The Kindle Fire TV Stick aims to take on the growing market in streaming solutions without having to have an extra box by your TV.
Tested as a replacement for a Roku LT (which doesn’t have Amazon Prime video support) the Fire TV Stick is more discrete than the Roku as it plugs directly into a HDMI port on the TV and is therefore nicely hidden away.
The Amazon Fire TV stick is powered by a dual core processor, has dual band WiFi and supports video streaming up to 1080p.
It does require a dedicated power source as the Fire TV stick isn’t powered by the HDMI port itself, it uses a micro USB connector much in the same way mobiles do and a cable and power plug are provided along with the Fire TV stick.
You also get a remote, batteries for the remote and a HDMI extender.
Setup is really simple, plug the Fire TV stick into your TV, power it on and follow the on screen instructions. It’s a good idea to get the app on your phone to make entering text much quicker (very handy for wifi passwords). Once setup has been completed a short welcome video is played to show you round your new gadget.
Assuming you’ve purchased the Fire TV stick for yourself it’ll be pre-registered to your account, a real bonus if you’re an Amazon Prime member as it means you can start streaming from Amazon Instant Video without entering any further details.
A nice feature if using the Amazon Prime streaming service is the ability to press up on the remote while watching something to get further information about who in the film or TV show you’re watching.
Outside of Prime video the Fire TV Stick have a great interface, it’s really easy to use, slick and doesn’t suffer from any lag as you’re browsing the media you’d like to watch next.
With 8 GB of storage onboard you’ve lots of room to quickly add additional apps, such as Netflix or iPlayer to the Fire tV stick to expand it’s capabilities further. The excellent TVPlayer app is well worth installing if you plan on using this in a room that doesn’t have a dedicated area as it streams live TV over the internet.
The Fire TV Stick is also capable of playing games, if you’ve taken advantage of the Amazon free apps you may already have a number of games you can play. Compatible games show up on the menu ready for installation and if you don’t have the optional gamepad it lets you know if the game needs a pad.
If you’ve had an Amazon account for a while like I have, and are a Prime member, it’s likely you’ll have apps, music and photos stored by them and these are all easily accessible once you’ve setup the Fire TV Stick.
If there is something in particular you’d like to watch you can search either via a text search, or by downloading the Fire TV app which can then use your mobile phone as a microphone to perform a voice search.
Should you want to restrict inappropriate content from young children there is the option to activate parental controls.
The Fire TV Stick is an impressive little gadget, you get a great device for not a lot of cash and it’s small enough to easily take around with you, either to a friends house or on holiday. Those looking for Android gaming fun will likely want to invest in an optional gaming pad, although note that this hasn’t been tested at the time of the Fire TV stick review.
Be aware that a number of Amazon customers appear to be having trouble where BT are the internet provider. The Amazon Fire TV Stick worked perfectly with a Virgin Media connection and an Asus router, it’s responsive and streams really well.
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