Yesterday 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
- 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!
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.