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A new media stick called the Fire TV stick has been launched by Amazon, which will allow users to stream internet video to their television screens. In doing this, they have officially set up a stall right across the road from Google, who jumped into the TV streaming market with their own product, Google Chromecast.
The plug-in stick is the size of a pack of gum, and provides access to Amazon Instant Video as well as other services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN and NBA Game Time. In a statement, Amazon did not shy away from pitching the Fire Stick directly against Chromecast, and said that it has 150% more processing power and twice the memory. It also has Amazon’s ‘advanced streaming and prediction’ features, which will predict what viewers would like to watch and then buffer the videos in advance for faster playback.
Like other devices of its ilk, the Fire Stick can also ‘mirror’ the content on a tablet or a smart phone onto a television screen for easy viewing. Amazon added in their statement that the Fire TV Stick is not a gadget, but an integrated service that brings together the features customers have come to expect from Amazon.
In addition to Amazon and Google, Microsoft also has a finger in the pie, with their Wireless Display Adaptor, that plugs into HDMI and USB ports of a television and wirelessly communicates with phones and tablets running Miracast software.
So the next wave of communication is upon us, apparently. It involves blurring the line between entertaining devices and computing devices. There will soon just be devices, all of which can do both.

Damien Peters

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