Amazon’s New $39 Fire TV Stick Features Alexa Voice Remote

Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote - digital video streaming player

Amazon has recently launched a new version of the streaming device, the Fire TV Stick, with Alexa Voice Remote. It is the first of its kind and is available for pre-order at $39.

Here’s Amazon’s offer for the new devices:

The only streaming media stick with a voice remote, the all-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote enables universal search across more than 90 apps and channels using just your voice

Ask Alexa to play TV shows and movies, launch apps and more using the included Alexa Voice Remote

Access more than 7,000 channels, apps and Alexa skills, 300,000 movies and TV episodes, and coming soon, an updated visual experience that makes browsing content even easier

Enjoy great picture quality and fast performance with a powerful quad-core processor and the fastest Wi-Fi of any streaming media stick

Customers who activate by October 31 get up to $65 in free content from Sling TV, Hulu, and Amazon Video”

According to Amazon, Amazon Fire TV is currently the United States’ most popular media streaming player with over 170,000 reviews giving it a 4.2/5 rating.

The company boasts that Alexa Voice Remote is an “instant and powerful” voice search function. It can help you find specific programs and channels from the ton of services that stream into Fire TV.

Amazon has also revealed an upcoming update to Fire TV that will give users a new experience around finding what to watch next. It will include trailers and screenshots so you won’t have to keep switching apps to find the program you want.

The product is currently open for pre-orders on, and deliveries will commence on October 20, 2016.

The mass proliferation of streaming media players and dongles such as Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Kodi boxes and so on are increasingly putting pressure on traditional providers of TV programming, including cable network and satellite television operators. As average internet speeds keep increasing along with video consumption, it is far cheaper to stream content than to pay more for a cable connection. As a result, more and more people are “cutting the cord” on their conventional connections and opting for streaming media players instead.

This trend will probably take a few years to play out, but there’s no doubt that traditional cable TV is on its way out. Eventually, it will be pushed into the fringes where high-speed internet connectivity isn’t available.

The Evolution of “The Television Experience”

There are options that are even cheaper than streaming media players, such as HD antennae, which are basically the digital versions of what we use to have half a century ago, defining the skylines of every city in the world, rich or poor.

If you’ve never seen an old television antenna, feast your eyes on this eyesore…

tv antenna against a blue sky

Yup, that was the tv-antenna-and-bird-pitstop-in-one during the first half of the 20th century, and they were around for a long time after that – at least until the cable tv concept was introduced in 1940 and quickly became so popular that subsequent generations have never even seen an old antenna.

That’s how far we’ve come in the last seventy years or so – from metallic monstrosities parading on rooftops to sleek digital streaming devices that slip into our pockets. It is companies like Netflix, Amazon, Google, Apple, etc. that are at the forefront of that evolutionary change in the way we consume video programming. As we progress, the devices will become more powerful, more intelligent and much cheaper than ever before.

And what we’re seeing in the form of Alexa Voice Remote is just the beginning of a truly interactive TV experience. Someday soon we’ll have intelligent systems that can guess what you’re in the mood to watch and automatically open the app and start the program as soon as you sit on the couch. With smart devices around our home, these systems will eventually start creating the right ambience as well. Turn off all appliances, dim the lights, make sure the beverages in the fridge are at the right temperature and maybe even make the popcorn for us.

The entry of artificial intelligence into the television space is probably the biggest disruptive evolutionary change in the history of television. Bigger than when black and white gave way to color; bigger than when antennae gave way to cables; bigger even than interactive TVs that can sense hand gestures.

Amazon’s Fire TV Stick may not be the future, but it’s a good indication of where the TV experience is headed.

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