Cutting the cable TV cord has never been so easy, thanks to the available range of streaming options currently on the market. And media giant, Amazon, has cord cutters covered with a variety of streaming boxes, hubs and sticks. This Amazon Fire TV review will assess all the offerings available to help streamers select the device best suited to their needs.
How To Choose the Right Amazon Device
This Amazon Fire review will provide detailed information about some of Amazon’s most popular streaming devices.
Considerations When Choosing an Amazon Streaming Device
Choosing the right streaming device comes down to several factors, including price and viewing preferences.
An important point to consider before buying a media streamer is the type of device the viewer already uses and the online streaming services they regularly consume. The good news is that Amazon Fire Stick channels are compatible with Android and Apple devices as well as several popular internet-connected smart TVs.
Amazon streaming devices range from $39.99 to over $200, and the models span from basic to feature-filled.
Viewing quality is also an important factor to consider. Most leading streaming devices now have options for watching content in ultra-high-definition resolution (or 4K) and high dynamic range (HDR). But products that support 4K streaming tend to be more expensive.
Amazon’s Streaming Devices Reviewedv
Amazon’s streaming devices are designed for use with the company’s apps, content and entertainment services, such as Amazon Music Unlimited, Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Echo. For example, Amazon Prime Video provides users with access to thousands of movies and TV shows. This includes award-winning original programming and access to live TV. Prime members can also enjoy more than 100 channels, such as CBS All Access, Cinemax, HBO, SHOWTIME and Starz, through Amazon Prime Video Channels.
All the devices are built on the Amazon Fire TV platform, which is designed on Android with a steer towards Amazon’s own content. This includes a user-friendly interface that is similar to Android’s with apps and content sorted into large rows of various categories, such as genres and suggested shows. It also utilizes Amazon’s app store, which carries compatible apps for popular streaming services and games. There are a few notable absences such as Google Play’s Movies and Music apps and Vudu.
Best For Entertainment Hub: Amazon Fire TV Cube (from $119.99)
The Amazon Fire TV Cube is a streaming hub that doubles as a home entertainment system. The device plugs straight into the HDMI port of a TV to provide fast, powerful media streaming and home-entertainment control.
With Amazon Fire TV Cube, users can enjoy 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Vision, HDR and HDR 10+ viewing of their favorite movies and TV shows on Amazon Prime Video and its various Prime Video Channels. They can also download apps from popular streaming services like Apple TV, HBO, Netflix and YouTube.
The device has a powerful hands-free Alexa feature that enables users to ask questions, check the weather, change TV channels, load new apps and play music — all without lifting a muscle. The Amazon Fire TV Cube can also take control of the user’s entire home theater, using infra-red emitters to manage other entertainment systems and home automation devices over Wi-Fi. If a user asks Alexa to play a movie, Fire TV Cube will turn on the TV and connected speakers, open the appropriate streaming service and start playing the content.
Amazon Fire TV Cube also provides security measures to keep streamers safe online. This includes built-in privacy protections and controls, such as the ability to electronically disconnect the microphone.
Best For Cloud DVR: Amazon Fire TV Recast (from $229.99)
Amazon Fire TV Recast is a digital video recorder (DVR) that enables users to watch and record TV. However, to get the most out of the device, users must have an HD antenna, a Fire TV streaming media player or Echo Show device and access to the free Fire TV app on a Fire tablet or Android or iOS mobile device. Also, Amazon Fire TV Recast cannot record live TV from other sources, such as other streaming services, and only one can be registered per Amazon account.
The DVR box enables users to watch live TV at home with a Fire TV or Echo Show device. It also allows them to watch content on-the-go when paired with a compatible mobile device. Users can record two shows at once, and the service provides 75 hours of recording storage space.
When paired with a compatible Alexa-enabled device, Amazon Fire TV Recast enables users to find shows, control the live channel guide and manage recordings.
Best For Budget Streamers: Amazon Fire TV Stick (from $39.99)
Amazon Fire TV Stick is a powerful streaming device that does far more than enable viewers to watch movies and TV shows. It comes armed with 8 GB storage space, enabling users to download a vast number of apps and games. Amazon Fire TV Stick plugs directly into a TV’s HDMI port. With the stick set up, viewers can immediately access the Amazon Music, Amazon Prime Video and Alexa apps.
With the device, viewers are also able to watch premium on-demand streaming services like Apple TV, Disney+, HBO, Netflix and YouTube. It also has apps for free TV channels like IMDb TV and Pluto. Users can also watch live entertainment, news and sports channels through apps for their favorite online streaming services, such as Hulu and Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV. Music lovers can also stream tunes through Amazon Fire TV Stick, which has apps for popular services like Amazon Music, Apple Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora and Spotify.
Amazon Fire TV Stick’s remote control has a built-in microphone that enables users to check the weather forecast, order takeaway or request a song on their favorite music streaming service without lifting a finger. The device can also be used to access the power and volume controls on the user’s AV receiver, soundbar or TV.
Its compatibility with Alexa means it can be used as part of a smart home setup to view live camera feeds, control lights and adjust thermostats and other smart devices using the Alexa Voice Remote.
Best For 4K TV Users: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (from $49.99)
Amazon stick users who have a 4K TV will want their streaming device to match this viewing quality. And, for $49.99, they can do just that with Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, which comes packed with apps, Alexa Skills and channels. The stick provides brilliant picture quality, enabling viewers to watch compatible programming in 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Vision, HDR and HDR10+.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K provides viewers with access to thousands of live channels, movies and TV show episodes. This includes Amazon Prime Video, as well as apps for popular services like Apple TV, Disney+, HBO, IMDb TV, Netflix and Pluto. And the stick also enables users to listen to music with apps for popular streaming services such as Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora and Spotify.
The 4K stick includes Alexa on Fire TV, which gives users comprehensive voice control. They can enjoy movies in the highest possible video quality as quickly as they can say, “Alexa, find 4K movies.” This Alexa compatibility also enables users to take control of their AV receiver, soundbar and TV settings.
Cutting the Cable TV cord with Amazon Fire TV devices
The Amazon Fire TV family of devices enables cord cutters to watch movies and TV shows across various online streaming services. When choosing an Amazon Fire TV device, consider factors such as price and streaming quality. Amazon Fire TV Stick is a great option for people looking for a competitively priced streaming option who do not have a 4K TV. The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K delivers 4K quality images for just a little bit more money. Users looking for more from their streaming device can take full control of their home entertainment system with Amazon Fire TV Cube. While those who want extra storage space can look to Amazon Fire TV Recast.
From streaming sticks to hubs, Amazon has a strong range of devices that enable cord cutters to assemble services like Amazon Music, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, Netflix and Spotify all in one place. All of these streaming services come with free trials of anything from seven days through to one month, so why not give a few a try.
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