Amazon Fire TV stick (basic) available in Oz

Amazon’s Fire TV stick (basic edition) is available in Australia. When plugged into a spare TV HDMI port it gives access to content from Prime Video, Netflix, YouTube and thousands of apps and games.

Of course, the  Fire TV Stick Basic Edition  is cheap – just $69 inc., free delivery but much of the video content such as The Grand Tour, Man in the High Castle and American Gods requires an Amazon Prime and/or Netflix subscription.

While many games are free paid games like Hungry Shark Evolution, Pac-Man 256, and Crossy Road start from just $0.99. Games are played with the stick’s remote as the controller.

Millions of songs are available to stream through subscription services including Spotify, TuneIn, Vevo and more.

A full list of the 5,440 apps is here. Note that storage space is 8GB so be careful you don’t overload the stick.

Fire TV Stick | Basic Edition

Processor MediaTek Quad-core ARM 1.3 GHzm Mali450 MP4 GPU
Storage 8 GB internal (actual formatted capacity will be less) available for apps and games
Memory 1 GB
Wi-Fi Connectivity Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi supports 2×2 MIMO 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.1
Ports HDMI output, Micro USB for power only
Audio Dolby Audio, 5.1 surround sound, 2ch stereo, and HDMI audio pass through up to 7.1
Content Formats Supported Video: H.264 1080p30H.265 1080p30,
Audio: AAC-LC, HE-AACv1 (AAC+), HE-AACv2 (eAAC+), AC3 (Dolby Digital), eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MIDI, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, AMR-NB, AMR-WB
Output Resolution Supported 720p and 1080p up to 60fps
Accessibility Features Remote control with 5-way directional, select, back, home, menu, rewind, play/pause, fast forward.
VoiceView screen reader enables access to most of Fire TV features for users who are blind or visually impaired. Watch videos and TV shows with closed captioning displayed. Captions are not available for all content
Included in the Box Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Remote, USB cable and power adaptor, HDMI extender, 2 AAA batteries, Quick Start Guide

Gadget Guy’s take

A good basic TV stick that works primarily in Amazon’s ecosystem. Content can be streamed from apps loaded on the stick or from Bluetooth connected smartphones.

There are many TV sticks, dongles, set-top boxes etc. Perhaps the best known is Google’s Chromecast,   Telstra TV (Roku)Apple TV and local supplier Laser has an excellent 4K Android TV STB.

Remember that these are all primarily streaming devices that use broadband data (can be expensive) and require content subscriptions – the device is the cheapest part. The critical difference is what more they can do?

In Australia that may be  Freeview Plus  (catch-up content from commercial TV channels), web browsing, email, video chat etc. Or the addition of a digital TV tuner could be handy to turn a computer monitor into a TV. Or you may want to access 4K content.