As expected, Amazon today launched its Google Chromecast rival, Fire TV Stick, in India for a price of Rs 3,999. The device will be available on Amazon India and select retailers including Reliance Digital and Croma starting tomorrow. The package includes a USB drive which can be plugged into an HD TV and a remote to access content via Wi-Fi connection. In addition to this, Amazon has also announced the availability of the animated version of Bahubali: The Lost Legends, Suicide Squad and stand-up comedy by Kenny Sebastian in Prime Video as well.
Amazon has an introductory offer for people who purchase the Fire TV Stick before May 31 and subscribe to an annual membership for Prime Video. Amazon will credit Rs 499 back to their Amazon Pay balance, and users who already have Prime membership are also eligible for this offer for a limited period of time. In addition to content available from eligible platforms like Hotstar, Voot, Airtel Movies along with Amazon Prime Video, users get access to 3,000 apps, games, and services. On purchasing the Fire Stick TV via Amazon India, the device will come pre-registered and users can begin using it automatically.
While demonstrating the Fire Stick TV, it was noticeable how Amazon has focused on making content available in the best possible way. For example, searching for a particular actor would show results of the different movies they have acted in, all in one platform. Whilst watching a movie, one can also search for different movies of that particular actor.
In terms of specifications, the Amazon Fire TV Stick is powered by a quad-core processor and paired with 1GB of RAM. It also comes with 8GB of internal storage and is equipped with Wi-Fi802.11ac MIMO for connectivity. The Amazon Fire TV Stick also comes with voice control-enabled remote which eases the pain of typing into the search bar. Amazon has also included Hindi language into the voice control which Marc Whitten demonstrated by reading out some Hindi movie titles. The Fire TV Stick comes with an Advanced Streaming and Prediction (ASAP) which monitors a user’s content streaming habits and predicts the movies and TV shows accordingly.
The Fire Stick TV also comes with data monitoring feature where people can choose the video quality according to their preference. Users can configure the device to alert them about their data usage as well. However, when asked about the data connectivity problems in India, Amazon was unable to give a definite response as to whether it would work on low internet speed. The Fire TV Stick also comes with parental control through which parents can set a PIN to restrict access to mature content. In terms of the video quality, the Fire TV Stick is equipped with High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC) which allows streaming in full HD. Whitten said that almost all the content are available in HEVC format. ALSO READ: Amazon Prime Video teams up with Bollywood director Kabir Khan for ‘The Forgotten Army’ series
A couple of more introductory offers include up to 100GB of free data on Airtel Broadband and 4G home Wi-Fi devices with validity for three months since the time of activation. Users also get up to 240GB of free data from YOU Broadband, six months of ad-free unlimited music streaming from Gaana, three months free premium video membership on Eros Now and one month of free ad-free streaming from Voot and Voot Kids.
Amazon seems to be relying heavily on the ‘content’ for its growth in India. When asked about the competition from its rivals like Netflix, Amazon simply said that it’s focusing on content generation rather than ways to outdo their rivals. ALSO READ: Amazon Prime Video, Netflix eye massive Rs 2,000 crore investment in India: Report