Amazon Announces 4K Streaming Stick, Plus Alexa Voice Remote
Consumers will have their choice of low-priced 4K streaming devices this holiday season. Amazon announced the Fire TV Stick 4K, which lists for $49.99 and offers Dolby Vision and HDR-10+ support besides ultra high-res streaming. The package includes the Alexa Voice Remote, introduced today, as well, which brings Alexa voice commands to the TV. The remote can also be purchased separately for $29.99, and comes with the Fire TV Cube ($119.99).
The Fire TV Stick 4K uses a quad-core 1.7 GHz processor, supports 802.11ac W-Fi, and is the first such device to support Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. Owners can ask Alexa to show 4K moves and TV shows, if they want to see only ultra high-res content.
The Fire TV Stick 4K will ship on October 31 in the U.S. and Canada.
Amazon will battle with Roku over 4K this holiday, as Roku introduced the Premiere set-top box ($39.99) in September. The Premiere supports 4K, and the higher-priced Premiere+ ($49.99) comes with an advanced remote. The Roku Streaming Stick+ ($69.99) also supports 4K video.
In related news, CNBC reported that Amazon might launch a free ad-supported TV service this week. Distinct from Amazon Prime Video, the new service will be called Free Dive and be available to Amazon TV device owners. Don't expect Amazon originals, as the service will feature older shows and movies.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K with the Alexa Voice Remote
Having a simple voice interface that transcend devices creates a magical experience, Amazon said, and that explains the strategy behind the Fire TV Blaster.
The STB leader also announces two OS upgrades that add audio modes for easier listening, as well as new options when searching free content.
The Amazon Alexa ecosystem will soon include a larger Echo Show with streaming video support, and an OTA DVR.
When consumers own a Fire TV device, they're more likely to subscribe to Amazon Prime Video and rate the service highly.
The Roku Channel is now available online through desktop and mobile browsers. Also, the Roku OS gains a navigation option for free shows and movies.
Amazon Prime Video may have a lot of members, but they didn't come for the online originals: 79 percent signed up for free shipping.