Streaming devices are now a crucial part of the TV-watching experience. While most new TVs come with a smart TV platform built-in, you can easily swap it out for one you like better by adding a streaming stick or box to your TV via an HDMI connection. Roku makes some of the most popular streaming players, but the company is starting to face stiff competition from streaming devices by Apple, Google and AmazonAmazon in particular has pushed aggressively into the streaming market by producing a plethora of Fire TV-branded streaming devices. We’ve reviewed them all, and found that we tend to like Roku products best for their easy use and their platform-agnostic approach — Roku’s menus don’t favor one service (like, for example, Prime Video) over others. That said, Amazon’s Fire TV devices are highly capable too, especially if you want Alexa voice integration.
|Enjoy favorites from Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, Apple TV, Peacock, STARZ, SHOWTIME, Paramount+, and others. Stream live news, sports, and must-see shows, plus thousands of titles in brilliant 4K Ultra HD, HDR, HDR10+, or Dolby Vision. Access tens of thousands of HDR titles. Plus, play millions of songs through services like Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora and iHeartRadio. Subscription fees may apply.
Switch inputs and go from watching your favorite TV show to the big game. You can also ask Alexa to check the weather, set timers and reminders, and more—even when the TV is off.
|“Alexa, tune to ESPN.”Fire TV Cube has eight microphones that hear you from any direction, making it easy to ask Alexa to adjust the volume or mute your compatible TV or soundbar. Fire TV Cube lets you control your compatible cable and satellite box. The Alexa Voice Remote is also included for those times you want to control your TV without making a sound. Brands this product is compatible with includes Samsung, Sony, LG, Vizio, Comcast, DISH, and DIRECTV/AT&T U-verse.With Alexa on Fire TV Cube, you can control a wide range of devices through the cloud, infrared (IR), and HDMI-CEC, with more being added all the tim
Speed and picture quality
One of the most noticeable differences between the 4K Max and the 4K stick is speed: Amazon claims that the former is “40 times more powerful” than the latter “with faster app starts and more fluid navigation.” The 4K Max stick is adept at switching between apps, such as Netflix to Hulu, Apple TV+ to Disney+; it was practically seamless when I used voice control with Alexa. The Amazon voice assistant also worked fast when I asked it to play a show on Netflix or a movie on Prime Video.
Design and user experience
The first impression you’d get with the 4K Max TV stick is how lightweight the remote is, similar to the 4K or past versions of the Fire TV Stick (it actually slipped out of my hand easily a few times). The streaming stick itself has to be plugged in — prepare to get an extension cord near your TV — something that might be slightly inconvenient for those who already have a smart TV and are used to their TV’s built-in streaming capabilities. Then again, rarely will those with a smart TV need an additional streaming device.
amazon fire tv device
Amazon’s Fire Stick range is robust and runs the gamut from the basic Fire Stick Lite to the midrange Fire Stick 4K Max to the top-tier Fire TV Cube, as well as a bunch of models in between. If this sounds confusing, don’t worry. Our guide to the best Fire TV streaming device will help you pick out the right model for you.
What is a Fire Stick ? Well, if you’ve ever wanted to have all the functionality of a smart TV but didn’t want to have to pay for a completely new television, then the Amazon Fire TV Stick is a great way to upgrade your existing TV.
— Last UpdaIf you’ve ever been streaming something on your phone or computer and wished you could watch it on your TV, you’re certainly not alone. Today, a number of smart TV options on the market offer just that, but there’s a way to turn any TV into a versatile smart TV: with a streaming device called a Fire TV Stick. If you’ve never heard of this and are wondering, “what is a Fire Stick?” then read on to learn more.
Key Takeaways:Fire Stick
- The Amazon Fire TV Stick is a great way to turn almost any TV into a smart TV that can stream content from almost any platform.
- The Fire TV Stick 4K can stream 4K HDR video and is compatible with Dolby Visin and Dolby Atmos.
- All Fire TV Sticks currently on the market come with an Alexa-enabled voice control remote.
Another enticing feature to the Fire TV stick family is its ability to connect to Alexa and use voice control, and by most measures, that performance carries over to the 4K Max. It’s fast and quickly caught on to my demands without a long loading period. I asked Alexa to play Ted Lasso, and it automatically pulled up the Apple TV+ app right to the show’s page. Yet if you want Alexa to play something that isn’t available on streaming services and requires you to rent or buy it, it’ll automatically take you to Prime Video’s shopping page instead of a platform where you potentially have rented or purchased a movie or TV show. (For example, I had already rented Spider-Man: Far From Home from the Apple iTunes store separately and, therefore, the movie was available on Apple TV+ for me.)
Alexa also fell short in answering my questions when playing movies and shows. Although the Amazon Prime Video X-Ray feature that shows you cast and crew information, trivia, and scene secrets is a fun bonus for viewers, it’s less accurate when you ask Alexa about them. When I first set up my Fire TV stick, the device prompted me to ask, “Who’s that actor” while I was watching Spider-Man: Far From Home. Instead of telling me Tom Holland, Alexa pulled up a nonsensical answer I’d expect to get if I searched “Who’s that actor?” on Google with no context. Even when I tested it further and asked, “Alexa, who’s the director of this movie?” while streaming When Harry Met Sally on Prime Video, Alexa told me instead that “according to Wikipedia, Us is directed by Jordan Peele” — completely misinterpreting the question.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick is a simple dongle that plugs into the back of any TV with an HDMI port and turns it into a powerful smart TV with hundreds of apps for a huge variety of streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. The relatively inexpensive device makes a great upgrade to almost any TV by adding voice command functionality, Dolby Vision and more.
- Is There a Monthly Fee for Fire Stick?
- What Channels Do You Get With Fire Stick?
- Is It Worth Buying a Fire Stick?
- Do You Need Internet With a Fire Stick?