TV 2.0 with the Fire Stick & TV Amazon Prime - an overview

TV 2.0 with the Fire Stick & TV Amazon Prime - an overview

Fire TV Stick (Electronics)

Customer Review

Six months we have been living now with FireTV and it is no exaggeration when I say that this device has really changed a lot in our daily lives, the bottom line is fortunately for the better. In addition to the box I have now also acquired the FireTV stick because it brings more advantages for us but more on that later, as well as everything worth knowing about FireTV stick and a comparison with the FireTV box.

I will start with it, for whom even the FireTV stick out of the question. Joining create such a copy, should one definitely be worth considering if you

1. does not have a Smart TV (= Internet-enabled TV) home
2. has an (older) smart TV, which comes to apps is a but too slowly
3. has several TVs in a household
4. happy accesses libraries of public broadcasters
5. want to use streaming services of VOD providers (Amazon Prime, Netflix)
6. would like to see YouTube videos on your TV
7. interested in online content by Spiegel Online, IMAGE, Sport1, etc.
8. sometimes games (casual games) wants to play on the TV
9 to all of this on the move (eg in hotels) could not live without
10 is already paying Prime member, but has not yet FireTV (Stick / Box)

Who feels rather less addressed in these points, shall here like to hide and save the rest of the text. All others I would like to explain below what exactly the added value of FireTV is and whether, if necessary, you should rather opt for the stick or for the more expensive box itself.

What exactly improved the FireTV stick to my TV?

The FireTV Stick is a small computer in the form of an HDMI sticks in principle. By means of this stick is an Internet-enabled TV from a normal TV. The Internet comes into the living room, conventional television and video on demand to grow so together, blurring the boundaries. By FireTV the possibilities of TV use expand greatly. Man becomes increasingly independent of the usual TV program with fixed transmission times. Tagesschau, today the scene or show missed? No problem, are still available for several days in the library. You look at the program if you have time and inclination to and not when the station is broadcasting the post. The same applies to films and series (then a corresponding VoD providers like Amazon Prime or Netflix). The FireTV stick can thereby similar to a device connected to the TV accessory, such as a DVD player imagine. Just as play on the DVD player and play back different content on the TV, so FireTV brings content stream (without going through a storage medium) over the Internet directly into the living room.

What connection requirements must be met for this?

Exactly three: power, HDMI (on TV) and Internet.

Electricity is generally not a problem, since in the vicinity of the TV location already a socket must be available (possibly multiple socket use). The connection from FireTV Stick to the mains via the included USB cable including power supply. This cable should have been a little longer because I like to, it's enough for me just so times to power outlets.

A free HDMI port on the TV is a mandatory requirement to use FireTV can. Older TVs without HDMI jack are eliminated here. The connection to the TV is easily established via the also supplied HDMI Extender Cable.

The connection to the Internet finally goes wirelessly via Wi-Fi - and exclusively in this way. Unlike the FireTV box, where you can also connect a LAN cable, one has to rely upon Stick to a reasonable wireless Internet connection. Important: The router or wireless access point should not be too far away from your TV in order to ensure a stable and fast wireless connection. The FireTV Stick I can a consistently very good reception quality certify, because in our house is the Wireless Access Point a floor higher, ie there are a ceiling and a number of solid walls in between, yet the signal is strong enough for uninterrupted, liquid reception without any lag. The basic requirement is also of course a corresponding broadband Internet connection; most streaming providers recommend a bandwidth of at least 6 Mbit / s.

What is the timeframe to get started?

The FireTV Stick is very user-friendly, it can be even without technical knowledge in a few minutes into operation and is then ready for use. Upon delivery the stick is already pre-configured. That is, it is already with the Amazon account, the order was carried out from which, linked. If you want to pass on the stick later on or sell, you can unsubscribe at any time the account (via Preferences / My account). After first turning on only a few simple basic settings are in accordance with the instructions on the screen to make. You choose the language and gives the key to its Wi-Fi One (all available networks in the area are automatically scanned and displayed). After briefly testing FireTV the speed of Wi-Fi and checks whether software updates are available. After all, you have to confirm your Amazon account with one click only the link to the (pre-configured). The setup is completed. The whole process takes less than 5 minutes. Then then there is a very nice cooked explanatory video with a first overview of the functions, which provides FireTV.

Tip: Especially FritzBox users should make sure that the router's own child safety the FireTV Stick also allows contact with the Amazon servers and possibly explicitly allow the FireTV stick in the filter settings of the router.

The structure of the home page:

Here you will find their way intuitively. On the left side there is a narrow column of text with the preambles (movies, series, watchlists, library, etc.). About colored tiles you can then select the various contents in the main section: films, series, apps and games (separated by free and chargeable). Very useful, I find that there is a separate, once multi-split, Section only with the free for prime customers Prime contents are with Prime Video. If one wants to specifically look for free movies and series, you do not only browse through the entire website. Additionally, all Prime-content are still marked with the known prime Signet at the top left tile edge. Just for clarification: An existing Amazon Prime membership is a prerequisite for the use of free content. The purchase of the Fire TV stick alone is not enough to free use.

How do I control the FireTV Stick?

For this is a remote control (incl. Batteries). The remote control is relatively small and light. It is reduced to the essential functions and thereby virtually self-explanatory. I find this very positive because the six, clearly arranged, keys with clear symbols (no miniature lettering as so often) absolutely enough. Unlike FireTV Box has the remote control of the stick no voice search function, which is however already designed for those looking for Amazon content. For those who do not want to miss the comfort of the notoriously well-functioning voice search, Amazon provides the voice remote control as an option. Some will then probably decide in the light of the sum then small price difference for the same box for this, because there is the voice remote control supplied with yes included. Alternatively, download a free remote control app that allows then in conjunction with a Smartphone voice search (this is precisely also in the introduction video explains).

As the FireTV stick from the box FireTV different?

Not least because of the much lower price (it costs so regularly only about half as much as the box) is the stick of the technical equipment and the connections forth easily reduced to the essentials and functional. No voice search, no LAN port, less memory (only 1 instead of 2GB) and a weaker processor. Some graphics-intensive games like Asphalt 8 or Riptide GP2 are therefore not available for the drive, which does not fall but the weight for me. More problematic, however, are for some users the restrictions on accessories because the stick no USB input devices can unlike the Box can be connected. Keyboards and game controllers can only be via Bluetooth (Stick Standard 3.0, Box has 4.0) to the FireTV stick.

Nevertheless, one should not be misled them. The FireTV Box is the luxury edition, the 110% solution, which hardly leaves wishes for techies. The FireTV stick still working fast enough and doing its streaming tasks excellently. When viewing movies and videos I can find absolutely no difference between stick and box, in both cases, it works smoothly and without any judder. Only when scrolling through the menus remain the stick when it comes to speed, something behind the box. There hakelt sometimes a little, but this is really one notices only in direct comparison, in practice, you can safely ignore. The FireTV stick also needs definitely a comparison with Google's Chrome Cast, which is weaker equipped in the essential technical features, not fear. One advantage of sticks is also its portability. In contrast to the box that is designed primarily for a fixed location, can be the stick unplug with two handles, low space requirements and weight (just under 1/10 of the box) and transport elsewhere reinsert. It is therefore ideally suited for use with different TVs within a budget and traveling. A use of FireTV sticks in hotels (in Internet access via username and password) should be possible, but so far I could not test in practice. There eventually when installing apps that do not originate from the AppStore Amazon (eg Kodi / XBMC) No problems. This is also possible on the stick via sideloading.

FireTV and Amazon Prime is the perfect complement

For Prime customers are currently more than 13,000 movies and TV series available. In recent months, came almost daily additions added. I use this huge supply ultimately not too intense for lack of time. Nevertheless, we in our family already by some output can save for a DVD or series relay, which we would have bought otherwise. Outside the free-Prime range, of course, access to the regular Amazon Instant Video offer, through which you can borrow or buy newer movies and series squadrons charged. The quality of the streams is a good WiFi connection provided as I said, nothing jerky on the technically weaker FireTV stick consistently very good, no dropouts. It is not true at all that the data does not come in the usual way in the TV. Whether a Prime membership is worthwhile, everyone must decide for themselves individually. Although it sounds like preferential or VIP treatment, it is ultimately nothing more than a binding contract with a fixed term and with clear rules, which for an annual flat fee a delivery liberation, a lending library for e-books and just said streaming flatrate selected films and series includes. Can we then still prime-specific discounts or Vorbestelleraktionen (as currently for the FireTV stick) use, there is not much to effective cost left.

Overview of current Prime-releases (free movies and series)

Fits the offer of Amazon Prime at all to my interests? For completeness, I would like to point out two ways in which you can check in addition to the official Amazon website about the current new arrivals at Prime. Facebook users simply liken the site Amazon Instant Video DE and activate additionally receive notifications. Another good alternative is the German language website. They will give you a clear overview of the current new arrivals, by clicking at the top right of the page on the appropriate link.

Can I use the FireTV stick even without Prime membership?

Yes, of course, also goes, but does in practice only limited sense. Then you have either the free content (media libraries, YouTube, games, etc.) are limited, pay movies and series in a single call, or alternatively a subscription with another provider (eg Netflix). The fee-based package deals include the way the provider usually periods in which to test their offer without obligation and possibly also may denounce again.

Can also be used without FireTV hardware Amazon Prime?

Yes. When there were no FireTV boxes and sticks, you could offer Amazon Prime (formerly LOVEFiLM) use, for example on the PC / notebook, smart TVs, tablets or games consoles. Of course, this works even today. If these playback options in terms of size, quality and comfort enough, must individually questioning whether the added value and convenience of FireTV justify the purchase of the stick for him. Compared to the more expensive box is the threshold, give it a try, now certainly become again a bit lower by the attractive price-performance ratio of FireTV sticks for many.

Functioning and 2 sticks or 1 stick & 1 Box parallel?

Yes. Both are possible. Typically the devices are then bought with the same Amazon account and linked. However, this is not a problem, as well as the sharing of Prime accounts in the same household. Amazon lets in its Terms of simultaneous, parallel streaming of two different titles explicitly. We currently 1 box and 1 stick are in use and so different films can be viewed at 2 TVs simultaneously. The annual cost of Prime fall while still at once.

Problems and possible solutions:

Quite a few users report problems with their FireTV stick, especially with the connectivity and image quality. Often small changes create remedy or at least a significant improvement, so here is a brief overview of possible measures:

Troubleshooting Not Able to connect to Amazon server settings on your home router! It must be ensured that the stick may contact the Amazon servers. Limiting filter settings or activated parental controls can prevent this under certain circumstances.

Outdated software version is generally recommended to always use the latest version of the system software. If a newer version is available, it can be checked in Settings / System / Information. In particular, speed problems can be solved frequently by a software update.

Inadequate image quality (resolution / stuttering) automatically switch the resolution under Settings / screen to 720p / 50Hz, sometimes works wonders. A role play on which it operates the TV Stick. On a Sony KDL5500W I use eg fixed 720p / 50Hz (otherwise it jerky panning the camera with me), on a Toshiba XV733 contrast, can I leave the setting permanently on automatically. Check it out!

Wireless connection bad or cancels For, mandatory for operation of the sticks necessary, fast and stable wireless connection between stick and router (or access point), the distance between the two should be as low as possible. In my case, for example, an entire floor is in between, but I have no other possible sources of interference near the TV (BD player, receiver, etc.). An improvement can possibly through the use of a repeater or Powerline adapters, and by reducing the number of devices (smartphones, laptops) that use the same Wi-Fi, can be achieved. Sometimes, the wireless encryption helps in router exclusively on WPA2 standard set (and not additionally WPA or WEP).

The Price

The stick normally costs 39 EUR. Prime members could pre-order a few days for 19 EUR him at launch. This price also I paid. Maybe it's just fortunate circumstances that FireTV (Stick and Box) at home running smoothly with me, hence my positive opinion about this product. As mentioned above, quite a few customers who also have problems with the drive, please read the critical reviews. If it would have gone like me, I would have to stick already returned, because then for 19 EUR would still be too much.

My previous personal conclusion:

For entry into the video-on-demand world of FireTV stick is currently probably the cheapest and easiest way. Who, however rather powerful, stationary solution with Voice Search and more connectivity options preferred should take a closer look at the FireTV box.

FireTV changed my TV habits sustainably. Normal television at fixed broadcasting times will take place more and more rare. I have gained sovereignty over my time and look now more focused and conscious TV. The stands with Amazon Prime on the other hand a huge range of movies and series over, which of course also requires a certain degree of discipline in usage patterns.

For me personally, a back to an era before FireTV is certainly no longer possible, this would be a real step backwards. For this reason, we have in addition to the box yet gained the FireTV stick, especially for use in our second TV, a bit in the tooths and - without the stick - not Internet-enabled flat-screen TVs from Toshiba. Compared with the significant added value that we get through the additional streaming options, the cost of the one-time purchase of hardware as well as our current Prime fees keep (the yes, despite the combination of stick and box only 1x apply) as I find in a truly fair and manageable. Ultimately this must be but of course everyone has to decide for themselves individually.

I hope my remarks may or this could provide guidance and assistance. About a positive response I would be happy, of course. If there are any questions, please simply use the comment function. Thank you for reading!

Buy recommendation! 12 Rank: 5/5
April 15
Really good 4 Rank: 5/5
November 20
Highly recommended ....... 56 3 Rank: 5/5
February 25
Dock 2 ... Rank: 5/5
May 5
Notebook Asus Eee PC 10 Inch Rank: 5/5
December 4
Done the job 93 Rank: 3/5
May 12

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