Single Product Reviews

May 6, 2018

Amazon Fire TV Stick

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The Amazon Fire TV Stick has been the talk of the town for a while now. People are asking all sorts of questions – and comparing Chromecast to this budget digital streamer. So, what’s the big deal about the Amazon Fire TV Stick? I think now is the right time to find out. Although this is the first article of its kind, with my in-depth review, you’ll know everything there is to know about the Amazon Fire TV Stick. It’s key features, benefits, and drawbacks.

And as a plus point, I’ve added an entire section of why upgrading to digital streaming technology as opposed to installing digital TV cable services can give you more value of your time for not only entertainment, but educative purposes. Now, when I say educative I do not mean robotic learning. It’s the opportunity to watch some of the greatest movies ever made. Movies like The Usual Suspects, As Good As It Gets, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Apollo 13, and No Country For Old Men is almost never on TV. And with an Amazon Fire TV Stick, you get to watch them with just a click of a button.

Imagine the things you could watch and experience on the big screen, in your home! Right from interesting movies to spell-binding TV shows and striking documentaries. Then you’ll have so many options to choose from and so little time. So, let’s dig in!

Amazon Fire TV Stick Review

Amazon Fire TV Stick Review


Key Features

I’m going to start by walking you through all the important features of the Amazon Fire TV Stick. You should know that with this, you have everything you need for gaining undisturbed access to movies, music, photos, games, and other subscription services.

  • It comes 2 key components: the non-infrared voice remote (just say the name of the movie or show and the controls play it for you) and HDTV input that goes in your TV. The HDTV input is connecting to the TV for streaming and other services.
  • It supports all kinds of digital streaming services including Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hotstar, Gaana, and streaming channels with subscription fees.
  • It gives you complete access to install as many pre-installed apps from Amazon such as YouTube, JioCinema, and much more.
  • It’s also possible to install third-party apps such as a web browser. However, there is already a pre-installed Firefox browser available.
  • It comes with a compatible mobile app that lets you access it as a remote. You can easily control the Amazon Fire Stick via the mobile app. It’s intuitive, effective, and fast.
  • It allows you to mirror your mobile and laptop to the TV. You heard it right! You can keep all wired connections aside because the Amazon Fire Stick service allows you to do screen mirroring with just a click of a button.
  • Right after start-up, there’s a user guide that allows you to navigate effortlessly.
  • The Fire Stick is easy to connect to wireless connection. Precisely similar to that of a mobile phone or laptop’s wireless connection.
  • It is well-integrated with Alexa and has a speedy interface.

How To Install

I’ve never seen installation as simple as the one bringing Amazon Fire TV Stick on the table. Each Amazon Fire TV Stick package comes with the following components:

  1. Amazon Fire Stick
  2. Voice Remote
  3. Power Adapter
  4. 2 AA x Batteries
  5. HDMI Extender

And here’s how you install the Fire TV Stick in a matter of minutes.

  • Before anything else, make sure you have high-speed Wi-Fi internet and an HDTV with HDMI port. Most smart homes have smart TVs and if you’re investing in this digital streamer, having an HDTV with HDMI port is essential. And so is high-speed internet Wi-Fi connection.
  • Plug in the Amazon Fire Stick into your HDTV’s HDMI port.
  • Connect the power adapter to a wall socket to plug it in the Fire Stick. This you need to keep on at all times unless you’ve stopped watching TV.
  • Pair your wireless Wi-Fi connection to the TV via the Amazon Fire Stick’s intuitive interface. And you’re good to go!

Some Technical Details

This section is the last straw. You’ll understand the device’s basics such as the storage, memory, cloud storage, and other audio support features. I’ve simplified these details in a such a way that buying the Amazon Fire TV Stick seems more tempting and hard-to-miss. For starters, it has DOLBY AUDIO 5.1 SURROUND SOUND which is the best in the audio business. You can store are much data as you’d like on the cloud as it has UNLIMITED AND FREE AMAZON CONTENT STORAGE. The internal storage of the device is 8 GB and memory is 1 GB. As for the remote, it has voice control and a free TV mobile app.  

It supports 720 and 1080p image resolution and is compatible with all smart TVs including Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic, Videocon, Onida, Micromax, Vu, BPL, and the likes. Warranty lasts for about a year by the manufacturer.

My Verdict

So, is the Amazon Fire TV Stick worth buying? Hhmm. First of all, it’s a much more convenient service for getting access to all your favorite and to-be-favorite movies, shows, music, and other videos. Second of all, it’s all online and available at any time of day and night. Third of all, IT’S ALL UNDER YOUR CONTROL.

Let me elaborate on the last 2 points. Say you work for 6 hours on weekdays and are home by 7 pm on the dot. You exercise, freshen up, and sit for dinner by 9-9.30 pm. You can easily sit on your laptop or in front of your computer to eat while catching up on Narcos or Breaking Bad. This takes a little effort to set up, right? But again, there’s a brand-new, smart TV still dormant in your living room or even your bedroom. Why would it be there if it weren’t for watching movies and shows just like the ones you’re settling to watch on a much smaller screen? There you go. Now, with the Amazon Fire TV Stick, you get everything in front of you. All you have to do is say the name of the TV show or movie you’d like to watch, and it flashes right on the screen. It’s that simple.

Okay, so what about the time when I have a movie downloaded? You can mirror your mobile phone or laptop to the TV without the use of any wires. Just press on a button the Amazon Fire Stick remote itself and it pops right up. It hardly takes about 2-3 minutes to do all this. As opposed to fetching another HDMI wire and plugging the laptop to the TV. It takes the inconvenience right out the window. As for the anytime accessibility, if you’re in the mood for something consequential, you can look up movies like Schindler’s List or Philadelphia on Netflix right away. And while you’re in the middle of watching the movie, you want to watch some light-hearted drama then off you go searching for the next best movie to watch. Or a friend rings you up with an interesting cliff-hanger on that TV show both of you love, you can watch that too.

It works just the same as when you’re browsing for new movies, videos, and shows on your laptop. The difference here is that it’s brighter, bigger, and more intuitive.

The Good

  • It’s speedy and intuitive.
  • Gives you plenty of streaming options to choose from.
  • Supports screen mirroring at the press of a button.
  • Upgraded audio quality to Dolby 5.1.
  • Accurate and quick voice functionality.

The Bad

  • No 4K video resolution.
  • Its search functionality is a bit slow.
  • More driven toward Amazon Prime users.
  • The remote doesn’t have a volume button.
  • The video might lag initially in screen mirroring mode.

Why vs Why Not? – Digital Streaming in India

It’s true that you’re better exposed to good movies, TV shows, and documents with the help of digital streaming sites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc. It’s also true that you’re more likely to make good life choices if and when you watch good, meaningful movies. In short, watching movies makes you feel strong feelings. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie like the Schindler’s List or Philadelphia on cable TV. Unless I have upgraded my cable to an HD service. Which, in the long run, is more expensive than opting for the Amazon Fire TV Stick. So, digital streaming in India is a good choice.

The other side of the coin is less performance-driven. Because you have endless movies, shows, music, and videos at your disposal, you’re also more likely to sit in front of the TV longer. This impacts screen time, which means you’re either ditching your workout or a dinner party at your friend’s house because you’re busy finishing one entire season of Breaking Bad in a single day. Binge-watching is a trend in our country and the statistics supporting it are shocking than ever.

So, the “Why Not” of digital streaming is just as perplexing as the “Why.” Now, it’s on you to decide how consciously you choose to navigate the world of digital streaming while taking time out for yourself to spend time outdoors or meet up with friends or read a book. It’s always good to stay away from the gadget screen for as well as you can to pay attention to what’s happening around you.

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