EVERYTHING SELLER Amazon has started selling something else in the UK: its first Fire TV Stick to bring Alexa onboard.
The new quad-core Amazon Fire TV Stick, announced in the US last year, is said to be 30 per cent faster than its predecessor. The revised version also boasts the new UI downloaded to some existing boxes which is ergonomically more like Netflix.
The main selling point, though, is that the new Fire TV Stick is the first to integrate Amazon's Alexa voice assistant. As well as voice commands for Alexa, the system can also cope with video related requests such as "find Carrie Fisher movies" or "skip back ten minutes" by voice.
Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, the company's flagship Alexa devices, have been a huge hit since their arrival last year and so adding Fire TV to the range is a logical next step.
802.11ac wireless is augmented by Amazon's ‘Advanced Streaming and Prediction' (ASAP) feature which offers buffer free streaming and ‘High-Efficiency Video Codec' (HEVC) which offers 1080p pictures over a wider range of internet connections.
Amazon also announced on Thursday that Alexa will be rolling out to all Fire TV devices in the UK. Those without Amazon's newfangled voice remote will be able to use Amazon's TV app for iOS and Android to access the voice assistant.
"This is a big day for Fire TV customers," said Jorrit Van der Meulen, vice president of Amazon Devices International.
"Not only are we shipping a new Fire TV Stick - a faster and more powerful successor to our fastest-selling UK device ever - we're also rolling Alexa out to every single Fire TV device in the UK.
"This will allow millions more customers to access Alexa, meaning they can get answers to questions, use Alexa skills, manage their smart home, or even find things to watch and control playback, just by asking."
The Amazon Fire TV Stick remains the entry-level product in the Fire TV range but, apart from 4K, there's not much to separate the Stick from the more expensive Fire TV box.
It's available to pick up at Amazon now for £39.99. It'll also be available to pick up from Argos, Dixons Carphone, Argos, John Lewis, Tesco, Maplin and Shop Direct. µ
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