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Upcoming Amazon Fire TV Stick to Include Alexa Voice Assistance

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The next version of the Amazon Fire TV Stick will include a remote that calls up Alexa voice assistance with one click, the company announced today. Available for pre-order now and shipping on October 20, the device will sell for $39.99. That makes it slightly pricier than the Google Chromecast ($35) and the newly announced Roku Express ($29.99).

While this isn't the first set-top device with voice assistance, the Alexa integration will let owners perform more tasks and use more natural language than the competitors. For example, owners can ask to see titles that fit a certain genre, jump back or forward in a video, launch apps, and search across channels all with their voice. They can even call up local movie times, check the weather, and order food delivery—all things that are separate from TV watching. For people who have already discovered Alexa through the Amazon Echo, it could be the deciding factor.

The Fire TV Stick includes a quad-core processor and connects via 802.11ac MIMO Wi-Fi. It supports 1080p video, but not 4K. Shoppers who buy and activate the stick by October 31 will get a bundle that includes one month of Sling TV, two months of Hulu (commercial tier), and a $10 Amazon Video credit.

Before the end of the year, Amazon plans a Fire TV software update that will help viewers find content easier without the need to open multiple apps.

TV device-makers are refreshing their lines in time for the holiday shopping season, and it's not over yet. Google will hold an event on October 4th where it will likely introduce a refreshed Chromecast. Rumors say Google will add a 4K-capable version that sells for $65.

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