Amazon Fire TV Stick Media Streamer

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Amazon Fire TV Stick. Image via Business Wire

Internet streaming of TV and movie content has definitely taken off, with consumers having several access options. One option is the Smart TV, another option is an external media streaming box, and a third option that is becoming very popular is compact USB flash drive-sized device (Roku Streaming Stick, Google Chromescast, BiggiFi Family Stick) that plugs directly into a TV's HDMI connection - no cable hassles and no extra box to find shelve space for.

However, it looks like the field is going to get a little more crowded as Amazon, building on the success of its Fire TV media streaming box, now wants to "stick it" to the competition with its own plug-in Fire TV stick.

First up, the Fire TV Stick incorporates a Dual Core processor supported by 1GB of RAM and 8 GB storage capacity - which outpaces both Chromecast and Roku's Streaming Stick.

In terms of video and audio, the Fire TV Stick can output ​1080p video resolution (content dependent) and is Dolby Digital Plus audio compatible (content dependent).

For easy internet connectivity, the Fire TV Stick has Wifi built-in (obviously, the unit is too small to provide an Ethernet connection).

As far as available content goes, the Fire TV Stick provides access to Amazon Instant Video (of course), Crackle, HBOGo (must already be an HBO cable/satellite subscriber for access), HuluPlus, iHeart Radio, Netflix, Pandora, YouTube and a lot more.

In addition, Amazon's Fire TV Stick also provides access over 200 fun online games

You can also stream photos and videos from compatible smartphones and tablets to the Fire TV Stick for viewing your TV. In fact, you can use the Stick to mirror most content displayed on your smartphone or tablet screen on your TV.

As far as controlling Fire TV Stick, you have three options, the basic provided remote control (note that the remote is actually larger than the stick!) - or, you can download the free Fire TV Remote App to a compatible smartphone (including Voice Search features), or you can even opt to purchase Amazon's Fire TV Voice Remote separately. For more details on the Fire TV Stick, read Amazon's Official Announcement.

The Fire TV Stick is available now at Amazon.com via the Official Fire TV Stick Product Page.

More: Fire TV Stick, Google Chromecast, Roku Streaming Stick Feature Comparison Chart

UPDATE: The 2015 Amazon Fire TV Stick With Voice Remote Reviewed

UPDATE -  On 09/29/2016: Amazon Announces Next Generation Fire TV Stick for 2016/17. This version includes the core features of the previous model but adds a Quad Core processor, Faster Wifi support, and Alexa Voice Remote. However, 4K support is not provided - up to 1080p video resolution output available. Suggested Price: $39.99.