Amazon hopes fire stick will light up its video service

We do streaming video? It seems we do...


Amazon hopes a new dongle will revive its flagging video ambitions.

The Fire TV stick is essentially the same as Google’s Chromecast concept: a low cost HDMI dongle bundled with a taster of Amazon’s own entertainment service – and a miniature version of the Fire TV box 'n’ remote that it revealed in April.

Both old box and new dongle allow access to a bunch of TV and music services including Netflix, Spotify and some games.

The Fire stick costs $39 in the US, with an offer of $19 if you pre-order now, although the bundle only includes one month of Amazon Prime Video.

After years of bungling its TV strategy Google has found success with its low cost Chromecast dongle - which in the UK includes a strong selection of material including Sky’s Now TV, BT’s football, and Tesco’s Blinkbox. Now TV also offers its own HDMI “dongle” for a tenner – although that reflects its more limited specs (no 1080HD output, for example) and less ambitious bundle (Spotify but no Netflix).

Amazon spent £200m acquiring LoveFilm, a well established brand in the UK, in 2011, but found itself steamrollered by Netflix, which now boasts 3 million punters here. In February, Amazon moved the video subscription service into the Amazon Prime subscription, increasing the price of Prime to £79. After this it seems to have disappeared completely. You’ll have a hard time finding it on the Amazon home page amidst the offers for Kindles, while even Prime members don’t get the hard sell.

The UK has only just got the Fire TV box - if you're Stateside, you can find out more about the TV stick here. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Research finds consumer-grade IoT devices showing up... on corporate networks

    Considering the slack security of such kit, it's a perfect storm

    Increasing numbers of "non-business" Internet of Things devices are showing up inside corporate networks, Palo Alto Networks has warned, saying that smart lightbulbs and internet-connected pet feeders may not feature in organisations' threat models.

    According to Greg Day, VP and CSO EMEA of the US-based enterprise networking firm: "When you consider that the security controls in consumer IoT devices are minimal, so as not to increase the price, the lack of visibility coupled with increased remote working could lead to serious cybersecurity incidents."

    The company surveyed 1,900 IT decision-makers across 18 countries including the UK, US, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia, finding that just over three quarters (78 per cent) of them reported an increase in non-business IoT devices connected to their org's networks.

    Continue reading
  • Huawei appears to have quenched its thirst for power in favour of more efficient 5G

    Never mind the performance, man, think of the planet

    MBB Forum 2021 The "G" in 5G stands for Green, if the hours of keynotes at the Mobile Broadband Forum in Dubai are to be believed.

    Run by Huawei, the forum was a mixture of in-person event and talking heads over occasionally grainy video and kicked off with an admission by Ken Hu, rotating chairman of the Shenzhen-based electronics giant, that the adoption of 5G – with its promise of faster speeds, higher bandwidth and lower latency – was still quite low for some applications.

    Despite the dream five years ago, that the tech would link up everything, "we have not connected all things," Hu said.

    Continue reading
  • What is self-learning AI and how does it tackle ransomware?

    Darktrace: Why you need defence that operates at machine speed

    Sponsored There used to be two certainties in life - death and taxes - but thanks to online crooks around the world, there's a third: ransomware. This attack mechanism continues to gain traction because of its phenomenal success. Despite admonishments from governments, victims continue to pay up using low-friction cryptocurrency channels, emboldening criminal groups even further.

    Darktrace, the AI-powered security company that went public this spring, aims to stop the spread of ransomware by preventing its customers from becoming victims at all. To do that, they need a defence mechanism that operates at machine speed, explains its director of threat hunting Max Heinemeyer.

    According to Darktrace's 2021 Ransomware Threat Report [PDF], ransomware attacks are on the rise. It warns that businesses will experience these attacks every 11 seconds in 2021, up from 40 seconds in 2016.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021