Watching online content on your TV can be done with various ways such as Blu-Ray players or game systems that come with built-in streaming services. Some TVs also have integrated apps and services. But if none of the above applies in your case, you can get a media streaming device and turn your screen into a dedicated media streaming hub for well under $80.
In this article, we’re going to review Amazon’s Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, which is a great option for anyone who’s looking to upgrade their TV but can also do without the 4K – the absence of ultra-high definition is the biggest downside as we’ll see below, but thankfully the upsides overrule.
How it works
As pretty much every TV stick, Amazon’s Fire is meant to plug into the back of your screen. Hence, don’t expect to be amazed by its looks. A more practical and ergonomic design is preferred. It comes with an HDMI on one end and a USB port on the other; no controls or buttons. Truth be told, this is the second model of the series and at 3.4 by 1.1 by 0.5 inches it turns out that it’s identical with its predecessor on the outside.
Same goes for the remote. At 5.9 inches long, made from plastic and with a glossy circle in the upper part that serves as the navigation pad, it’s pretty much the same stick that we saw in the previous model.
Once you’ve plugged the stick into your television, you can navigate using the remote’s buttons. A menu button, playback controls and a microphone button are all you are going to need. And as you may have guessed from the product’s title, Alexa can help you browse through numerous TV series, movies, apps and shows.
Alexa however goes further than that – even Roku has a voice navigating system. With Amazon’s voice assistant integrated in your TV stick, you can check the weather, make a shopping list, google stuff and find out score results.
The entire system is running with a modified version of Android and since it’s an Amazon product, you’ll have access to a limited version of the company’s own app store. Needless to mention that Amazon Prime users have extended benefits such as larger selection of music albums.
On the downside, you can’t use it just by saying ‘Alexa’; the microphone button on the remote needs to be pressed first. But that can be solved by pairing it with any Echo device. In addition, keep in mind that you can’t control other devices that may be connected to your TV, like a home theatre, due to the absence of infrared emitters. So, if you’re planning on adding a lot of devices to the same network, consider upgrading to a Fire TV Cube.
With new and existing series being nearly released as this year is coming to an end, it’s a good time to grab your own Fire TV Stick and gain access to HBO, Netflix, Hulu and several other major networks. If you have any questions concerning the device leave us a comment down below. Happy streaming!