Amazon Firestick is one of the most popular media streaming devices available on the streaming platform. It is a small dongle that looks like a USB flash drive that plugs into the HDMI port on the TV. With this, you can access thousands of movies, TV shows, apps, and games on the big screen when connected over the internet. It is a full-featured streaming player with storage. In this guide, let us see about Amazon Firestick in detail, its features, pros & cons, price, apps & games, channels, its rivals, alternatives, set up guide, and more.
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Amazon Firestick is available at a very affordable cost. It costs $40 for its basic version. Firestick comes with an Alexa voice remote when you buy Firestick 4K at a slightly higher rate. The cost of the Firestick is comparatively very low when compared to other streaming devices available in the market. If you purchase a Firestick directly from your Amazon account, the device will come pre-registered with your account information.
How to Set Up Amazon Firestick
To set up Firestick, you should have,
- HD or UHD compatible TV with HDMI port.
- Must have wireless internet connection (WiFi).
- Firestick Remote.
- An Amazon Account, if you don’t have an Amazon account you can create it before setup.
Step 1: Plug your TV with the power source.
Step 2: Plug your Firestick into the HDMI port on your TV.
Step 3: Turn on your TV and select the channels (HDMI 1, HDMI 2) in which your Firestick is plugged. Now your TV is loading with a Firestick logo.
Step 4: It automatically starts pairing with the Firestick remote. If it is not paired automatically, press and hold the Home button for a few seconds, it will take you to Discover mode to start pairing with the remote.
Step 5: Connect your Firestick to WiFi networks.
Step 6: Register your Firestick with your Amazon Prime account.
That’s it, your Firestick setup is done and it is ready to stream.
What can You Do with Amazon Firestick?
Amazon Firestick provides access to a wide variety of streaming apps and games. All its supported apps are available in the Amazon App Store for download. You can stream audio and video contents from the digital media platform. It allows you to stream media content in 4K Ultra HD format and also supports HDR image formats.
You can play all its supported video games on your TV. It can be controlled by using a Remote or remote mobile app or game controller device. It comes with a voice remote to control all of its actions and is also used to search videos contents to watch using just your voice. It permits you to mirror your phone screen with the Firestick-connected TV, which is done through the mirroring option in Firestick.
Amazon has released three versions of Firestick
- First Generation Firestick.
- Second Generation Firestick.
- Third generation Firestick.
First Generation Firestick
This version of Firestick was first introduced by Amazon in the year, 2014. This Firestick looks slightly shorter and narrower. It also provides basic Remote control along with the Firestick purchase. It allows access to a number of media streaming apps, such as Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, and many. It contains a lightweight black digital streamer that acts as storage for thousands of TV shows and movies.
It is also enabled with dual-band WiFi and packed with 8 GB of internal storage space. It comes equipped with a dual-core processor for fast performance and smooth streaming. It comes with a user-friendly interface and supports video resolution up to 1080p and Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround. The streaming resolution is based on network bandwidth.
Second Generation Firestick
The second-generation Firestick was introduced in the year 2016. This version of Firestick is slightly longer and wider when compared to First Generation Firestick. It comes with a remote-controlled device equipped with a microphone button. This feature allows Alexa voice search and command facility. It comes with 1GB RAM and 8 GB internal storage.
Fire TV Stick Basic Edition was released in the year 2017. It is a special version of the 2nd generation Firestick. It is made available for non-US customers. It comes with a basic remote as the 1st generation Firestick and does not have voice search support.
Third Generation Firestick
The third generation Firestick is also known as Firestick 4K. It was launched in the year 2018. It is larger than all the previous versions. The word Amazon is removed from this version’s logo. It comes with an Alexa Voice Remote, which contains Volume control buttons, a power button, and an LED. It supports resolutions up to 4K UHD and is a brilliant option for your streaming needs.
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Firestick comes with a user-friendly interface. On top of the home screen, there are six major options listed which are Search, Home, Your Videos, Movies, TV Shows, Apps, and Settings. The App section allows you to directly install most of its supported apps, you need not open the App Store. It mainly contains all your installed apps and games.
With the Settings menu option, you can do all the functions like turn off, sleep mode, restart or reboot, reset to factory settings, screen mirroring, WiFi and Bluetooth connection, Account set up, and many more.
Firestick remote is provided by Amazon along with the Firestick purchase. The latest version of the Firestick remote comes with an Alexa Voice feature and a power button. Instead of using different remote buttons, you can do all the Firestick actions by using the Microphone button and speak with Alexa. With the Alexa Voice feature, you no need to get Amazon Echo or dot. You can use this Alexa voice command to play and search for your Live TV, movies, TV shows, and any other media content. It is also used to control your playback videos, install and launch new apps.
Amazon has also launched a mobile app called Fire TV, which acts as a Firestick remote. In case of your Firestick remote is not working properly, you can use this app as your Firestick remote.
Firestick Apps and Games
Firestick is provided with a built-in Amazon App store which is included with more than 475,000 apps and games which are all supported by Firestick. The Firestick runs on the fork of the Android Operating system, so it supports plenty of android gaming and streaming apps to access.
In addition to all official apps, Firestick even supports various third-party apps for streaming. You can sideload apps in case you don’t find an app on the Amazon store. You have to side-load it on the Firestick from their source by using the download URL. There are many side-loader apps available on the Firestick, among them, the most commonly used apps are Downloader app, ES File Explorer app, and many more.
You are recommended to delete all the apk files stored in the Firestick internal storage to free up some space.
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Streaming Media and Live TV with Firestick
Amazon Firestick is the perfect media streaming player. You can stream all your Prime video content on your Firestick TV without paying any additional cost. Other than Prime Video you may install various digital streaming apps includes Netflix, Hotstar, Hulu, and many more to stream live TV, premiered movies, recently aired TV shows, documentaries, series, and on-demand video content.
Firestick permits you to install and access thousands of third-party streaming services like Kodi media player, Acorn TV, Titanium TV, Cinema HD, and many more. You have to pay for the streaming services if required. Many of the live channels from various countries over the world are supported by Firestick.
Firestick allows you to stream all your media contents in various video qualities includes 480p, 720p, and 1080p. Now Amazon has introduced Firestick 4K which supports all the video resolutions up to 4K UHD and HDR resolutions.
Pros and Cons of Amazon Firestick
Prior to purchasing Amazon Firestick before that, you should know the Pros and Cons of the Firestick devices.
Easy Setup and Smooth Performance: Setting up firestick is very simple, you have to plugin your Firestick with the HDMI port and connect to a WiFi connection. After that enter your Amazon account login credentials, it will take you to the Firestick home screen. You can stream all your Prime content without any additional charge.
Portable: You can take your Firestick device with you while traveling. It is an easily portable streaming device. It is handy to carry around places. You can watch your favorite programs whenever and wherever you want.
Alexa Voice Remote: The latest version of Firestick comes with a remote which has the Alexa voice assistant built-in feature. You can use your voice command to open apps, play movies and TV shows.
High-Quality Streaming: The elder version of Firestick support various video resolutions includes 480p, 720p, and a maximum of up to 1080p. Amazon launched the new version of Firestick known as Firestick 4K. With this Firestick 4K, you can stream all your videos in HD and 4K Ultra HD resolutions. It supports all the latest formats and streaming standards.
Screen Mirroring: The Firestick is provided with a Mirroring feature, it allows you to mirror your phone screen with your Firestick-connected TV screen.
Low Memory Storage: Firestick is a small handy device with low storage space. You can easily run out of space if you install a good amount of apps on it.
Requires Amazon Account: To unlock the Firestick you need to enter your Amazon prime account. You can stream all the prime content with certain limitations. There is no Ethernet and optical audio support.
There are a number of Firestick alternatives are available in the market.
Some of them are,
Apple TV: It is one of the best alternative streaming devices to Firestick. You will be able to stream any kind of audio and video resolution.
Roku Player: Roku is the simplest way to stream all your favorite media files on your TV. Roku Ultra comes with a powerful quad-core processor and is also enhanced with a Voice remote.
Nexus Player: It is a home media player to stream all your local videos and online videos on your TV. It also has an optional gamepad for playing android games. It is provided with voice search and it works on a WiFi connection.
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Amazon Firestick is a familiar streaming service that includes all the popular digital streaming apps like Hotstar, Discovery, HBO, Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, and many more. It also supports various TV apps to watch live television shows, sports, news from different countries of the world over the internet connection. It is a home entertainment device to watch all your media content on your big screen which gives a better streaming experience.