming in a few weeks’ time.

Nitesh Kripalani, director and country head, Amazon Prime Video India, said: “Our aim is to solve the problems our customers face and with Fire TV Stick, customers can watch our latest and exclusive movies and TV shows from the comfort of their living rooms.”

“We started Prime with unlimited fast delivery and then added unlimited access to Prime Video at no additional cost. Now, Fire TV Stick transforms TV viewing and makes the Prime experience even better,” added Amit Agarwal, senior VP and country manager at Amazon India.

Prime members in India who purchase a Fire TV Stick will receive INR499 credit back to their Amazon Pay balance. Those enjoying a 30-day Prime free trial receive the credit when they purchase an annual membership.

Read more: Amazon launches Fire TV stick in India | VOD | News | Rapid TV News https://www.rapidtvnews.com/2017042046920/amazon-launches-fire-tv-stick-in-india.html#ixzz4em7SISK7
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