By Chris Welch, a reviewer specializing in personal audio and home theater. Since 2011, he has published nearly 6,000 articles, from breaking news and reviews to useful how-tos.
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Amazon has announced its latest video streaming devices for the TV: today, the company introduced an upgraded Fire TV Stick for the same $39.99 price, which now supports Dolby Atmos audio. But Amazon is getting even more aggressive on price with the launch of the new Fire TV Stick Lite at just $29.99, which it claims has the “most processing power” among streaming devices under $30. Both are capable of HD-quality streaming with expanded HDR color and will be released on September 30th.
Both new Fire TV models will be equally fast at opening apps and starting your video streams. But one difference is that the Fire TV Stick’s remote has volume and mute controls for your TV, while the Lite’s doesn’t. However, both offer support for voice search and commands through Alexa.
Additionally, the Fire TV home screen will undergo a major redesign later this year, with individual user profiles — something Roku still lacks — and improved navigation with a “favorites” bar for app shortcuts at the top.
Like other new products announced today, the Fire TV Stick and Stick Lite will enter a low-power mode when they’re not actively being used to conserve energy.
The Lite leaked a couple of days before today’s Amazon event, with images of the latest Fire TV and its remote appearing on WinFuture.de.
Amazon has said that there are currently over 40 million active Fire TV accounts.
Correction September 24th 3:23PM ET: The article originally stated that the new Fire TV Stick offers faster performance than the Fire TV Stick Lite. But in fact, both devices are equally fast. Additionally, Amazon said that the Fire TV Stick Lite has the “most processing power” of streaming devices under $30 — we originally quoted it as “most powerful.”
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