Our good friend Joe Steel talks up the Amazon Fire Stick 2 as the best bang for your buck in media streaming:
Amazon currently has the 2nd generation Fire TV Stick on sale for $29.99, that’s $10 off the normal price, and an unbeatable bargain. That’s wacky-arm-flailing-inflatable-tube-man pricing. I’ll risk recommending something that some people might hate, because at $30, it’s basically the cost of a bad dinner, and a drink, at a restaurant.
I have one of the first versions of the Fire Stick, and I’ve found it a pretty solid product , but Joe says the successor is noticeably better. If it comes to pure media streaming, it’s a great deal at $30, though Joe does point out some of its shortcomings.
Currently, I’m still using the Apple TV as my main streaming device when I’m at home, with the original Fire TV serving as a back up. Both have their fair share of limitations, and I’ve become equally frustrated with them at times, but the bigger annoyance is really just “why do I have to have two of these things?” The overlap between their functionality is significant, but then you get into that last ten percent or so and, well, if you want Amazon Video, the Apple TV’s not going to cut it, and if you want iTunes and/or AirPlay, the Fire TV/Stick is a non-starter.
It seems increasingly unlikely that Amazon will ever bring its video service to the Apple TV (a move I still think is foolish and shortsighted), and Apple isn’t about to make iTunes available to Amazon (equally annoying, though at least far more predictable and in keeping with Apple’s m.o.). For the moment, then, it appears the only answer is multiple devices, frustrating as that may be.