Amazon Fire TV Stick Review – A Cable Cutters Device!

Amazon Fire TV StickYesterday over on Empowered Shopper, I wrote an Amazon Fire TV Stick review.  This is one of the new products Amazon put out this year to compete with the Google Chromecast and the Roku Streaming Stick.  As I’m an Amazon Prime member, I was able to get the Fire TV Stick early. It took some time before they actually shipped them out, but I’ve had it for over a week, so here are my initial thoughts.  Make sure to check out Empowered Shopper for the full review and other great product and service reviews.

My Thoughts on the Amazon Fire TV Stick

Since I don’t have cable and have been without for over 2 years, I have had to resort to get my TV kicks from Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and my Mohu Leaf. I’m OK with this as I save a ton of money each money and that just goes to my bottom line.  I treat my life like a business, so unnecessary expenses are always on the chopping block.

We are currently tied to our main television in our family room because we stream with my Xbox 360.  It has worked fine for years, but I wanted an easy way to get access to Netflix on our bedroom TV. I like to unwind before I hit the hay and watching TV is something I don’t get to do often or in depth.  That said, I was on the search for an alternative. The Chromecast intrigued me, but when the Amazon Fire TV Stick came out, I wanted to try it out. I love testing new technology and one of the reasons why I started Empowered Shopper!

As stated, I got the Fire TV Stick last week. I was able to get it setup in a matter of minutes.  It had simple packaging with only a few things included.  These are the items included in the box:

 

  • Fire TV Stick
  • Remote
  • USB Cable
  • Power Adapter
  • HDMI Extender Cable
  • Remote Batteries (AAA)
  • Quick Start Guide

As you can see, nothing crazy out of the ordinary. I really like the remote and the HDMI extender cable is nice if you have to put your stick into the back of your TV on the wall. The extender cable allows it to hand down from the HDMI port.  Easy peasy!

Fire TV Stick setup

Anyway, I plugged this bad boy into the back of my TV, it powered on and auto switched to the input and the setup was on!  I entered my WiFi password and then got a “Get Started” video, which I couldn’t bypass. It took a few minutes to run through, but once it was done, I was on my way. Amazon Instant Video is already loaded and installed. Netflix is loaded, but you have to install it, along with other apps your might want. The menu makes it easy to follow and the remote is quick to work.

Since this is an Amazon product, they have it registered to your Amazon account when you buy it. You can bypass this by selecting “this is a gift” when in checkout. You do need to know that one-click ordering is possible on the Fire TV Stick. This can be bad if you have a two-year old like me. You can add parental controls which is a PIN system that will pop up when you are downloading new apps or about to purchase a movie or show.

So far, I have been satisfied with the Amazon Fire TV Stick. I think it would be a great gift for anyone wanting to unhinge their media.  I can now take this thing with me to other places and hook into WiFi and start streaming.  There have been a few issues that started a few days ago. It does somethings get stuck when loading.  Most of the time it will unfreeze, but I have had to unplug it to get it working again. I think I can chalk that up to new software, but Amazon can update the firmware at anytime as long as the Fire TV Stick is plugged into a wall outlet and no the USB port on your TV.  I’ll bet they will be releasing some new updates soon enough. Remember, this is a new technology.

 

About the Author Grayson Bell

I'm a business owner, blogger, father, and husband. I used credit cards too much and found myself in over $75,000 in debt ($50,000 in just credit cards). I paid it off, started this blog, and my financial life has changed. I now talk about fighting debt and growing wealth here. I run a WordPress support company, along with another blog, Eyes on the Dollar, which is another great personal finance blog.

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8 comments
Money Beagle says December 16

I have a Chromecast, actually two, and to me they seem pretty similar. We also have a Roku which seems a little more advanced. We don’t have Amazon Prime service and I suspect that the Fire Stick gets a lot of its benefit for those who subscribe.

Reply
    Laurie says December 16

    They are very similar. The Fire TV Stick has a better processor and more memory, but the main features are similar between all of them. That being said, being an Amazon Prime member makes it more beneficial.

    Reply
Ben Luthi says December 18

Interesting! I’ve heard about this and Chromecast, but I’ve never really looked into them.

Reply
EL says January 8

This is a serious competitor for Google chromecast. I am waiting for mines to be delivered, and will see how many titles we can stream before chopping off the cable for good. What do you do for sports? Does the antenna pick up the local channels with good clarity?

Reply
    Laurie says January 8

    It is a good competitor. I will say mine had some issues after the first two weeks. They had some terrible software updates, but have since cleaned those up.

    I watch sports with my over the air antenna. I get NBC, CBS, FOX, and ABC with HD, so it looks good. Right now, I’m thinking about getting the Sling TV from Dish to get ESPN and the other channels we used to watch when we had cable.

    Reply
Liz says March 22

Yeah still getting stuck! Just got mine and it’s been updating parental controls for almost 10 mins. Hopefully once I’ve got it all configured and connected it won’t happen again.

Cheers!

Reply
    Grayson Bell
    Grayson Bell says March 23

    Is it still doing that? Have you tried just unplugging it and trying again?

    Reply
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