This past October, my thrifty friend Charlie gifted me with an Amazon Fire TV Stick for my birthday. Not being as technologically advanced as he is, I hadn't heard much about the device and what it could do.
When I opened it up and tried out the device, I was immediately hooked.
Streaming is the new way to watch TV
The trend these days seems to be that more and more of us are cutting the cable cord. But many of us still want a way to stream the shows and movies that we enjoy – when want. This is where streaming comes in. Instead of accessing cable, we are using our internet connection.
Many devices have come onto the scene since streaming has gotten faster and more reliable. Among the most popular (besides the Fire TV Stick):
- Google Chromecast
- Apple TV
- and even your video game console
The rise of these devices has allowed many folks to slash their cable bills and has given them more freedom to choose what they want to watch and when.
Fire TV Stick is one of the best
While I haven't tried many of the other streaming devices (I'd like to hear if you have), I have read other reviews and many people put the Fire TV Stick at the top of their list. And, I can see why. Again, I'm not ultra-techie – but the device was very easy to set-up and get going.
It's basically a 3-step process to install:
- Plug the stick into your HDTV
- Plug in an outlet
- Connect to your WIFI
Once you get it going, there is a prompt (an animated fella, actually) that guides you through the Fire TV Stick's features and capabilities. It's really a simple process and you are up and running in minutes.
If you are an Amazon Prime member, you will log in with your credentials and have access to 250,000 movies and TV shows. New programs are added all the time. (I will say this: I have been a subscriber to Netflix – and while Netflix's selection is a bit better than what Prime offers – it is still a thrifty deal, being that you don't have the monthly charge).
Among the other things you can stream with Fire TV stick:
- Youtube (and other online video services)
- Sports (like ESPN)
The stick also has 1GB of storage where you can upload your photos and videos and have access to them if you want to show friends/family. Very handy![caption id="attachment_5673" align="alignright" width="300"] Amazon Fire TV stick and remote[/caption]
When you order the device, it also comes with a handy remote that takes a little while to get used to, as it has a radial dial. Once you get the hang of it, you're off to the races.
There's also the Amazon Fire TV
Amazon has also come out with the Fire TV. This device is a little larger, has more storage and features and (you guessed it), costs more. Here is a break-down on the comparisons between the stick and TV courtesy of Amazon.
To be honest, I think the stick would be good enough for most folks. The biggest benefit of the TV is that it has voice recognition (which is a good benefit, as you will find out after using the stick for a period of time).
Win a Fire TV
We are giving away a Fire TV to one reader. All you have to do is comment below with your favorite movie or show and you'll be entered. Contest ends next Friday (7/31) at midnight and a winner will be notified by email on 8/3. One entry per person/household please. US residents only. Being a subscriber to TTG does increase your odds of winning. :)
Have you tried the Fire TV or Fire TV stick? What are your thoughts on the device?