The Amazon Fire TV Stick HD Streaming Device is the latest product to come out of the company. The device lets you watch content from apps and services like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, and HBO Now on your HDTV. With just this one box, you have access to nearly 50, a wide range of free third-party apps as well as Amazon’s own app store that offers thousands of paid apps. This little device can turn your TV into a smart home with voice control and six air fresheners that automatically release scents in each room as an alternate means for controlling your environment using your Amazon Alexa device. The Fire Stick also supports voice control for hands-free operation.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick HD is a small device that fits into the palm of your hand. It’s all white with an eject button on the side, volume rocker controls on the top and a micro USB port for power. The unit has an HDMI input and an output for your TV. It requires about 40-watt power. You can plug it into a power outlet to supply power to it or you can use a portable battery pack or car adapter that’ll supply it with additional juice if you need it to last longer.
Setup and Product Overview
The Fire TV Stick lets you watch Netflix, Hulu Plus and YouTube. You also get access to a wide range of channels from ABC, CBS and FOX if their respective regional affiliates are available in your area.
Most of the apps you can download from the app store that have video have it embedded in a user interface that is similar to what you would find on XBMC for PC. You can browse for the individual channels by category or title and view them via either picture-in-picture or full-screen playback.
I got this during Prime Days for only $16! I was having a terrible time watching Amazon Prime with my old Firestick. It kept telling me I had no internet connection, the sound kept lagging, the remote wasn’t in sync, Hulu lost connection all the time, and everything took forever to load. When I saw that I could get a new stick that was even better with the TV controls and the automatic access to Hulu, Netflix… I thought it was worth a try. So, yep everything is working great now, must of been my old other stick that was the issue. Hoping this new stick lasts. I love how quickly everything loads now I hit a button and boom I’m on Hulu. I also love that I can turn my tv on and off and adjust the volume on my Firestick now too. The only downside is I still have to get up and get to the right spot like I do when using the tv remote. I was hoping they would work sitting too like everything else on the Firestick. Overall I am so happy to have seamless streaming back and totally recommend this!
My first firestick was the cheapest and lasted 7 years. It got great reception, for at the time I was so broke and borrowing a hospital across the streets Wi-Fi, better than any since in fact. So during this time I got my second to use in my bedroom, I live in a HUD apt less than 400sq ft, but though it was the newest, bestest Amazon had I could not pick up a signal anywhere.Last year my original died so I ordered a new one, again the cheapest, but I now have Wi-Fi…slow but Wi-Fi. It worked quite well so during a sale I bought one that had tv remote with it. Loved it! So much so that when it went on sale again, I got a second for my bedroom. So, suffice to say I am pleased with the Firestick. I do like the luxury of only one remote to control tv and firestick. Sounds corny I know but after working my butt off my entire life my husband died from cancer, lost everything and living in filthy HUD apt so to me it is a luxury…one that I appreciate.
Andy M, –
I use fire TV on both my televisions. I had an old model (no TV controls) that I just replaced with this one, which was offered at a very good price (under $20) during a Prime Days promotion. These install easily and the remote function is much better in every way than the older one this replaced. This particular model won’t do 4k streaming but that isn’t important to me. It’s very simple to change a few settings on a Fire Stick, which will then allow you to download and use many apps available from 3rd party sources. Some of these apps are useful and many are trash, but that has nothing to do with the Fire TV Stick. The only real complaint I have is that these don’t have as much memory as I would like, since I do personally use a lot of the 3rd part apps. Overall, if you are not big into watching live cable TV, this is a great way to save money. You can get apps that you have to subscribe to that will get you live sports and other cable-like services if you want, or you can just use free stuff… which is great if you’re not a big TV watcher. Prime members get a selection of free movies and shows — not a huge selection but it’s included with Prime. Personally I don’t see ever going back to a cable or satellite TV service that charges a fortune for lots of shopping channels and replays of the same movies over and over. I do miss live sports, but that’s why there are sports bars.
Stephen R. Smith –
I have no complaint with the ease of ordering or the price or delivery.But FireStick has frustrated me from the beginning. Alexa rarely understands my requests and I have a Midwestern accent so not very unique. When I request PBS, she can’t understand it even after several different requests and often switches the show I want back to a pay-to-view channel instead of PBS. I ended up with some charges per show because I didn’t realize she had switched me and hit “play” and didn’t see the small print (really small print) that there was a charge until it was too late. So, I’m keeping it at this point but I will go back to my AppleTV when I can’t stand it anymore. PBS is the only thing I watch on it and now I know to be very careful before clicking Play.!
Now that it’s properly set up, I love this Fire TV Stick HD with Alexa! I’m using it with a 2007 Vizio TV in the kitchen, and it’s giving me live and on-demand access to my favorite apps and TV. Did I mention that this TV doesn’t have Wi-Fi and that I planned to buy a new one to connect to my mesh setup? It was Prime week and I mentioned my plan to an IT tech at work and he suggested this HD fire stick. I bought it for more than 50% off! It was delivered the next day and I started the easy set-up process, but got stuck when asked to sign into my Amazon account to receive a code to input on the set-up screen. At this point it was all uphill with my limited tech skills. I didn’t think the Fire stick would work if I didn’t already have Alexa. Wrong!The tech at work told me to bring it in, he used my Amazon account to set it up (the Fire stick has built in memory!), I took it home and plugged it in and voila! Now I can use Alexa and see my favorite TV series, along with Netflix and SiriusXM. I’m lovin it! Now that the Fire stick has saved me the cost of an updated TV, I’ll consider buying a new monitor!Don’t give up on the set up!
***EDIT 05/31/2021 – READ WAY BELOW! AMAZON FIRESTICK 3RD GEN BEATS OUT NVIDIA SHIELD, CHROMECAST 3RD GEN AND ROKU****I REALLY LOVE THIS NEW DEVICE! IT IS FAST, I CAN STREAM MY OWN MOVIE APPS (CARTOON HD, TYPHOON, SYNCLAIR, FILM PLUS, NOVA, KODI, CINEMA HD) AMAZINGLY FAST!Netflix and prime is super fast also!!! I AM GOING TO ORDER 4 MORE!! AMAZON FIRESTICK BEATS OUT APPLE TV AND CHROMCAST GOOGLE TV!!!!Edit 05/03/2021: 4 days of heavy usage (horror movie marathon) and no rebooting, and the firestick has yet to lag or become slow. I switched from wireless to Ethernet and same thing: no issues at all. Absolutely a fantastic device!!!Edit 05/10/2021: posting a weekly update.This device is even more amazing than I first noted. I have yet to experience any slowness or lag. I use it approximately 3 to 6 hours a day, sometimes over 6 hours. I use it for the Live tv option, and of course for YouTube, and audible, I am definitely not seeing any lag it is very speedy. With my 4k, at least once a week I had to unplug and plug it back in. NOT THIS 3RD GEN!! YOU WILL NOT REGRET THIS PURCHASE!A bit of advice on two things:First, the 4k firetick, while amazing as it is, is running Android 7.1, which can explain the lag between apps.The 3rd gen runs Android 9.0, which explains the speed increase and better memory management, not to mention more secure (Firesticks are super secure, just my opinion on Android from a full time Android user). Hence, it is a better idea to get the 3rd gen.Second, I change frequently from WiFi to Ethernet, to continue testing lagging and I have still experienced absolutely no lag. Ethernet connects at 150 Mbps, will not go higher, where as WiFi is 540 Mbps which tells me the Firesticks are made for WiFi, which makes sense however I love the Ethernet option because I have a cable available.All I can say is, the Firestick outbeats every streaming device out there (except maybe the Nvidia shield) with reliability, speed, ease of use, connectivity. YOU ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT REGRET YOUR PURCHASE!!!!EDIT 05/19: I started experiencing lagging issues, and had to unplug and restart the Firestick, first time in 30 days! Was hoping to make it to 45 days but 30 days, with 5 to 7 hours a day of use is pretty amazing!!I made an error earlier on Ethernet speed with Amazon’s Ethernet adapter. The Ethernet adapter from Amazon clocks at 150 Mbps, so I bought Cable Matters Micro USB to Ethernet Adapter and .. WOW! I connect at 349 down and almost 40 up!! I have absolutely no internet lag, on or off wifi but I always prefer Ethernet when I can use it.I managed to download and install a total of 12 applications via filelinked, and I still have 1.99 gb of space available. This firetick continues to amaze me!!!Firestick once again beats out Roku, Google Chromecast Android tv, apple tv, except the Nvidia shield. You will not regret this purchase!Edit 05/31/2021:I decided to purchase a Nvidia shield pro, so that I could compare and because I got a lot of messages stating it is the best on the market.It was ana amazing setup, the device is powerful, and snappy. I compared it with the 3rd gen stick and the only three differences I noticed was the following:More memory; shield has 3gb vs 3rd gen having 2gbSpace; shield has 12gb, can be expanded to 1tb. Firestick has 8, expandable to 512gb.Screen; 4k is absolutely amazing. 3rd gen has 1080.Compared with he 4k firestick, the screen is the same.Speed is the same between shield and firesticks, and navigation is as silky smooth HOWEVER, I am noticing via Hulu, Netflix and Disney plus on shield, the voice was not matching up to the characters when watching movies and shows. No matter what I did: uninstall, reinstall all three apps, shut down and restarted numerous times. It is really annoying and does defeat the entirety of the device as a streaming device.Price; Nvidia shield is $199, 2019 model with Android 9, April security…Chromecast Android tv is Android 10 with may security patch..at $49.99, 2020 model…. 3rd gen is $39.99 and prime day you can probably get it for $24.99..for a 2021 model. I will not rate Roku because you cannot sideload apps, and it is limited like apple streaming.Winner?AMAZON!!! AMAZON IS THE ABSOLUTE WINNER!For price, security patches, navigation, side installing apps, ease of use… COME ON FOLKS! I DEBUNKED THE NVIDIA SHIELD MYTH!! I also am returning the shield because I cannot keep something that cannot handle streaming.Note: Nvidia shield is amazing for gaming, and absolutely beats out all streaming devices. This is just streaming applications that I have reviewed and an issue with!
This is my 3rd Fire TV Stick with TV controls. They have all been the newest generation. Without having owned any previous generations I can not attest to the increase in processing power or the speed that apps load compared to the last generation but, it claims to be a 50% increase and I would have to assume that is correct. It is fast from waking it up after it puts itself to sleep or even doing the occasional system reboot. It’s maybe 30seconds for the latter and lightning fast for waking.If you have an Amazon Prime Account, select that you would like it synced to your account so when you get it, it will have your Prime Video, Amazon Music, And all your smart devices including any Echo devices you have in your household that your current devices have already discovered. So after you plug it in you can almost immediately start watching, listening and using the Alexa Voice bottom located at the top of the remote to initiate either plus control your devices.For TV power and volume control, please follow the set up. It starts you off with the set up of your TV and you will having it ready to use as your new TV remote for use when enjoying any of your steaming services. Connecting you new Fire TV Stick with TV controls is easier than you would think. Just follow “quick set-up guide in the box. If you are have trouble call customer service to help and guide you through the process.Pictured are a completely emptied box of all contents that comes with your purchase and you will be amazed at how expertly packaged all those items are in the box. Amazon has minimized waste and uses recycled packaging and there is minimal plastic use. Also, all Amazon devices can be traded in when buying a newer generation where Amazon will give you a discount toward the new old and recycle or renew your old device. It’s a win-win! For the greatest discount, wait until you see the newer device at its lowest price. I’ve noticed it usually about every three months or so they will have a steep discount. So trade in and upgrade with the discount you get for recycling.I’m using my newest Fire TV Stick w TV controls (pictured in the 1st and 2nd photos) in my bedroom connected to a mini projector that I have pointing up to my ceiling. I purchased an RCA projector from Woot for less than $40 and it included (2) HDMI ports, a micro SD card slot, Bluetooth, VGA and has an incredible bright and large picture that I can watch laying in bed and just looking up. As you can see on this newer generation they have included some shortcuts they I have found perfectly suit my needs. I subscribe to almost every streaming service available out there and these four are by far my favorites. My projector does a max 1080p resolution and this Fire TV Stick delivers that full HD content. The Fire TV Stick with TV control has a very intuitive remote and is easy to use. The only critiques I would give are pretty sever, the remote is hard to find if you misplace it (but a bright colorful silicone case. They sell them on here for under $10), speaking of losing the remote, it’s not a bargain to replace the remote. (In most cases, just buying a brand new Fire TV Stick with TV controls is cheaper), lastly, the remote only has one red dot LED that lights up for a limited number of functions, no buttons light up at all on the remote. It makes for the utmost difficulty if your watching a dark movie and want to use the remote at all. Those three things are clearly a negative but, if you can accept those conditions/flaws than you won’t be disappointed in anything else. If I had to design a remote for this, all buttons would be backlit, there would be a “find function button on the Fire Stick itself (the part plugged into the back of your TV) that would send a Bluetooth signal to illuminate the keys with a quick flashing and an audible sound to locate (interesting fact, your Fire TV Stick with TV controls’s remote is Bluetooth, so no pointing at ur TV, it works in any direction. Even when the TV is not in your line of sight). And lastly, hopefully the remote can always be found but, if not there should be a discounted price for a new remote.
E. Sprak –
My Old Apple TV would not support YouTube streaming and so I went shopping for a new one till I saw they were $150. Went to Amazon to price other devices and the Fire Stick was on sale for like 15 bucks so I gave it a try.This was a great purchase. The Fire Stick integrates with all my other Alexa devices and I can control my TV and streaming channels via Alexa Voice commands as well as view my Ring Doorbell Camera. The Streaming Service Apps for Netflix, Hulu, Prime, YouTube, etc etc etc work great. And there are other online free channels that I didn’t even know existed.It even comes with a remote that accepts voice commands and will control most of the functions on my Insignia TV and Likewise the Insignia TV remote can control the Fire Stick via the HDMI connection.The only drawback for me is it doesn’t support Apple’s Airplay for mirroring my iPhone/iPads to the TV although there are some third party apps for the Fire TV to allow Apple Device Mirroring.The Fire TV Stick IMO is better than my Apple TV (circa 2014) and Roku devices and is less inexpensive.
David Cruikshank –
I love how much faster this Firestick is than our original First Gen model. It initially loads much Faster, when you select a video it loads faster with less buffering issues, the video is sharper. We love the one button selection of Prime or Netflix and Voice Commands. We bought 1 during a sale and were so impressed by the improvements we bought a second one on Prime Day. I highly recommend upgrading if you have an older Firestick. Also plan ahead and buy a Stick with 4K ability for when you need to buy a new TV. 4K has become so affordable. We don’t have 4K but the video quality onscreen is noticeable.
Seems like every couple of years, we end up buying a new firestick. The older versions seem to have problems connecting after awhile. With that said, this newer version is pretty nice! I like the channel buttons on the bottom of the firestick. It makes things easier for those who aren’t tech savvy like the grandkids. The only reason I dropped a star was because this firestick wouldn’t connect to our 3rd gen Alexa (she’s my favorite). So I will have to put the 3rd gen in my office and put the 4th gen in the living room, which really isn’t a big deal. Otherwise, we really like this new one. Everything was easy to set up, just had to remember a few passwords and we were ready to go.