Many channels start with a free trial, so it's easy to discover new favorites. Fire TV Stick works with any HDTV so you can take it over to a friend's house or bring it along to hotels and dorm rooms.
Voicemail screen reader enables access to the vast majority of Fire TV features for users who are blind or visually impaired. Watch videos and TV shows with closed captioning displayed.
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. You can access “tens of thousands” of streaming channels through a Fire TV Stick.
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.
Finally, using the remote control, step through the welcome and setup instructions on the TV screen. 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).
Yes, that TV control is nice, and the Fire Stick offers a lot for your $40, including integration with existing Echo devices, a fine selection of apps (it now has HBO Max, though still no Peacock) and a slick interface. But Fire TV still pushes its Prime Video store in search results, and the home screen can be a little too busy for people who know what they want to watch.
They stream audio and video content from dozens of different apps over your Wi-Fi connection. While anyone can use one of these devices, being an Amazon Prime subscriber allows you to watch added programming.
The new Fire Stick remote does add the ability to control your TV volume, though it lacks the shortcuts to Netflix or other often-used services. While you could use the USB ports on your TV to power the device, it means the unit could behave unusually.
Sarah Too/CNET Like other streaming devices the number of services that Amazon Fire TV supports is improving all the time. Both offer a healthy complement of features, tightly integrated voice commands and relative speedy response times.
Using the Fire TV Stick remote is easy, and Alexa searches with the microphone button were more responsive and relevant than using the Echo as a go-between. Amazon says it offers a redesigned main menu and improved browsing, plus a new section called Alexa Explore with new recipes, stock reports and similar things.
Get CNET's comprehensive coverage of home entertainment tech delivered to your inbox. The practical difference between them is negligible, however, because an Atmos-capable receiver or soundbar is needed in both cases to hear Atmos audio.
Also, in my testing I've found many services -- including Prime Video and Disney Plus -- require a 4K TV for Atmos to work anyway. In short, I don't consider this feature difference a big deal because most people with decent Atmos setups should (once again) be using a bona fide 4K streamer.
If you're in the market for a new $30 or $40 streamer it comes down to a choice between Fire TV's content-first approach versus Roku app-first one. If you're familiar with Roku's simple menu design the number of tiles and options on the Fire TV Stick's home page can be overwhelming.
Dolby Atmos and HDR are weird add-ons for 1080p devices, and if Amazon wanted to offer something unique at the price it should have included full 4K support. If you're looking for a great streaming device, we've ranked the best Amazon Fire TV Sticks that you can buy right now.
It comes with a handy Alexa Voice Remote and is the best all-around version of a Fire TV device. Even at full-price, this device is a bargain, but it is often offered at a discount, making it an incredible buy.
You get almost all the same high-end specs of more premium devices like the Fire TV Cube or Nebula Soundbar for much less. With that savings, you can pick up an Echo Dot for hands-free Alexa control or subscribe to one of the fantastic Amazon Channels.
This stick comes close to matching Amazon's other top streamers like the Cube and Nebula Soundbar and is an incredible value. For less than the price of a week's worth of lattes, you get a fantastic HD streaming device with built-in access to Amazon's Alexa voice assistant.
The 2020 edition comes with 8 GB of storage and a processor that is 50% more powerful than before while using less energy than ever (this is one of the first Amazon devices that is certified as Climate Pledge Friendly). The Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote is 95% of the way there to the top of the heap.
This was the first Fire TV Stick I ever owned, and even in 2014, I got a better deal on it than this via an exclusive offering for Prime members. Even though it doesn't compare to its siblings in terms of specs or performance, this is still a pretty decent little streamer.
The biggest downside, in my opinion, is that you do not have access to Alexa, as this comes with just a simple remote without voice control. The Fire TV Stick Basic Edition is really mainly marketed to an international audience, but you can still get it in the U.S.
My six-year-old Fire TV Stick Basic Edition still works great in the guest room! Even though the lineup of streamers is not too confusing, there are still some choices to be made when distinguishing between these devices.
It has all the specs of higher-end streaming boxes but comes in a modest size and at a fantastic price. Even though it is a perfectly functional streamer, we don't recommend the Fire TV Stick Basic Edition unless, for some reason, you don't have access to the other two models.
If you do choose to pick one of these Fire TV Sticks up, we can guarantee you that you'll enjoy your streaming media experience! Jeremy Johnson is proud to help to Keep Austin Weird and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand.
When he's not writing about Amazon products and services, he's defending his relationship with his side-chick Alexa to his family. A wired connection avoids any signal interference or competition for bandwidth and gives your cast or stream priority access to data.
Some adapters simply do just that, while others take advantage of the direct access to your Chromecast or Fire TV Stick to add other useful...