Amazon Brings Fire TV Stick to UK and Germany, Adds New Features
The Amazon Fire TV Stick—a compact HDMI device introduced to the United States in October 2014—is now available to shoppers in the United Kingdom and Germany. Amazon will begin shipping orders on April 15. Amazon notes that the Fire TV set-top box is the best selling set-top box in both the U.K. and Germany.
At the same time, Amazon announced new features to both devices, which will be delivered via an over-the-air software update in the next few weeks.
Fire TV owners (not Fire TV Stick owners) will be able to expand the set-top box's storage by connected a USB storage device. That storage can be used to hold additional apps or games. The Fire TV will also be able to connect to wireless Bluetooth headphones, letting people watch video or listen to music without bothering others in the house who might be sleeping.
Owners of the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick will gain the ability to connect to hotel or dorm room Wi-Fi networks that require online authentication. A useful addition, this makes portable TV devices truly portable. Owners will also be able to input their PIN on an entry screen that hides the numbers (so that kids or friends can't see) and use new shortcuts. Amazon Prime members will be able to access hand-selected music playlists.
46 percent of those surveyed could imaging exclusively streaming all their video, an increase from 60 percent over the previous year.
In a move that many expected, Amazon is combining its two video streaming services. New members can get a year of service for £49.
A Q&A with Amazon.com CTO Werner Vogels addressing a future where both broadcast professionals and consumers are connected to the cloud.