The Fire TV Stick - Stream your Netflix Series without a Smart TV
Netflix is hard to live without. That's why a lot of people have been moving to Smart TVs, because older TVs don't support streaming platforms. But there's a problem there. Smart TVs are quite expensive. And also, what do you do with your old TV after getting a new Smart one?
What if you could turn your old TV into a Smart TV? That might sound crazy, but there's a quick, affordable and practical way to get it done. Use an Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Amazon first launched the Fire TV Stick in 2014, with the idea of providing customers a streaming and entertainment device that effectively upgrades their TV. This device comes in two ranges, the Fire TV Cube and the Fire TV Stick. The Fire TV Cube comes with an embedded Amazon Echo Smart speaker and ships from the US. The Fire TV Stick range covers three models, the entry-level Fire TV Stick Lite, the standard Fire TV Stick and the high-end Fire TV Stick 4K.
So how do you get started with a Fire TV Stick? Let's find out.
How the Fire TV Stick Works
The latest 3rd Gen Amazon Fire TV Stick is a plug-n-play media device. It plugs into the HDMI port of your TV and adds Smart TV capabilities on that HDMI input. It connects to the internet through your WiFi and enables streaming and other services.
The Fire TV Stick's interface works on an Android operating system, keeping the look and feel very familiar and intuitive. It provides Android TV Apps, including Youtube, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Disney Hotstar, Sony Liv and also Google Play for TV, which you can use to install even more Apps.
Using the remote controller, you can change selections, control the content being streamed and more. The Fire TV Stick's remote controller also accepts commands via voice control. You can press the 'voice command' icon and ask it to play a particular show or open a specific App. It also doesn't require you to point it at the TV during use like a traditional remote.
The best thing about the Fire TV Stick is it's ease of use. Being a portable plug-n-play device, you can even carry it with you to use it at a different location. Not only is it a great media device, it is a detachable Smart TV core.
The coolest feature of the Fire TV Stick is it's Smart Home Dashboard. From here, you can monitor and control all your Smart Home devices connected to your Amazon Alexa account. The Fire TV's remote also lets you give Alexa voice commands to control these Smart Home devices. Compatible Smart Home devices include Smart Lights, Smart Plugs, Smart Speakers, Smart A/Cs, Smart Door Locks and More. Plus, the Fire TV Stick also responds to other Alexa devices, including an Echo device or the Alexa App.
How to pick your Fire TV Device
The Fire TV Stick Range:
Fire TV Stick Lite (Price: Rs. 2299)
Fire TV Stick (Price: Rs. 2799)
Fire TV Stick 4K (Price: Rs. 4799)
The Fire TV Stick Lite provides basic HD streaming and remote control features, leaving out some TV control buttons on the remote.
This one makes sense if you have a very tight budget.
The standard Fire TV Stick provides HD Streaming with all the remote control features and streaming capabilities.
For regular streaming uses on fairly large TVs, this one works perfectly.
The Fire TV Stick 4K provides Ultra-HD 4K quality Streaming with full remote functionality with advanced Video and Audio quality.
If you have a very large TV or a projector, or love the 4K experience, this one is for you.
Getting Started with your Fire TV Stick
Unboxing your Fire TV Stick
The Fire TV Stick box contains everything you need to start your Netflix binge. The pack contains a Fire TV Stick, the remote, a USB cable with a power adapter, an HDMI extender, 2 AAA batteries and a guide to get you started.
Setting up your Fire TV Stick
This is very easy to do. Follow these steps:
The Fire TV Stick has a USB slot built in. Use the USB cable from the pack to connect it to a USB slot on your TV. If you don't have a USB on your TV, plug it into the power adapter and plug it in. This will power your Stick.
Now insert the Fire TV Stick into one of your TV's HDMI slots
Change your TV's input to the HDMI slot you plugged the Stick into
You will see a welcome screen on the right HDMI input. Using the Fire TV Stick's remote control, follow the instructions on the TV screen. Use the up/down/left/right navigations and the Enter button on the middle to choose and select.
Enter your WiFi name and password and then log into your Amazon account from here.
Lastly open and log into your streaming Apps like Netflix, Hulu, Hotstar and others.
Features of the Fire TV Stick
Parental Control is essential when it comes to the hundreds and thousands of streaming shows and movies that are now accessible to your TV. Users can set a PIN to restrict access to mature content.
Track data usage
Users can track their usage and data consumption through the Fire TV Stick. By using this data monitoring feature, users can adjust the stream quality they prefer to optimize their data usage. It also alerts the users, when there is an excessive consumption over the set data consumption limit.
You can connect your Bluetooth headphones or speakers to the Fire Stick for wireless audio. Additionally, you can very easily mirror your Phone's screen onto the Fire TV Stick. There is also a way to get the remote control capabilities of the Stick on your Smartphone.
Technical Specs of the Fire TV StickIt has a lot under the hood, in spite of its small form factor. Here are some specs worth noting:
- A MediaTek MT8695D processor
- 4x ARM Cortex-A53 Cores at 1.7GHz
- Runs Amazon’s fire OS 7 which is based on Android 9
- 1 GB of RAM
- 8 GB of internal storage
- Uses dual-band dual-antenna Wi-Fi
- Has a dedicated GPU
Fire TV Stick Reviews and Reception
After using the Fire TV Stick for a few months, it is safe to say that this product has great potential. Not only does it make dumb monitors smart, it does it affordably. Looking at the value for your money, this product is a no-brainer.
We tested it for use at home and also in the office, and it worked wonders in both settings. The Fire TV Stick is a life-saver in Conference Rooms, for meetings, presentations and pitches. Especially with an Android operating system with hundreds of available Apps, the Fire TV Stick can't help but impress you.
With the Alexa ecosystem and other Smart Home products being accessible from it, the Fire TV Stick is quite a visionary product and a great alternative to a Smart TV. It saves a ton of money to go with a large simple TV and then hook it up with a Fire TV Stick.
What has your experience been with the Fire TV Stick? Let us know. Get in touch with us on our Instagram @deviceinteractions via DM if you have something interesting to share!
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