Amazon has unveiled a TV streaming dongle called the Fire TV Stick, which is aimed at taking on the likes of Google's Chromecast.
The device connects to the HDMI port on the back of a TV and is able to stream content from services like Netflix and Hulu Plus.
"The Fire TV Stick will be a natural progression of the Fire TV," said RJ Hottovy, an analyst at Morningstar Inc. "They will have more success among core Amazon Prime users, but it will be more difficult switching customers away."
The new device comes just seven months after Amazon debuted the Fire TV streaming set-top box. While the Fire TV sells for $99, the Fire TV Stick retails for only $39. Not only that, but for the next two days Amazon Prime customers in the U.S. are able to buy the Fire TV stick for only $19.
The device comes with a number of great features, including a remote control and a 30-day trial of Amazon Prime and Netflix. The remote control is a little different from the one that comes with the Fire TV, which includes voice search, similar to Google's new Nexus Player.
Users who have the Fire TV Stick remote and want voice search will have to buy it separately for $30. They can, however, also use Amazon's voice search feature if they download its remote-control app for their smartphone.
While Amazon is touting the Fire TV stick as a competitor to Google's Chromecast digital media player, the devices are actually quite different. Chromecast displays content from an Android phone tablet or a laptop. Content first comes from the device and is then shown on the TV. The Amazon Fire TV Stick, however, is essentially a smaller version of the Fire TV with its own interface and controls.
Another recent entry into HDMI sticks is the Matchstick, which recently underwent a Kickstarter campaign and smashed through its $100,000 funding goal. It runs on the Firefox operating system.
The Fire TV Stick includes a dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of storage. Amazon says the device has "50 percent more processor power and two times the memory of Chromecast, and six times the processing power...Roku Streaming Stick."
The Roku Streaming Stick is another competitor to the Amazon Fire TV Stick and costs $50.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick is largely aimed at driving more subscribers to Amazon's $99-per-year Prime service. Amazon Prime offers users faster shipping on products as well as access to video and music content. It will be released Nov. 19.