HBO’s streaming service HBO Max has tons of hit series people love, like “Friends,” “Rick and Morty,” and “The Bachelor,” plus great originals like “Euphoria,” “Game of Thrones,” and “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.” HBO Max also offers tons of films to choose from on movie night – there’s something for everyone.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick is a streaming video player sold by Amazon. Similar in many ways to the Roku Streaming Stick, the Fire TV stick is the entry-level product in Amazon’s streaming media player family, typically priced at about $40.
The Fire TV Stick is shaped like an oversized USB flash drive, and plugs directly into your TV’s HDMI video input. Rather than storing files, though, it’s a full-featured streaming player, able to turn any television with an HDMI port into a Smart TV.
The Fire TV Stick is free to use and set up, and it’s free to download nearly every major app. However, to watch subscription-based apps like Netflix or Hulu, you’ll need to pay for them separately.
You can purchase the Amazon Fire TV Stick in both a basic version, and 4K version. The only difference between the two is that the 4K version can stream – as the name implies – in 4K resolution.
What you can do with the Amazon Fire TV Stick
Amazon says that the Fire TV Stick adds “tens of thousands” of channels to your TV. That includes all the streaming services you are most familiar with, including Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Netflix, and HBO Now, along with network TV apps, sports, and, of course, thousands of less common niche channels you may not be familiar with.
The stick comes with a remote control that has a built-in microphone for voice control. Because this is an Amazon product, you might expect that it has Alexa support, and you would be right – you can give commands to the Fire TV Stick using Alexa, and control all your home automation products (like the Ring doorbell, Philips Hue lights, and ecobee thermostat, among others) just as if you were talking to an Amazon Echo speaker.
What Amazon Fire TV Sticks cost
The Fire TV family includes the Fire TV Stick ($39.99; $19.99 with a Black Friday discount) and the Fire TV Stick 4K ($49.99; $24.99 with a Black Friday discount). The 4K version costs a little more and is identical to the Fire TV Stick except that it (as the name implies) works with 4K video. The original Fire TV Stick sends standard 1080p high definition video instead.
Amazon also sells the Fire TV Cube. Priced at $119.99 ($89.99 with a Black Friday discount), this media player includes a built-in speaker and a microphone that listens for voice commands from across the room – you don’t need to talk into a remote control. While the two versions of the Fire TV Stick require Wi-Fi, the Cube is able to connect to Ethernet for faster, more reliable internet access. (It’s possible to connect the Fire TV sticks to Ethernet with an optional Ethernet adapter.)
How to set up an Amazon Fire TV Stick
Setting up an Amazon Fire Stick is little more than a three step process.
You simply need to plug the Fire TV stick into its supplied power adapter and then plug the stick into your TV’s HDMI video input. Then, turn on your TV and make sure it’s set to the correct HDMI input.
Finally, using the remote control, step through the welcome and setup instructions on the TV screen. You’ll need to enter your Wi-Fi password and log into your Amazon account. You don’t need a VPN or anything of the sort.
After that, setup is largely complete; you’ll just need to add and log into any streaming channels you use (like Netflix, Hulu, and so on).
More than five years ago, Amazon released its very own streaming device where you can watch all your favorite TV shows, movies, and more – the Fire Stick. It also comes equipped with Alexa for voice commands.
Today, an Amazon Fire Stick costs about $40, and it’s simple to set up. All you need is a television with an HDMI port, batteries for the remote, and an internet connection.
How to set up an Amazon Fire Stick
1. When you receive your Amazon Fire Stick, there will be 3 items: the remote, power adapter, and the Fire Stick. First, find the Fire Stick.
2. Plug the Fire Stick into one of your TV’s HDMI ports, which can usually be found on the back of the television.
3. Connect the power cable to the Fire Stick.
4. Then, plug the power cable into a wall outlet, or into the USB port of the TV.
5. Turn on your TV. Using the television’s remote, find the correct input channel or source that you plugged the Fire Stick into (for example, HDMI 1), and select it.
6. Once you’ve inserted batteries into your Fire Stick remote, press any button.
7. Now, you should see the Amazon Fire Stick start-up screen. Follow the instructions on-screen to finish setting up your Fire Stick. This includes pairing the remote, setting up the language, connecting to Wi-Fi, and signing into your Amazon account.
Once you’ve signed in to your Amazon account, you can download video-streaming apps like HBO, Hulu, and Netflix as well as games and music.
If you are a Prime member, you will have access to Prime Video. You can also use Alexa to check the weather and add items to your Amazon cart.