Reviewed by David Savage
With lots of ways to view television shows and movies these days I was delighted when I received the Amazon Fire TV Stick for review. The Fire TV Stick is a portable HDMI stick that plugs into your HD television and enables you to watch online streaming services such as Amazon Video, Netflix and lots more.
In the box was:
1x HDMI Fire TV Stick
1x HDMI Extender
1x USB Cable
1x Power Adapter
2x AAA Batteries
1x Quick Start Guide
Setting up the Fire TV Stick was fairly straightforward. Installation is simple, I just had to plug it in to a HDMI port on the television (it even comes with a HDMI extender so if you have a wall mounted television you can still plug it in), plug in the power and I was ready to start using. The next step is following some simple on-screen instructions to register/create your Amazon account, although I did have an issue when trying to register my Amazon login details as it said no account existed! After giving up for a while, when I checked my emails later there was one from Amazon giving me a temporary password to use (nowhere on the setup screen did it advise me to check emails for 2-step verification. So, this is something that needs to be improved).
So, once it had accepted my Amazon login details I was now free to use the device with my Netflix and Amazon Prime subscriptions to stream movies and television shows. If you don’t have a subscription service you also have access to free services such as BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, ITV, Channel 4 and much, much more. You can also rent movies and TV episodes from as little as £0.99.
I have been using it for a few days now and, I must say, I love it! Not only is very reasonably priced it is fast and responsive (it has a dual-core processor, VideoCore4 GPU and 1GB RAM) and hidden away behind the television. Even though the device is behind the television the supplied remote control works perfectly (you can even download an app so you can use your phone as a remote or for voice commands).
Should you get bored with watching thousands of movies/tv shows you can even download apps and games to play or stream music. If you have stored photos in the Amazon cloud you can also view them on your television set with the Fire stick.
What I like most about is that as a Prime subscriber I can download movies and television shows to the device (it comes with 8GB storage space) so that I can watch them on the go on another device (I can download at home and either plug into another television elsewhere to watch or even into my laptop).
If you don’t have Prime subscription you can still rent videos and watch other subscription services such as Netflix or Curzon Home Cinema or watch the free services such and iPlayer and ITV, although the stick is geared more towards Amazon services (Prime Video is just £5.99 per month or Prime, which includes unlimited one day delivery, is £7.99 per month or £79 per year).
Overall, despite my initial problems with registering my Amazon it is excellent, especially if you have a Prime subscription to take full advantage of all the content. The video quality is excellent and I have had no buffering problems as of yet. The sound is crystal clear and is Dolby Digital Plus certified.
A very well-priced, quality small device (about the size of a flash drive) that turns any high-definition television with a HDMI port into a Smart TV and is capable of 1080p or 720p at 60/50Hz.
RRP: £39.99 (now with Alexa)
Available to buy from Amazon here.