Do You Need to Have a Cable Provider for Your Amazon Fire Stick?
Always looking to expand the number of devices and features that’ll improve their smart home ecosystem, Amazon provides some interesting solutions for your TV-watching experience. As part of Amazon’s Fire TV family, Fire TV Stick brings almost all benefits its cousins have, but in one super-convenient package.
Coming with a lot of preinstalled apps, the most important aspect of this device is that it allows you to watch films, shows and documentaries directly from the most popular streaming platforms. With access to Amazon Prime, Netflix, HBO, Hulu, and Disney Plus, to name but a few, you can also watch YouTube, the world’s largest online video archive.
With Fire Stick basically granting you access to more content than you’ll ever need, it’s reasonable to ask yourself if this is something that requires a cable provider or not.
No Cable Provider Required
To use Fire Stick, first you have to plug it in to an HDMI port on your TV. Next, just connect the stick to your Wi-Fi network and you’re all set. With Alexa remote control that comes with Fire Stick, you can quickly navigate its user-friendly interface that will appear on your TV. You can even use Alexa voice commands to play anything that comes to mind.
With Fire Stick using your Wi-Fi to fetch the content you’d like to see, it’s obvious you don’t necessarily need a cable provider to use it. Of course, whether you’ll keep using your cable or not, depends largely on your personal preferences.
The main thing to consider here is your home internet access. Cable users usually get both their TV and Internet connection through one cable provider. Therefore, if you’re in this category, you’ll need your cable internet to keep the Wi-Fi working in your home.
But, if you switch to another type of internet provider, such as mobile or ADSL, then you really won’t need a cable operator anymore.
Please note that some of the apps available on Fire Stick are actually premium services. As such, streaming platforms like Netflix or HBO:GO are subscription-based. That means that if you’re not a paying subscriber, you won’t be able to access their content, no matter what device you’re using.
Before you decide to cancel your cable provider, make sure you understand exactly what to expect from Amazon’s Fire TV Stick.
No Cable, No Local Channels
As mentioned above, it’s important to keep in mind what kind of content you’re actually watching on your TV. If you mainly stream TV shows and movies, then you definitely don’t need a cable provider.
But, if you like watching your favorite local channels, you probably won’t find them on major streaming platforms. Maybe there’s a local show, native to a certain channel, that’s not available elsewhere. Or perhaps you need to see the news coverage directly related to your area.
Unfortunately, that kind of content probably won’t be available on any streaming platforms, whether you’re using Fire TV Stick or any such device.
Do I Need Fire Stick for My Smart TV?
Fire Stick with its many features can turn a non-smart TV into its smarter counterpart. Adding the video streaming and internet browsing options can really extend the useful life of your TV.
And even if you already own a smart TV, Fire Stick can come in handy nonetheless. For example, the number of available apps may vary between different TV manufacturers or even their own TV models. In that sense, Amazon’s Fire Stick is an absolute champion when it comes to the number of apps it supports.
Also, TV manufacturers aren’t that interested in updating their older smart TV operating systems. At some point, that can prevent the included apps from updating, rendering older smart TV models obsolete in a couple of years. And that perfectly suits the manufacturers, since that’ll drive you to buy a newer model.
Additionally, Fire Stick’s hardware capabilities by far exceed those of most TV models currently available worldwide. That’s even more evident for older TV’s. Coupled with Stick’s fairly low price, even if you find it lacking in performance in a couple of years, it would be far less expensive to buy the latest Stick model, than buying a new TV.
Fire Stick Now in 4K
The latest version of Amazon’s Fire TV Stick device is aptly named “Fire TV Stick 4K”. It’s basically the same device, but comes fully packed with the latest bells and whistles for your home entertainment.
First off, looking at the device’s name, it’s obvious that Fire Stick is now able to stream content in 4K resolution. With 4K TV sets becoming a common part of any decent home entertainment system, this is really a welcome addition.
With support for HDR, HDR 10+, and Dolby Vision standards, the new Fire Stick can utilize the kind of advanced properties found on mid- to high-end TVs. These standards are focused on enhancing the reality of presented picture by manipulating the color balance, contrast, and brightness. And it’s done in real-time.
Being part of Amazon’s smart home ecosystem, Fire TV Stick 4K has the built-in Alexa assistant. Coupled with the Alexa Voice Remote that’s included in the box, you can use it as a receiver for your voice commands. Just say “Alexa, find 4K movies” and a ton of recommendations will appear on screen.
Also, keep in mind that Fire Stick comes with 8 GB of internal storage. That means you’ll have a lot of space to work with when downloading any new apps you’d like to try.
A Stick You Can Rely On
In short, you don’t need a cable provider to use Amazon Fire TV Stick on your TV. But, you need to have some kind of access to the internet in order to connect your Fire Stick to a Wi-Fi. Also, please keep in mind that Amazon’s device won’t be able to provide access to local channels that, for example, provide news coverage in your area.
Are you using Fire Stick without a cable operator? Do you find any downsides to that kind of setup? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.