Streaming

Review of Amazon Fire TV Stick & Fire TV (best TV streaming stick for 2018)

Highlights: Today, we’ll cover a comprehensive review of Amazon’s Fire TV & Fire Stick, including the all new Fire TV 2017 and Echo Dot bundle. Both the Fire TV Stick and Fire TV come with an Alexa powered voice remote. We will also do a quick but detailed comparison of the Fire Stick and Fire TV with 2 formidable competitors – Apple TV and Roku Streaming Stick (multiple versions). Review is current as on Jan 2018 and will be updated from time to time.

Amazon has been releasing killer products of late and some of them have fared average while some of them have fared good, but possibly two of the best of its products are the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV stick variants. Along with Amazon Echo and the Alexa assistant, these provide a great entertainment option to integrate with your TV. Let’s see how good these really are.

Benefits of Fire TV Stick or Fire TV

Benefits of Amazon Fire TV

Smarten up your TV: This is definitely recommended if you have an older TV with HDMI but no smart features and if you are using the cord or cable to get content. Not only will you save but your older TV will get an almost Smart TV experience as you will get cutting edge content and browsing and access to all the smart apps WITH voice control.

Channels you can watch: You can Enjoy tens of thousands of channels, apps, and Alexa skills with access to over 500,000 movies and TV episodes from Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and more.
– Access millions of websites such as YouTube, Facebook, and Reddit with browsers like Silk and Firefox.

Launch and control content: with the included Alexa Voice Remote.
– For Example you can say, “Play Game of Thrones” or “Launch Netflix” and Alexa will respond instantly. Plus, play music, find movie show times, order a pizza, and more — just ask.
– Cut the Cable today (or without Cable) You can watch the best of live TV and sports from AMC, HGTV, ESPN, FOX, and others with a subscription to DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV, or top-rated primetime shows with CBS All Access.

Fire Stick & Fire TV brings portability and flexibility:
– Continue watching from where you left off. Plug Fire TV Stick into any TV’s HDMI port, connect to Wi-Fi, and continue watching.
– Easy to carry and watch your shows when you travel. (all shows may not be available in all countries)
– Easy to search, browse and play favourites directly from the Home Screen.

Specifications of the Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV

Let’s begin with the specifications of Fire Stick first

FeatureSpecs
Size3.4” x 1.2” x 0.5”
Weight1.1 oz (32.0 g)
ProcessorMediaTek Quad-core ARM 1.3 GHz
GPUMali450 MP4
Storage8 GB internal
Memory1 GB
Wi-Fi connectivityDual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi supports 2x2 MIMO 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
BluetoothBluetooth 4.1
Voice supportYes, with Alexa Voice Remote (included) or free Fire TV Remote App (available for download on Fire, Android, and iOS)
Game controller supportYes, optimized for Amazon Fire TV Controller and most games are compatible with other Bluetooth controllers
Cloud storageFree cloud storage for all Amazon content
PortsHDMI output, Micro USB for power only
Audio supportDolby Audio, 5.1 surround sound, 2ch stereo, and HDMI audio pass through up to 7.1
Content formats supportedVideo: H.264 1080p30H.265 1080p30. Audio: AAC-LC, HE-AACv1 (AAC+), HE-AACv2 (eAAC+), AC3 (Dolby Digital), eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MIDI, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, AMR-NB, AMR-WB. Photo: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP
Output resolution supported720p and 1080p up to 60 fps
System requirementsHigh-definition television with available HDMI input, Internet connection via Wi-Fi, a power outlet
TV compatibilityCompatible with high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 1080p or 720p at 60/50Hz, including popular HDCP-compatible models from: Hitachi, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, NEC, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Vizio, Westinghouse, and others
Warranty and service90-day Limited Warranty and service included. Optional 2-Year and 3-Year Extended Warranty available for U.S. customers sold separately. Use of Fire TV Stick is subject to the terms found here.
Included in the box
Fire TV Stick, Alexa Voice Remote, USB cable and power adapter, HDMI extender, 2 AAA batteries, quick start guide

Check Price of Amazon Fire TV Stick at Amazon today

Detailed Hardware Specifications of Amazon Fire TV (with 4K resolution)

FeaturesAmazon Fire TV
Size2.6” x 2.6” x 0.6” (65.0 mm x 65.0 mm x 15.0 mm)
Weight3.1 oz (87.1 g)
ProcessorAmlogic Quad-core 1.5 GHz | ARM 4xCA53
GPUMali450 MP3
Storage8 GB internal
Memory2 GB
Wi-Fi connectivityDual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO) for faster streaming and fewer dropped connections than standard Wi-Fi. Supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi networks.
BluetoothBluetooth 4.2 + LE
Voice supportYes, with Alexa Voice Remote (included) or free Fire TV Remote App (available for download on Fire, Android, and iOS)
Hands-free voice controlAvailable by pairing Fire TV with any Echo device
Ethernet supportWith optional Amazon Ethernet Adapter
Cloud storageFree cloud storage for all Amazon content
PortsHDMI output, micro USB for power or optional Amazon Ethernet Adapter (no included Ethernet port or micro SD slot)
Audio supportDolby Atmos compatibility, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby Digital
Content formats supportedVideo: HDR-10. H.265, H.264, Audio: AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, Dolby Atmos (EC3_JOC), Photo: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP
Output resolution supported2160p, 1080p, and 720p up to 60 fps
System requirementsHigh-definition television with available HDMI input, Internet connection via Wi-Fi, a power outlet.
TV compatibilityTV must support minimum HDCP requirements for protected content playback. Compatible with (1) 4K ultra high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 2160p at 24/25/30/50/60 Hz and HDCP 2.2, including popular models from LG, Samsung, Sony, Sharp, Toshiba, Vizio, and others or (2) high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 1080p or 720p at 50/60 Hz, including popular HDCP-compatible models from Hitachi, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, NEC, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Vizio, Westinghouse, and others. Learn more.
Warranty and service1-Year Limited Warranty and service included. Optional 2-Year and 3-Year Extended Warranty available for U.S. customers sold separately. Use of Fire TV is subject to the terms found here.
Included in the boxFire TV, Alexa Voice Remote, USB cable and power adapter, quick start guide, product guide, 2 AAA batteries

Check Price of Amazon Fire TV at Amazon today

Comparison of the Amazon Fire Stick, Fire TV, Roku Streaming Stick and Apple TV

FeaturesFire StickFire TVRoku Streaming Stick , Roku Premiere & Premiere +Apple TV and Apple TV 4K
Price$

Check Deals on Fire TV Stick at Amazon
$$

Check Deals on Fire TV at Amazon
$-$$

Check Deals on:Roku Streaming Stick (2017)|
Roku Premiere - 4K and HD|
Roku Premiere +|
Roku Ultra
$$$ (what else)

Check Deals on Apple TV 4K on Amazon
Supported resolutionUp to 1080p HD at 60 fpsUp to 4K Ultra HD at 60 fps1080p HD up to 6fps (4K also in Stick + )1080p - 2160p (for TV 4K)
HDR-10 supportYesYesHDR in Premiere and Premiere +In Apple TV 4K - HDR 10 along with Dolby vision
Alexa Voice RemoteYesYesRoku voice remoteSiri Voice remote
Quad-core processor1.3 GHz1.5 GHzQuad CoreA8 chip in Apple TV, A10X Fusion chip in TV 4K
Memory1 GB2 GB1.5 GB
Storage8 GB8 GB32GB, 64 GB
Supported audioDolby AudioDolby AtmosDolby AudioDolby Audio
802.11ac dual-band MIMO Wi-FiYesYesYes (advanced wireless also in Premiere +)
Compatible with Amazon Ethernet AdapterYesYesNANA
Channels and ContentAll usual channels like Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix etc. Own gaming app, Twitch, and Silk, the browser it uses on Fire tablets. No itunesAll usual channels like Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix etc. Own gaming app, Twitch, and Silk, the browser it uses on Fire tablets. No itunes.All usual channels like Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix etc. Additionally FandangoNOW, VUDU, and YouTube. No itunesitunes channel additionally, does have Amazon, Hulu and Netflix as well. ESPN, NBA and other services as well.
Smart FeatureAlexa IncludedAlexa IncludedRoku remote or mobile app with voice but voice only limited to content search. Headphones in Premiere +
Device InteractionEcho included for device control hands-freeEcho included for device control hands-freeNA
ConnectionHDMIHDMI and USBHDMI
Express+: HDMI, Composite A/V for older TVs
Photos on ScreenYesYesYes - only in certain modelsYes

Benefits of purchasing Amazon Fire TV with the Prime membership

channels with fire tv stick

Get the best content with Fire TV Stick and Fire TV

Thousands of Channels and Apps with Fire TV, Fire Stick

Thousands of Channels and Apps with Fire TV, Fire Stick

The Prime membership brings with it, thousands of movies and TV episodes, including Thursday Night Football, Amazon Original Series, Amazon Channels, and ad-free listening to millions of songs with Prime Music.
Amazon Original Series like The Tick, The Grand Tour, Mozart in the Jungle, and Just Add Magic. Prime members can also add premium channels like HBO, SHOWTIME, and STARZ — no cable or satellite subscription necessary. Just pay for the channels you want to watch, with prices starting as low as $2.99 a month —and you can cancel anytime. Each channel starts with a free trial, so it’s easy to discover new favourites.

What can the Alexa Voice remote for Fire Stick or Fire TV do ?

Alexa for Amazon Fire Stick

Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick with Alexa remote now

The Alexa Voice Remote can easily find, launch, and control content. Try this to simply say, “Alexa, find suspense thrillers” and Alexa will show you results. Alexa, the brain behind Amazon Echo, doesn’t stop there. Just press the microphone button and ask to play music from Pandora, order a pizza from Domino’s, shop for popcorn and snacks, and more.

Plus, Alexa on Fire TV is always getting smarter. With a newly expanded voice control in apps like Bravo, CBS All Access, Hulu, NBC, PlayStation Vue, and SHOWTIME, Alexa can help you do even more. Use your voice to search, control playback, and even change the channel within supported apps.

How does the Echo Device work with Amazon Fire TV ?

You can also pair Fire TV and Echo devices, allowing you to control your Fire TV with Alexa. Just ask Alexa to play and search for movies and TV shows, launch apps, and control playback from over 190 apps and channels on your Fire TV. Follow the instructions below and find out everything you can do on Fire TV using Echo here.

Fire TV with Echo Dot

Fire TV with Echo Dot

Limitations of Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick

The latest version of fire TV apparently does not include the Ethernet adaptor and that has to be purchased separately. Although its a nominal cost, it is kind of important because otherwise its Wi-fi only connection which may impact the 4K quality. The HDMI cable length has also been shortened which is a limitation according to some folks. In terms of channels available, it doesn’t support You-tube as Google has deactivated it, starting January 1st. However, by using Silk or Mozilla you can view it via the web browser. Also this is mostly a fall-out of Amazon vs. Google competition and may get resolved soon.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick
Author Rating
41star1star1star1stargray

2 Comments

  1. Josh R January 30, 2018
    • Sam Sethi January 31, 2018

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)