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Reader note: we use Amazon Fire TV Sticks at ScreenCloud as they play very nicely with our digital signage software, and as a result, we've become a bit of an expert on them and decided to write this helpful guide. We do not own or sell Amazon Fire TV Sticks, so for troubleshooting specific issues with your Amazon Fire TV Stick (like say, how to use Netflix) please contact the manufacturer directly.
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Are you considering buying an Amazon Fire TV Stick but want to make sure it’s right for you? Or maybe you already have the latest Amazon Fire TV stick, but you’re not quite sure what you can do with it?
In this guide we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about Amazon’s Fire TV Stick so that you walk away feeling like a pro.
What is an Amazon Fire TV Stick and what does it do?
In 2014, Amazon unveiled the Amazon Fire TV (1st Generation). A plug-in box that could be used to provide entertainment by streaming shows and apps to a TV.
Later that year, Amazon released the Amazon Fire TV Stick. Whereas the Fire TV is a set box, the Fire TV Stick, as the name suggests, is a plug-in stick.
As well as being smaller in size, the TV Stick or “Firestick” as it’s been dubbed, has similar functionality to its big brother. Able to stream TV shows and channels, it can also be remotely powered and some even have voice capabilities. However, it does have slightly less power than the TV Box.
Amazon Fire TV device comparison:
To go back to the original question, an Amazon Fire TV Stick is a slightly watered down version (but one that’s still extremely powerful) of the Amazon TV Box. A media player that allows you to connect a TV to the internet.
The Amazon Fire Stick Basic Edition (around $50) is an even cheaper 'plug and play' device for streaming Netflix or something on Amazon Prime. However, this comes without a search function or voice control, so trying to find a specific app or game can be really difficult.
Uses for the Amazon Fire TV Stick:
- Watching Netflix, or another internet streaming service
- Voice search from a TV
- Connecting to games or YouTube from a TV
- To share photos to a TV screen
- Gaming (although Amazon is quoted as saying it does not intend the Fire TV to compete with gaming consoles per se)
Where to buy and how to set up an Amazon Fire TV Stick
Is it difficult to buy and set up an Amazon Fire TV Stick? In a nutshell, no. These types of media devices are made to be set up by anyone in their home so you can bet they’re going to be pretty simple to get going.
You can buy an Amazon Fire TV Stick from pretty much any hardware store. Here are a few examples of stockists:
From the UK:
From the US:
How to buy an Amazon Fire TV Stick in a location where it’s unavailable
If you reside in a country such as Thailand or New Zealand, you may find yourself unable to get Amazon to ship out a Fire TV Box or Stick. We have found a way around this in the past by ordering from B&H link here.
How to setup your Fire TV Stick
Before you set up your Amazon Fire TV Stick check you have everything you need including:
- A compatible TV - this is any TV that has HD or UHD plus a HDMI port (most TV screens today will have this)
- A wireless internet connection
- An Amazon account. You don’t have to be an Amazon Prime customer to use the Amazon Fire TV Stick but you do have to have a regular Amazon account. If you don’t have one, don’t worry, you can create this on setup.
- 2 AAA batteries for your TV Stick remote
Here are the steps you need to get things setup:
1. Add power
Plug the power adaptor into your TV Stick and plug the other end into a power outlet.
Then ensure your TV Stick is turned “on”.
2. Attach to your TV’s HDMI port
Plug the Fire TV Stick directly into the HDMI port on the back of your TV, or use a HDMI extender if you don’t want it plugged directly into the screen.
3. Select your channel
Turn your TV to the same channel that the TV Stick is plugged into (i.e. HDMI1, HDMI3). You should then see a loading screen with the 'Fire TV Stick' logo.
4. Add a remote
Pop a few batteries into your remote. Once you’ve done this it should automatically pair with your stick. If your remote doesn't pair, press and hold the Home Button for up to 10 sections to send it to 'discovery mode' so you can complete the pairing process.
Further remote troubleshooting details here.
5. Connect to the Internet
Follow the instructions onscreen to connect your TV Stick to your Wi-Fi network.
6. Register your device
Follow the on-screen instructions to register your Fire TV Stick to your Amazon account.
That’s it amigos! Your Fire TV Stick is set up and ready to go. If you need more help, watch the welcome video which should now be playing on screen.
What can you do with your Amazon Fire TV Stick?
Once you’re setup, here are five of the many different things you can use your Fire TV Stick for.
1. Watch Netflix on your TV Stick
To download Netflix through your TV Stick, head to the main screen and select “Search”.
Type in Netflix and when you see the app, download this.
Open Netflix and sign-in (or sign-up).
That’s it! You’re ready to get stuck into a boxset marathon.
2. Ask Alexa stuff
The new Amazon Fire TV Stick is equipped with Alexa, Amazon’s version of Siri, which allows you to pull stuff up on screen using your voice alone. This can be anything from choosing a movie on Netflix, to ordering a Dominos or even asking what the weather’s like.
3. Listen to music
Amazon Fire Stick Prime Members
There are a few different ways to listen to music via a Fire Stick device.
If you’re an Amazon Prime member you can listen to included songs, or sign up to a music subscription. You can also search for the Amazon “Music app” to listen to any songs you’ve imported to the library or purchased from the music store.
If you have a Spotify account you can also download the Spotify app for free from the Amazon App Store.
4. Setup digital signage with your TV Stick
If you’re interested in sharing your own content to the screen using a Fire TV Stick, check out the video and guide below.
Read the full digital signage guide.
5. Mirror your phone’s screen
A bit like Apple TV, the Fire TV Stick can also take whatever’s on your phone and put it up on your TV.
To set this up, hold down the home button on your Fire TV remote. This will open the quick-access menu, where you’ll see a mirroring option.
Now, find the mirroring option on your phone. This will depend on what device you’re using but will usually be within the Settings menu.
For example, on an iPhone, if you slide up as if you’re going to put your torch on you’ll see an option called “Screen Mirroring”. Select this and you should be able to mirror your iPhone to your Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Amazon Fire TV Stick question buster
Does the Amazon Fire TV Stick have to be plugged in to work?
You can try to use the Amazon Fire TV Stick with the USB power from your TV alone, but it is unlikely this will be enough. You’re much better off plugging your TV Stick into the mains instead.
Does the Amazon Fire TV Stick have Bluetooth?
Yes, the TV Stick is Bluetooth enabled. Read Amazon’s guide on how to pair a Bluetooth accessory with your Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Does the Amazon Fire TV Stick have YouTube?
To use YouTube with the Amazon Fire TV Stick you can download the YouTube app from the Amazon App Store.
Does the Amazon Fire TV Stick need WiFi?
Yes you need WiFi to power the TV Stick. The device does not have an ethernet port so WiFi is the only way to connect your device (and TV) to the internet.
What channels do you get with the Amazon Fire TV Stick?
View this list of channels that can be downloaded through the Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Got a question to add? Email us: [email protected]© Provided by TechRadar The best Amazon Fire TV Stick deals 2021
If you're looking to add smart skills to your TV, an Amazon Fire TV device could be the way to go.
Plug a Fire TV Stick or Fire TV Cube in to your TV's HDMI socket, and you'll get access to a host of video apps for catch-up TV and on-demand movie viewing, including Netflix, Now TV and – of course – Amazon Prime Video. Plus it'll give you Alexa, Amazon's voice-activated personal assistant, so you can control your TV with your voice, look up trivia, access weather, news and traffic reports, and even control other smart home appliances like your lighting and heating.
We've compared all the Fire TV sticks and devices so you can decide which Amazon streamer is right for you. While Amazon Fire TV streamers aren't too expensive, it always pays to find the cheapest price – below you'll find the best Fire TV Stick deals, updated every 15 minutes.
- See the best Amazon Echo deals around
Amazon Fire TV Stick (2020)
One of Amazon's newest streamers, this 2020 Fire TV Stick features Dolby Atmos for immersive audio, and HDR for a greater difference between the light and dark parts of the picture, for a more realistic image. Inside is an enhanced 1.7GHz quad-core processor that boasts 50 per cent more power than the previous generation Fire TV Stick. This new model delivers faster streaming in 1080p at 60fps, while the dual-band, dual-antenna WiFi supports 5GHz networks and promises more stable streaming and fewer dropped connections. The Alexa Voice Remote has dedicated power, volume, and mute buttons to control compatible TVs, soundbars, and AV receivers, too.
Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite
Another new member of Amazon's ever-growing family of Fire TV devices, the Fire TV Stick Lite is a more affordable way to bring Alexa to your TV. It's 50 per cent faster than the previous Fire TV Stick, and is HD quality with HDR support. The Alexa Voice Remote Lite lets you speak to find, launch, and control content, while like the other new Fire TV Stick for 2020 (above), it has a new user interface. This puts the main menu at the centre of your screen, making it easier to find what you're looking for. The difference is it doesn't have the TV button controls, so no dedicated power, volume and mute buttons – it's all about the voice. There's also no Dolby Atmos here.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K
Or, to give it its full name, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Ultra HD with Alexa Voice Remote. Quite a mouthful. This is the only Fire TV Stick capable of showing a 4K picture, which makes it a must if you have a 4K TV. The Alexa Voice Remote has all the usual skills, plus the device is not short of AV compatibility, with support for Dolby Vision, HDR, HDR10+ and Dolby Atmos. How good is it? We gave it an Award last year, calling it the benchmark for streaming sticks. High praise indeed. Care about picture and sound? This is the best Amazon Fire TV Stick for you.
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Amazon Fire TV Cube
Amazon Prime Fire Stick Cost
Another 4K-capable Fire TV device, the Fire TV Cube is a cut above your average streamer. For starters, it doesn't have a 'stick' design, but instead looks like a cube. The main difference in terms of functionality is that it doubles as a voice-activated universal remote for your whole system. That means you can control your Sky Q box, soundbar, TV, 4K Blu-ray player and games console, just by speaking. Now that's power. It streams in great quality too, supporting all formats of HDR. No wonder it earned five stars in our review.
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