The age of DVD rental is almost over. Streaming video services like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube TV are now the easiest way to watch your favorite shows at home. If you do not have a smart TV, – or if the interface of your smart TV is slow and hard to use – streaming devices such as the Amazon Fire TV can stream these streaming services Support virtually every modern TV.
What is the Fire TV Stick?
The Fire Stick is a small device that is slightly larger than a USB stick and connected to the HDMI port on the back of your HDTV. Launch it, connect it to Wi-Fi, and you can watch the races ̵
If you're familiar with Apple TV or Roku, the Fire Stick is very similar – however, is manufactured by Amazon and is tightly integrated with Amazon services like Prime Video. The remote even has a built-in Alexa feature that lets you press a button and ask the virtual assistant to play your favorite show, pause or rewind playback, and watch movies with specific performers. You can also do this via Alexa in an Amazon Echo if you're too lazy to pick up the remote from the other side of the couch. We will not judge.
The Fire TV stick is not the only streaming device in the Amazon product range, but popular because of its low cost. The base model Fire TV Stick costs $ 39, while the 4K-capable model costs $ 49. If you need to spend a little more, the Fire TV Cube for $ 119 is a larger device that resides on your media console and acts as both a Fire TV streaming device and a box-embedded Amazon echo. You can also find the streaming features of Fire TV that are built into TVs, soundbars, and other devices with the same functionality. The advantage of the Fire TV Stick is that it works with almost any existing setup and hides behind the TV so you do not have to see it anymore.
Unlike Apple TV and Roku, the Fire TV range has gained notoriety for its ability to install apps other than Amazon-approved apps. Under the hood, Fire TV runs a custom version of Android, the software developed by Google that you can find on phones and tablets. Many Android apps work on Fire TV even if they are not specifically designed for the TV and do not appear in the Amazon App Store. By installing unlocked apps, you can play retro video games, protect your privacy with a VPN, play videos from your phone, or watch free movies (some of them – Full disclosure – [19459004)] may not be legal). This freedom, coupled with the low cost of the Fire TV Stick, makes it an attractive option for people who want to increase the capabilities of their Smart TV.
The Fire TV Stick is of course not without its disadvantages. The interface is a bit more geared to Amazon's own services and shows than the Roku, for example, so it feels a bit unwieldy to handle the remote. Alexa can help you navigate the software, and you can jump straight to a specific app without having to look around. Some apps are even Alexa-capable. So you can say "Play The Good Place on Netflix" and it will jump straight to your show. So if you're looking for a streaming device that does not cost much – but has a lot of potential, the Amazon Fire TV Stick is a good choice.
How to set up your Fire TV Stick  With the Fire TV Stick from Amazon, you can stream almost anything on your TV, and setting up is easy – though a bit boring. How to get your new Fire TV Stick up and running.
. 1 Unpack and connect your Fire TV Stick
Apart from the Fire TV Stick itself. The box contains the Alexa Voice Remote Control, an HDMI extension cable, a micro USB cable and a USB power adapter.
The HDMI extension cable is not required but may be useful in certain configurations. In most situations, you can connect the Fire TV Stick directly to your TV, A / V receiver or soundbar. If your TV is mounted so that you do not have enough space, or the receiver's HDMI connectors are too close together to use the Fire TV Stick, you can use the extender. Connect the Fire TV Stick to the HDMI extender, connect the extender to the desired HDMI port and you have much more freedom to adjust things exactly.
Next you need to power the Fire TV Stick. Plug the microUSB cable into the Fire TV Stick and the other end into the wall with the included USB power adapter. If your TV has a USB port that provides enough power, you can try connecting the micro USB cable to it. However, if you encounter problems, use the included power adapter for best results.
The Fire TV Stick should work immediately Start the computer when you connect it. Turn on your TV and switch to the correct input to see Amazon's Fire OS user interface. For example, if you have the Fire TV Stick connected to the "HDMI1" port, press the input or source button on the remote control of your TV until HDMI1 is activated. Afterwards, the Fire TV logo should be displayed.
. 2 Make a Wi-Fi connection and log in to Amazon.
When your Fire TV Stick first starts up, you'll be prompted to press a few buttons on your remote to attach it to your stick to pair. You can then select your language, search your Wi-Fi network in the list, and enter your password using the on-screen keyboard. The Fire TV Stick works via Wi-Fi. However, if your signal is too weak in this part of the house, Amazon sells a Micro USB to Ethernet adapter for Fire TV devices that allows you to connect an Ethernet jack or routers if you have one nearby , Once you have connected the device to the Internet, your Fire TV will download software updates if necessary.
The device prompts you to sign in to your Amazon account the same way. If you purchased the device yourself from Amazon, the Fire TV Stick may already be linked to your account, and this step will be skipped. If you purchased it or received it as a gift, you may need to unsubscribe from the previous owner's account and connect your own account.
You will then be asked if you want to enable Amazon's password storage system. Perform an audio test to make sure your remote control can control the volume of your TV. At the end of the process, your Fire TV Stick will ask you to download some of the featured apps. Do not worry if you do not see your favorite services. After you finish the setup wizard, you can download many others.
. 3 Download some apps and download streaming
When you're done with the initial setup, you'll stick to the Fire from your Fire TV OS screen home screen Here are some of the Amazon recommended apps and shows. To see more apps, press the up button on the remote to display the navigation bar at the top and navigate to Apps. To download an app, just highlight it, press Enter on your remote and press Enter again to download.
Some apps, such as Netflix, require you to enter your username and password using the on-screen keyboard, others may enter a web address that you can enter on your computer. There you can log in with your mouse and keyboard. If you have a cable subscription, many apps support single sign-on, so you only need to sign in once. For example, if you're signed in to CNN Go, you can turn around and watch shows in the US without signing in again. Not all apps support single sign-on, but the list of those who do so is growing.
The splash screen is filled with ads and prime shows. However, you can always press and hold the Home button on your remote and select "Apps" to view a grid of all downloaded apps. When you select an app and click the Options button, you can move it to the grid or completely uninstall it.
But honestly, it's all old school. You do not have to click around with the remote if you do not want to, because you have Alexa. Press and hold the microphone button on your remote control, say a command and release the button for the voice assistant to do your heavy lifting. Here are just a few things you can say:
- "Open Netflix"
- "Download HGTV Go"
- "Play Game of Thrones on HBO now"
- "Show me comedies"
- " Show Movies with Ryan Reynolds "
- " Pause "
- " Rewind 10 Seconds "
If you have an Amazon Echo, you can link it to your Fire TV with the Alexa app on your phone and issue voice commands as well without remote control.
These are the basics for putting a Fire TV Stick into service, but from here you can do much more. You can install additional streaming services, change your privacy settings through the Settings app, install a VPN to fake your location or hide your activity, set up Kodi or a similar media manager to stream local files, and even download video games with where you can directly play your TV.