What is the Amazon Fire TV Stick?
Boasting access to over 500,000 movies and TV episodes, the Amazon Fire TV Stick is the best-selling streaming stick on the market. A big step up from its previous incarnation, the 2019 Fire TV Stick 4K lets users stream ultra-high-definition video with Dolby Vision, HDR, and HDR10+ technology.
Amazon’s Alexa voice-activated technology is built into the Fire TV Stick remote, which allows you to simply “Ask Alexa” to change the channel or search for a show you would like to watch. Synching the Fire TV Stick to a smart speaker such as Amazon’s Echo Dot can also turn it into a hands-free device.
How much does the Amazon Fire TV Stick cost?
The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K sells for $49.99 on Amazon.com. The cost may vary if you purchase the device from a retailer such as Best Buy, Target, or Staples.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick at a glance
|Amazon Fire TV|
|Size||108 mm x 30 mm x 14 mm|
Amazon Fire TV Stick streaming services and apps
There is enough content available through the Fire TV Stick 4K for a lifetime of viewing. It works with all the big names you would expect to see, including HBO, Hulu, Netflix, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. It also gives you access to Amazon’s vast movie and music collection. Free content is available through apps such as Pluto TV, which lets users stream over 250 channels, including CNN, PeopleTV, MTV, and NBC. In addition, Pluto TV also allows users access to thousands of movies on demand.
As with most streaming devices, however, the big catch with the Amazon Fire TV Stick is that much of the most popular content is only available via subscriptions from major providers.
Amazon Prime: Subscribers to Amazon Prime, which costs $12.99/mo., can use the Fire TV Stick 4K to access Prime Video. A regular Amazon Prime membership comes with tons of perks, including free shipping.
Amazon Prime Video, which can be purchased separately for $8.99/mo., delivers over 100 TV channels. It also features Amazon Original productions such as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan.
Amazon Prime members can also stream millions of songs via Amazon Music with the Fire TV Stick 4K, while any digital content bought via Amazon is eligible for free cloud storage.
HBO: A subscription to HBO costs $14.99 /mo. It offers original content such as Game of Thrones and Westworld, alongside a broad range of documentaries and TV series.
Hulu: Hulu’s basic plan costs $5.99/mo. And its ad-free option will set you back $11.99/mo. The ad-free live TV plan is $60.99/mo. All plans include access to Hulu’s on-demand content. The service’s library contains thousands of movies as well as original shows such as The Handmaid’s Tale and Marvel’s Runaways.
Hulu’s Live TV plans have ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC in select locations. It also carries CNN, CBS Sports Network, and ESPN.
Netflix: Netflix’s basic-plan costs $8.99/mo. and allows subscribers to watch the service on 1 screen at a time. Its premium, $15.99/mo. plan has 4 simultaneous streams and includes access to ultra-high-definition content.
Myriad movies, documentaries, and TV series are available to all Netflix subscribers, along with the service’s original productions such as Narcos, BoJack Horseman, and Stranger Things.
Sling TV: Sling TV is a cable replacement service that provides live TV streaming, plus over 4,000 movies and TV episodes.
Its Orange plan costs $30/mo. and features over 30 channels, including Bloomberg Television, ESPN, and CNN. Sling’s Blue plan ($30/mo.) offers more than 45 channels, such as FOX News and National Geographic. A plan combining both the Orange and Blue packages costs $45/mo.
In addition to a wealth of movies and TV content, dozens of games are also available through the Fire TV Stick, including freebies such as Pac-Man, Candy Crush Saga, and Minion Rush.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K features
The Fire TV Stick 4K slots into the HDMI port of compatible televisions. It comes with an extender cable, which Amazon recommends using with Wi-Fi connections.
The Fire TV Stick relies on a dual antenna and requires a high-speed internet connection of at least 15 Mbps. Amazon says an internet connection of at least 20 Mbps is needed to watch 4K shows on platforms such as Netflix.
A compatible ultra high definition television is required to watch 4K quality shows via the Fire TV Stick, which offers Dolby vision and high-quality Dolby Atmos surround sound. It also incorporates HDR and HDR10+ visual technology.
With a fast quad-core processor and 8 GB of internal storage, the device has plenty of speed and storage space.
Just one profile can be set up on the Fire TV Stick, although Amazon does allow more than 1 device to be registered to a single account.
With such a wealth of content, many parents will want to set controls over what their children can watch via the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K.
The device has settings that permit parents to limit content from Prime Video and other channels based on rating categories to make sure children are restricted to age-appropriate content.
The final cut
The incorporation of easy-to-use Alexa voice-activation technology sets the Amazon Fire TV Stick apart from other streaming devices. However, to take full advantage of its voice-activated technology and convert the Fire TV Stick 4K into a hands-free device, you will need to sync it to a smart speaker such as Amazon’s Echo Dot.
Combine that with high-quality visual technology, and at just a penny under $50, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K offers unbeatable value.
Learn more about all Amazon Fire TV devices here.