There are a lot of options available out there for streaming TV these days. Today, we’ll be covering the Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Also see our article How to Use Chromecast: The Ultimate Guide
Let’s first take a look at what’s packed into this thumb-drive-sized streaming device.
Amazon Fire TV Stick Specs
First off, you must have a high-definition television with an HDMI port to use the Amazon Fire TV Stick, as well as a Wi-Fi Internet connection (either 2.4ghz or 5ghz) and an AC power outlet nearby to power the Fire TV Stick.
Here are the Amazon Fire TV Stick specs:
- Processor: Broadcom Capri 28155 dual-core
- Internal storage: 8GB
- Dual-band 11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity
- Bluetooth 3.0 support
- Voice search support with the Fire TV voice remote or the Fire TV Remote App
- Amazon Game Controller support, Nyko Playpad Pro, and compatible bluetooth controllers
- Amazon Cloud Drive customers get 5GB free to start
- HDMI port Amazon Fire TV Stick also has a micro USB port for power adapter use only
- Dolby Audio 5.1, two channel Stereo, and HDMI audio pass-through supports up to 7.1
- Video content supported is H.264
- Audio supported is AAC -LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis
- Supported photo formats are JPEG, PNG, GIF, and BMP
- Resolution supported is 720p and 1080p up to 60 frames per second
The Amazon Fire TV Stick is an affordable and portable option if you’re looking for a streaming device comparable to the Google Chromecast.
Note: The Fire TV Stick seems to have less consistent connectivity for me on the 5ghz Wi-Fi channel, which is puzzling. The quality is great when the network connection doesn’t drop or buffer. We have a 150 Mbps Internet connection, so I don’t know why there are drop-outs or streaming issues on the 5ghz channel and the 2.4ghz works better. Not everyone may experience these problems—just putting it out there.
Setting up the Amazon Fire TV Stick
Setting up the Amazon Fire TV Stick is extremely simple. Here are the steps you’ll follow to get started:
- Plug the Amazon Fire TV Stick into an available HDMI port on your television. Plug it directly into the HDMI port or use the included HDMI extender cable in tight spaces.
- Connect the Micro USB power adapter to the Fire TV Stick and plug it into a wall outlet.
- Turn your TV on and, if you have more than one HDMI input, navigate to the one the Amazon Fire TV Stick’s plugged into.
- Next, you’ll see the Fire TV Stick displayed on your TV.
- The Fire TV Stick searches for the Fire TV Stick remote, prompting you to hold the home button down for ten seconds to connect.
- Now you’ll press the Play/Pause button to proceed.
- On the screen that appears next, you’ll select your language.
- In the next screen on your TV, you’ll select your Wi-Fi network and get that set up to stream.
- Once the connection is successful, updates are downloaded and installed to the Fire TV Stick.
- Register your Amazon Fire TV Stick with your Amazon account, or create an Amazon account if you don’t already have one.
- Then, you’ll be greeted by the name you have associated with your Amazon account and can proceed or select a different Amazon account if you have more than one.
- Loading video shows on the next screen.
- You can enable parental controls, if needed, on the next screen.
- The Amazon Fire Stick lets you know that it has added your videos to the main menu, and the final intro screen alerts you that Amazon Alexa is now available on Fire TV.
- Amazon Fire TV Stick set-up is now complete and you’ll be on the Home screen of Amazon Fire TV.
You’ll be able to navigate between the Home screen, Your Videos, TV Shows, Movies, Games, Apps, Music, Photos and Settings. You can use the Amazon Fire TV Stick remote or download the Amazon Fire TV Remote app from the Apple App Store or Google Play for your mobile device.
Start watching streaming video immediately. If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you’ll have access to all Prime TV shows, Movies, Amazon original series, and Music. Plus, you can download apps like Netflix and Hulu to expand your movie and video choices even further. You’re also able to get streaming subscriptions to selected networks like Showtime and Starz. Optionally, you may also listen to music with Pandora, Spotify, or Prime music. Or download gaming apps like Crossy Road and use the included Amazon Fire TV Stick remote to play.
Share pictures and videos you’ve uploaded to Amazon Cloud storage, which is free for Prime members. Screen sharing and mirroring are available with supported mobile devices. With apps that support “fling” like YouTube and Netflix, you can send content to the Amazon Fire TV Stick and free your mobile device for other tasks.
That’s it. The Amazon Fire TV Stick is easy to begin using, right out of the box, and it’s packed with features for a reasonable price.