Amazon launches Fire TV Stick in UK

How to add FOX 2 to your Amazon Alexa flash news briefing

Amazon has started to ship its new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote built-in to customers in the United Kingdom for the first time.

Until now, Alexa's domain had been the Echo and Echo Dot smart speakers.

Now all Fire TV Sticks will have the ability to use Alexa to find recommendations and ask questions, even if their device did not originally ship with a voice remote control.

The new version of the Stick - Amazon's fastest-selling device ever in the United Kingdom - offers improved performance, with a quad-core CPU 30% faster than the previous version, support for HEVC, and better WiFi.

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The new Fire TV Stick is available in the United Kingdom priced £39.99. It also brings the retail giant's voice-activated digital assistant - Alexa - to TV sets, potentially eliminating the need for consumers to buy a stand-alone Amazon Echo device, first released in 2014 and which has sold millions of units worldwide.

The move was announced on the same day that Google Home, the tech giant's answer to Amazon Echo, went on sale in the UK.

TV viewers will be able to speak to Alexa through a microphone built into the device's remote control.

Within Fire TV, Alexa will be able to search films and programmes from rival services such as Netflix, with other platforms due to follow, Amazon said. After opening up pre-orders back in February, Amazon has announced that it's finally shipping out to customers beginning today.

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Amazon describes its new user interface as a "cinematic experience", with trailers and screenshots from shows and films embedded directly into the menus.

However, by a freaky coincidence, Amazon also started mailing out its new Fire TV Stick today (pre-orders began last month), and is also issuing an upgrade for existing Fire TV Sticks and the larger Fire TV and Fire TV 4K boxes (although you will need a new, £20 remote with a mic for it to work).

The stick costs £40 and is available now.

With Alexa integrated into Fire TV, users can easily control video playback through voice.

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