AMA­ZON FIRE TV STICK

Fire TV Stick can stream Ama­zon Prime Videos and a lot more on the big screen

T3 India - - CONTENTS -

CORD CUT­TERS, TAKE NOTE

ATV with­out a ca­ble or a DTH con­nec­tion is un­heard of in In­dia. How­ever, with im­proved in­ter­net speeds and a va­ri­ety of en­ter­tain­ment apps, cord cut­ting is not a dis­tant dream any­more. But if you still were on the fence about for­go­ing your DTH con­nec­tion, the Ama­zon Fire Stick makes that de­ci­sion eas­ier. The Fire TV Stick is a new de­vice from Ama­zon that al­lows you to play con­tent not only from Prime Video but also from other apps that you reg­u­larly use.

The Ama­zon Fire TV Stick is a de­vice that com­petes di­rectly with Google’s Chrome­cast but the way it al­lows users to con­sume con­tent is a bit dif­fer­ent. While Chrome­cast re­lies on cast­ing or mir­ror­ing apps and videos from your smart­phone or a tablet, the Fire TV Stick is a stand­alone de­vice. It is equipped with a re­mote con­trol, which means hav­ing a mo­bile de­vice to en­joy the con­tent on the big screen is not manda­tory. That said, you can down­load the Fire TV app to trans­form the smart­phone into a Fire TV Stick re­mote.

The UI is sim­ple and seg­re­gates be­tween home, movies, TV shows, apps and set­tings. Ma­noeu­vring is easy with the re­mote con­trol and in fact, it plays an im­por­tant part in the over­all Fire TV Stick user ex­pe­ri­ence. It comes with a voice-search but­ton that makes it easy to search for movies and TV shows. In our use, we found it to be good at pick­ing up he In­dian ac­cent. You can also search the library based on ac­tors, genre, etc. How­ever, voice search is lim­ited to English and Hindi for the time be­ing and while Ama­zon claims the voice search can search through its own library and third-party apps, we found it was able to search only on YouTube. In short, search­ing for Dare­devil, which is a Net­flix ex­clu­sive, will not yield any re­sult. This is, of course, a lim­i­ta­tion due to the ar­range­ment be­tween Ama­zon and third-party apps but it’s cum­ber­some nonethe­less. An­other is­sue with the re­mote is no vol­ume con­trol.

In terms of stream­ing, the qual­ity is top-notch, with the abil­ity to stream in Full HD or HD with­out any is­sues. Sup­port­ing HEVC com­pres­sion also helps to de­liver high-qual­ity videos on slower con­nec­tions.

For users with lim­ited band­width, the de­vice al­lows mon­i­tor­ing of monthly data us­age and stops stream­ing if it passes a par­tic­u­lar thresh­old.

Fire TV Stick is a nifty lit­tle en­ter­tain­ment de­vice that gives ac­cess to a lot of videos, au­dio apps and games. It also comes with a good voice search that makes con­tent dis­cov­ery faster. Sure, the ex­clu­sion of vol­ume con­trol is dis­ap­point­ing but it is cer­tainly not a deal-breaker.

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