So, Amazon has launched their flagship (is it really?) product in India – the Amazon Fire Stick! Will it work in India? Is it worth the money? We’ll find out.
Let me take a step back. First off, if you are interested in Amazon Fire Stick, I’m assuming that you are a movie buff! Or, you love watching TV. I’m one – partly. I rarely watch TV. Most of the time, I’m watching YouTube on my TV or Netflix. I use a Chromecast for streaming content on my smart TV.
Amazon Firestick is late to the party in my opinion. When I first used Chromecast, I was ecstatic! The reason – I want to be able to choose my own shows and I always watched stuff on the internet. And with Chromecast, I could now “cast them” over to the TV. Neat, is it not?
So my relationship with TV is either via Chromecast or Netflix. So Amazon Firestick is kind of this new person I’m dating.
Amazon Firestick v/s Chromecast
Big contrast. Chromecast just lets you connect to YouTube (via it’s app on the TV) and lets you cast anything from your browser to the TV.
Amazon Firestick is an eco-system on it’s own. It has it’s own apps and streaming channels you can watch – provided you have subscriptions to them.
So, for example, if you have a Netflix subscription, you can cast it to your TV via Chromecast. With Amazon Firestick, you have to login via their app and stream from there. Two different ways.
Which one do I like? Chromecast. Because it’s like the classical Android v/s Apple debate. Apple has a closed system for which you will have to pay for everything you watch. Every app has a subscription.
With Chromecast, I have my own choices. I might pay for one service (like Netflix) but I might not want to pay for everything else. That’s too much for me. I feel like you’re pushing me too hard to eat what I don’t like.
So, I personally would choose Chromecast any day. My TV has it’s own Hulu and Amazon video apps, so I don’t really need the Firestick. But if you want to make your TV smart, then the Firestick is for you.
Do you really need an Amazon Firestick?
Now, that’s a better question to ask. In order to answer it, I have to ask you few questions.
- Is you TV smart already?
- Do you consume lot of streamed content?
- Do you subscribe to more than one streaming content?
If your answer to all three was “Yes”, you are probably better off not buying the Firestick. As your smart TV would already have the apps you need. Then all you need is subscriptions to the streaming services you like.
But if your TV is not smart (and have a USB stick port), then you might need an Amazon Firestick. Because, then it will make your TV smart, and give you access to some good streaming apps. Note that just access doesn’t get you anything. You need subscriptions to these streaming services for them to work. You are looking at another cool Rs.1000 on them extra per month.
If you are like me, and would like to do the occasional TV debates, watch a lot of YouTube, little bit of Netflix, then Chromecast is the way to go. Currently, Chromecast is not available in India, but you can get a cheap imitation for under Rs.1000 (like AnyCast). The Firestick costs about Rs. 3,999 (as of April 2017) and quite honestly in my opinion is a flop device.
Should you buy Amazon Firestick?
Like I said, if you are genuinely doing a lot of streaming, then you could be doing things “aaram se” with an AnyCast just for Rs.1,000. You definitely don’t need an Amazon Firestick. But if you are not bothered about cost savings, and don’t mind paying extra for all those streaming apps (plus the device cost), then go for the Firestick! Hey, you’ll get a fancy voice activated remote control. 😀