Apple TV versus Fire TV
Apple’s (AAPL) launch of the new Apple TV has created quite a stir among its competitors. According to a September 17, 2015, report on The Verge website, Amazon (AMZN) announced a string of updates to its Fire TV.
Fire TV is a device used to stream videos from content providers such as Netflix (NFLX), Google’s (GOOG) YouTube, and Hulu. It also comes with access to Amazon’s own Instant Video service and access to music service from Amazon MP3, Pandora (P), and TuneIn. The new Fire TV will support 4K Ultra HD video on 4K TV sets. Amazon has also introduced Alexa, Amazon’s cloud-based voice assistant on Fire TV. Alexa is similar to Siri, Apple’s voice-based assistant.
Amazon has also introduced an exclusive gaming-specific edition of the new Fire TV. Amazon’s Fire TV is priced at $99.99, far cheaper compared to Apple TV’s base price of $149.
As the above chart indicates, Google’s Chromecast is the cheapest connected TV device at ~$36–$38 while Apple’s Apple TV is the most expensive at $149. Chromecast is used for media streaming and is plugged into the HDMI port of the TV. It allows movies, TV shows, and apps to be mirrored on the television screen using a smartphone or a tablet.
Google had also launched its Android TV platform, similar to Apple’s tvOS, earlier this year. However, Android TV has not met with much success.
How Fire TV differs from Apple TV
Unlike Fire TV, the new Apple TV does not provide support for 4K Ultra HD television sets. Priced at $140, the new gaming-specific edition of Fire TV comes with a gaming controller, a 32GB microSD card, and two free game downloads. This game version of Fire TV will be available in October this year.
In comparison, the new Apple TV has few games in its array and requires that a separate gaming controller should also be compatible with the new Apple TV remote. All of this could curtail the gaming experience for an Apple TV user. It is also expensive than Fire TV’s gaming-specific edition price of $140.
Another key difference between Fire TV and Apple TV is content. Amazon has stated that besides current content provider apps like Netflix (NFLX), the company is also going to add some more content providers by the end of this year. Fire TV also has Dish Network’s (DISH) Sling TV app that is lacking in the new version of Apple TV.
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