Amazon Fire TV Stick: What It Is and How It Works

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Amazon Fire TV Stick: features and price

As we just said, Amazon Fire TV Stick it is a key that connects to the HDMI port of the TV and allows you to access a lot of online content, but what exactly are its technical characteristics, and how much does it cost? Let's find out right away!

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite it is the basic version of the device: it measures 86 mm x 30 mm x 13 mm for 32 grams (so it can be carried easily and always with you when traveling) and is equipped with a 1.7 GHz Quad-Core processor. It supports networks Dual-band Wi-Fi, wireless AC technology, Bluetooth and all major audio and video file formats up to Full HD resolution with 60 FPS and HDR. It comes with a basic version of the Alexa remote (no commands for the TV).

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One step up is the mid-range version of Fire TV Stick, which has the same features as the Lite but comes with a more complete Alexa remote, with controls for the TV (keys for on / off, volume adjustment and mute) and has Dolby Atmos audio.

As a top of the range there is Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Ultra HD which, as the name can easily guess, adds support for 4K / UltraHD content with Dolby Vision, HDR and HDR10 + to the basic features of the Fire TV Stick. In addition, it includes the Alexa voice remote in full version.

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Il Alexa voice remote it can also be purchased individually and paired with the base model of Fire TV Stick.

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The Fire TV Cube, a small box that connects to the TV, equipped with voice control via Alexa and support for 4K Ultra HD content with Dolby Vision up to 60 fps and Dolby Atmos audio: a sort of "hybrid" between Fire TV Stick and Amazon Echo, for put it in layman's terms.

It includes eight "intelligent" microphones capable of canceling the sounds coming from the TV and clearly receiving the commands given by the user even while watching content, a 1,6 "(40 mm) speaker, a Hexa-core processor (Quad- core @ max. 2,2 GHz + Dual-core @ max. 1,9 GHz), 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory. Allows you to switch inputs on compatible TVs and control compatible TVs, sound bars and A / V receivers.

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How to install Amazon Fire TV Stick

Once purchased, the Amazon Fire TV Stick comes in a small and elegant package (characterized by the typical orange color used by Amazon for Fire products), inside which they are contained.

  • Fire TV Stick
  • Remote control
  • Power pack
  • Charge Cable
  • HDMI extension cable
  • Two AAA batteries for the remote control

To install the device and start using it, all you have to do is grab the charging cable and connect it on one side to the door Power of Amazon Fire TV Stick (on the side of the stick) and on the other to the USB port dell 'power pack.

After that you have to connect the power supply to the power point, the Fire TV Stick to HDMI port of the TV and enter the AAA batteries in remote control.

Amazon Fire TV Stick Initial Setup

Mission accomplished! Now you can tune the TV to the "channel" relating to the HDMI port to which you connected the Amazon Fire TV Stick and start the procedure of initial configuration device.

Then press the ▶ ️⏸ button on the Fire TV Stick remote, select the language where you want to use the device (ex. cityno) from the screen that opens and choose the WIFI network to which you want to connect, then inserting the relative access key.

Once connected, wait a few seconds for the Fire TV Stick to search for any software updates available and configure yours Amazon account: if you bought the device using your Amazon account, you should be “recognized” and therefore you should be able to go ahead by simply pressing the button Yes, continue as [your name]. Otherwise choose the option Edit my account and log in with your Amazon account.

Finally, choose whether to save the Wi-Fi password on your Amazon account (in order to have it stored on all Amazon devices) and whether or not to activate the parental control. Then view the short introductory video of the Fire TV Stick and start enjoying all the content offered by the many apps available on your device!

How to use Amazon Fire TV Stick

Now you are truly ready to find out how Amazon Fire TV Stick works. So make yourself comfortable in an armchair or, why not, in bed and follow the instructions I am about to give you to make the most of your new HDMI "key".

The main menu of the Fire TV Stick is extremely intuitive: at the top left is the navigation menu to go to Home of Fire TV Stick (i.e. the main screen of the device, reachable also by pressing the key casa remote control), navigate between Categories of the apps available for download and access the Settings of the device, while scrolling down you can browse the contents of your account and the contents highlighted by Amazon (eg. Your applications and games, Serie Amazon original from Prime Video, "featured" applications, the ranking Free tops with the most downloaded free apps from the Amazon store and so on).

To navigate the Amazon Fire TV Stick menu, all you have to do is use the directional wheel on the remote control, while to select the contents of your interest you have to press on central button. Easier than that?

How to use Amazon Prime Video on Amazon Fire TV Stick

One of the "killer applications" of the Amazon Fire TV Stick is certainly Amazon Prime Video: the video on-demand service from Amazon, which is included in the Prime subscription from 36 euros per year or 4,99 euros per month and which hosts hundreds of interesting contents including films, TV series and anime (not all, unfortunately, in in your languagen).

To access Prime Video content using the Amazon Fire TV Stick, you must first have an active Prime subscription (if you don't know how Amazon Prime works, see my tutorial dedicated to the latter). Then you can choose whether to enter the service app directly by selecting the logo Amazon Prime Video from the main menu of Fire TV Stick, or by selecting one of the many video contents (including movies and series) offered in the home of the device.

Once you have identified the content of your interest, select it with the central button of the remote control and go to the tabs Subtitles e Audio languages (top right) to set the language in which to play it. Then go back to the main tab of the selected film or series and press the button for start playing it.

For the rest there is not much to say: the commands of the Fire TV Stick player are those typical of all video players. I just point out that, to customize the appearance and size of the subtitles, you can select the icon ST which is located at the bottom right.

How to install apps on Amazon Fire TV Stick

As already mentioned above, the Amazon Fire TV Stick includes numerous apps "as standard", including Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music Unlimited, Amazon Prime Photos, Netflix, YouTube and others, but thanks to the device store you can access more than 4.000 additional apps and games.

To browse all the apps available, I suggest you go to the menu Categories Fire TV Stick and select one of the available categories: Communication, Photography, Music, Toys, , Productivity etc.

Then use the directional wheel of the remote control to navigate through all the available applications and, when you find one of your interest, proceed with its installation by selecting it and then pressing the button Get present in the screen that opens. Once the download is complete, the apps downloaded to the Amazon Fire TV Stick become available in the Home of the device, in the row Your applications and games.

If you have second thoughts, you can uninstall apps previously installed on the Fire TV Stick by going to the menu Settings> Applications> Manage installed applications, selecting the apps to remove and choosing the option Uninstall from the screen that opens.

The Fire TV Stick's operating system is based on Android, which means that you can also download apk packages from sources outside the Amazon store and install them on the device (just like you do on Android smartphones and tablets with apps that do not come from the Play Store).

To activate support for apk packages in Fire TV Stick, you must first enter the menu Settings of the "key" and activate the function relating to unknown sources. Then select the item Device From the Fire TV Stick's settings menu, go to Developer options and select the option first Applications from unknown sources and then that light on.

Now you just have to get the apk packages to install the apps that are not present in the Amazon store. There are various ways to do this: one of the most practical is to download the app Downloader, which is present in the category Utility of the Amazon store.

With Downloader, you can download apk packages to Fire TV Stick simply by typing theiraddress in the appropriate text field on the main screen of the app, or using the browser present in the latter. At the end of the download, the apk package will be opened automatically and you can install it on the Amazon "key" by simply pressing the buttons NEXT e Install.

Again, once the installation is complete, you will find the apps installed on the Fire TV Stick in the home menu of the device, in the row Your applications and games.

How to mirror screen on Amazon Fire TV Stick

Among the many functions of the Amazon Fire TV Stick, there is also the one that allows you to perform the mirroring screen of smartphones and tablets, and then project what is displayed on the screen of a portable device onto the TV screen.

All the Android devices with Android 4.2 or later and Kindle Fire HDX 7 ″ (3ª Generation), HDX 8.9 ″ (3ª Generation), HDX 8.9 ″ (4ª Generation) HD 8 ″ (5ª Generation) and HD 10 ″ (5ª Generation), but with some third-party apps you can also take advantage the system AirPlay of Apple (therefore of iPhone and iPad).

To mirror a device Android/Fire (via system Miracast), you need to make sure this is less than 9 feet away from the Fire TV Stick. If the device is not connected to the same Amazon account as the TV Stick, you must also make sure that it is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the "stick".

At this point, if you have an Android terminal, go to the menu Settings > Sounds and screen > Enable screen mirroring and select Amazon Fire TV Stick as the mirroring target device. If, on the other hand, you have a Fire device, go to Settings, Then Screen o Sounds and screen e fai tap sull'opzione Screen duplication then select the Fire TV Stick as the mirroring target device.

If you have an Apple device, you can take advantage of the system AirPlay for the duplication of the screen on Fire TV Stick, but first you have to install on the “stick” an app capable of acting as an AirPlay receiver: I recommend AirPlay / DLNA Receiver or AirReceiver, both of which are paid but are worth the cost.

Once one of the apps in question has been installed (and started), call up the iOS control center and activate the duplication of the screen by pressing the button Duplicate Screen and selecting Amazon Fire TV Stick as the mirroring target.

How to set up Amazon Fire TV Stick

Once you are familiar with the basic functions and commands of the Fire TV Stick, you can begin to customize the device in a more advanced way by accessing the menu Settings which is located at the top left.

You will find yourself in the presence of a series of icons, each of which relates to a section of the Amazon Fire TV Stick configuration panel: Notifications, where to set preferences for suggestions and other notifications of the Fire TV Stick; Network, where to configure the Wi-Fi connection; Sounds and screen, where to adjust the video and audio output settings; Applications, where to manage the apps installed on the device; Pref Renze, where to set the parental control, the time zone and more; Device, where to command the restart or reset of the Fire TV Stick and activate the developer options; Accessibilità, where to adjust the settings related to the accessibility functions e My Account, where you can change the Amazon account associated with the Fire TV Stick.

How to control Amazon Fire TV Stick from smartphones and tablets

In addition to the remote control supplied "standard" with the device, Amazon Fire TV Stick it can be controlled via an app for smartphones and tablets: it is Fire TV remote control, which is available for free for Android and iOS.

The operation of the application is disarmingly easy: after downloading the Fire TV Remote Control from the Play Store or the App Store, start the latter making sure that the smartphone or tablet is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the Amazon Fire TV Stick, then select the name of yours Fire TV Stick and type il verification code that appears on the TV.

Mission accomplished! You now have a new "remote control" for the Amazon Fire TV Stick, which you can use to navigate the device menus and to type texts without using Bluetooth keyboards (which, however, can be easily connected to the Amazon home dongle).

Learn more about the Amazon Fire TV Stick

The Amazon Fire TV Stick includes so many features that explaining them all in detail would have been impossible. I invite you, therefore, to take a leap on the official support page set up by Amazon and consult all the topics available in the latter to learn more about the operation of your new HDMI dongle. You will be amazed by the potential and flexibility of this device!

Amazon Fire TV Stick: What It Is and How It Works

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