Amazon Fire TV devices are our second favorite devices (behind Roku). They work just fine but push Amazon Video content. Most of it comes down to personal preference. I personally prefer the interface of Roku over Amazon Fire Stick.
You cannot get YouTubeTV on any of the Amazon Fire TV devices. Google and Amazon are feuding. Google owns YouTube, so they aren’t allowing any of their apps on Amazon devices. This includes the YouTube app and the Google Play store. You can access YouTube.com using one of Amazon Fire TV’s web broswers, FireFox or Silk. I don’t recommend trying to get YouTubeTV through a browser, the picture quality is terrible.
The difference between the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is just the difference in picture quality – HD vs 4K.
The Amazon Fire TV Cube is a streaming media player and doubles as an Echo device. It has external speakers and uses Alexa.
All of the Amazon Fire TV devices are able to use Alexa as part of their voice remote. The Fire TV Cube has the added benefit of you being able to give it commands without the remote, like you would an Echo or Echo Dot.
You may also be wondering about Amazon Fire TV Recast, it is a DVR for Over The Air (OTA) channels, or channels you can get with your antenna. We aren’t going to cover it here because it isn’t a streaming device.
Here is a quick overview on using an Amazon Fire Stick:
Amazon devices are not the only way to access Amazon Prime Video content. All the other major streaming devices (ones listed on this website) have the ability to download the Prime Video app.
In order to use Amazon’s Fire TV devices, you need an Amazon account (you do not need Prime). This shouldn’t be an issue, because you most likely used your Amazon account to order it. If you used your Amazon account to buy it, then it will automatically be linked to your account when it arrives.
So, if you are buying one as a gift for someone else, make sure you check the box that says, “this is a gift”. It is just below the “add to cart” button. This will make sure that the device is unregistered.
I bought one for my brother, who did not have an Amazon account. So in order for him to use it, I had to set up an account for him. This includes putting in credit card information, it makes it easy to make purchases through the Fire stick. (This is also why you want to make sure it isn’t registered to your account if you buy one as a gift for someone, it will be linked to your credit card and they will be able to make purchases using your account!)
If you have an Amazon account but not Prime membership, you won’t be able to access Amazon’s Prime Videos. Click here to try a 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime.
All new Alexa Remote!
All of the new Amazon Fire TV devices (linked above) come with the new Amazon Alexa remote.
If you have an older Amazon Fire TV device, the remote would only control the device, not your TV volume or mute. Not anymore! Amazon just came out with a replacement remote for (almost) all Amazon Fire TV devices that will also control the volume of your TV!
You can’t quite lose your TV’s main remote yet. The new Alexa remote can’t change your TV’s input/source (if you want to change to a Blu-Ray player or your antenna). However, some customers have said that using the voice control does work for that sometimes.
This new remote doesn’t work with Amazon Fire TV (1st and 2nd Gen), 1st Gen Fire TV Stick, or Amazon Fire TV Edition smart TVs.
Wireless or Ethernet internet connection?
Amazon Fire TV Stick can connect to the internet with a wireless connection. Or, you can buy an ethernet adapter. Amazon Fire Cube has both wireless and ethernet connection options.
I recommend an ethernet connection if your TV is near your modem. An ethernet connection provides the fastest and most reliable internet connection.
What’s in the box?
Amazon Fire TV Stick and Amazon Fire TV Cube come with a remote (with batteries), power adapter, the device itself.
In addition, the Fire TV Cube comes with an ethernet adapter and an IR extender (this means you can “hide” the Fire Cube, then the extender can pick up the signal from the remote).
The device needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet, it needs to be plugged into an HDMI port on your TV (you will need an HDMI cable to do this) and it needs to be connected to the internet (either wireless or with an ethernet cable).
If you choose to outfit your house with all Amazon products, here is what we recommend:
Main TV – Fire TV Cube
Assuming you can connect your Fire Cube to the internet via an ethernet cord, this will give you the fastest and more reliable internet connection. We love the idea of being able to control your TV using voice commands.
Other TVs – Fire TV Stick 4K
Save yourself some money and get a Fire Stick for your other TVs. Performance is still excellent.
Don’t forget to make sure you have an HDMI cord for each of them!
Next up: Roku
Or go back to Streaming Devices