Roku is the biggest name for streaming hardware Seven different streamers Now available, and more TV And soundbars. Amazon has been Gun for a slice of stop pie Ever since the first Fire TV appeared. But what Amazon didn’t have until now is an ultrachip option. The $ 30 Amazon Fire TV Lite is the company’s latest effort to compete with Roku’s cheapest player, Roku Express. If you want an Ultrachip Amazon Streamer for the price of a DVD, it’s finally here.
- To sell something at very low price
- Alexa voice remote included
- Wide range of streaming apps
- Echo integrates well with speakers
do not like it
- Voice command does not work with every app
- More complex menus than Roku
- HDR without 4K is kinda pointless
Amazon releases not one but all Two new streamers at the same time – The second updated was the $ 40 Fire Stick – but I would argue that the Fire Stick TV Lite is a better deal. The main difference is that the more expensive stick has a separate remote with power, volume and mute buttons to control your TV. If you are using this streamer only on cheap TVs, it is worth saving money, unless you really want TV control.
So is $ 30 Fire TV Lite better than $ 30 Roku Express? They make the same selection of applications, with most exceptions Peacock – NBC’s new service which is not yet on Fire TV. The two biggest differences are in the menu system and voice support. Lite’s built-in access to Alexa is a big advantage if you prefer to speak instead of typing when searching for the Show and Launch app. In the end, I liked the Fire TV platform a bit better, although Roku is still an excellent choice. If your TV has an HDMI port, the Fire TV Stick Light is a great way to equip it with a wealth of streaming for a lot of money.
What is this?
The Fire TV Lite is a USB stick-size device that plugs into an additional HDMI port on your TV. For 30 rupees it offers a lot of features, including a dedicated voice remote that allows integration with it Alexa Voice Assistant. Its thousands of available apps also have dozens of supported streaming services.
The remote has not changed much physically since the first Fire TV and I did not like it as much as the Roku Remote or A New google tv Remote. Amazon’s Clicker lacks shortcuts to Netflix or other frequently used services, but includes a new live TV button.
Pressing that new bottom button brings a grid-style live TV guide populated by free shows from “channels” by default Pluto TV And stars. Oddly Amazon’s own IMDb TV is not part of the live TV grid, even though it has its own program grid after opening the app. If you want to subscribe YouTube TV, You will also see shows and channels from that service in the guide, although did not work with it Sling TV (Customers will have to use the Sling app as usual).
The stick itself has a power adapter. when you Might Use a USB port on your device. Give it power that I suggest you use an adapter instead, or the unit may behave strangely. for example, Dolby atmos The content won’t work at all when the TV is plugged into the USB port despite the device declaring “Dolby” – the sound came out as 5.1.
One of the features in Light’s feature list is slightly different: HDR compatibility. This is the first device we have seen to offer HDR but not 4K resolution, And raises the question of what kind of TV it is designed for. There are hundreds of 4K HDR TVs, but based on the search of the Best Buy site, only Four 1080p TVs that can do HDR. For most people with 4K HDR TVs, we would recommend getting a streamer that can actually do 4K instead of a 1080p streamer like Light.
Lots of streaming applications (but no peacock or HBO Max)
Like other streaming devices the number of Amazon Fire TV support services is improving all the time. It can access almost all major streaming apps including Amazon Prime Video ($ 9 on Amazon), Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, Crackle, Pluto TV, Tubi TV, Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify and many, many more. With so many services, it is almost easy to list Adopter’s services: NBC’s Peacock and HBO Max ($ 15 on HBO Max) (Although it has a vanilla HBO app). Roku and Chromecast with Google TV Both Peacock and the latter also include HBO Max.
Voice support is good but I did not work with every app including Netflix. Asking for “Umbrella Academy” failed and I just got the message “check your skills” (the Alexa app has no official Netflix skills). YouTube TV does not yet allow voice search either; I asked for “Battle Bots” and buy all the YouTube and Amazon “links” I have. Amazon Prime Video did a good job with Alexa voice, though, and I appreciated being able to use a remote or Alexa speaker.
In contrast, Roku may not have the same strong voice capabilities, but text searches via the Roku remote are generally more targeted than just “buy now” links rather than free or included programs.
What to use it
A healthy complement of features, tightly integrated voice commands and its relative speed make for a winning combination. Apps that open normally were fast, and navigating only home page tiles could occasionally cause a slow drop, but nothing that spoiled the experience.
The Fire TV Stick Light Remote is easy to use, and Alexa’s search with the microphone button was more sensitive and relevant than using the Echo as an echo. The only time I ever wished was a mute button, and this was usually during the autoplay video that accompanies the tile on the home page.
Picture and sound quality was also very good, but the lack of an audio format control beyond the “best available” can cause some odd problems. For example, The Legend of Korra on Netflix gave me only stereo sound using Light (although it should be capable of 5.1), while the new Fire Stick gave me the expected 5.1. Other programs, including Jack Ryan on Amazon, were played at Atmos on Lite, so it was not a hardware capacity problem. More likely is a Netflix one, but I’ve reached out to Amazon for clarification.
There are two different schools of thought when it comes to how streaming devices organize their content. App-centric menus like Roku and Apple TV only show you a grid of apps, so you can’t actually browse to see something without clicking on each app. Amazon Fire TV and Google TV take a more content-focused approach, recording too many titles on the home page itself.
If you like grazing for content, the Fire TV may be more attractive, although the “live tiles” autoplay video can swing. If you know what you already want, or at least what app you want to see, Roku is probably a better option, because Amazon’s search results are based on its own (often user-paid-extra) content. Falls heavily towards
Amazon has promised an interface update later in 2020, which will come on both Lite and 2020 Fire TV. It offers a redesigned main menu and improved browsing, along with a new section called Alexa Xplore with new recipes, stock reports and more.
Should you buy it
If you want an ultrachip, capable streamer and are embedded with Alexa and the Amazon universe, this product matters a lot. You may or may not miss the TV control functions but the Live TV Guide button is a real bonus especially for cord-cutters. At $ 30 it is a worthy nightmare and a great stocking filler.
If, on the other hand, you have a 2019 Fire Stick, then you have no reason to buy any of the 2020 versions. Dolby Atmos and / or Dolby Vision are strange add-ons for 1080p devices, and if you have a decent 4K TV, you should get a real 4K streamer – it’s just another $ 20.