A Beginner’s Guide to the Amazon Fire TV Stick

A 101 on the Amazon Fire TV Stick - what it is, where to get it and most importantly, how to use it.

Media Players

Nov 2017

A Beginner’s Guide to the Amazon Fire TV Stick

Are you considering buying an Amazon Fire TV Stick but want to make sure it’s right for you? Or maybe you already have the latest Amazon Fire TV stick, but you’re not quite sure what you can do with it?

In this guide we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about Amazon’s Fire TV Stick so that you walk away feeling like a pro.

What is an Amazon Fire TV Stick and what does it do?

In  2014, Amazon unveiled the Amazon Fire TV (1st Generation). A plug-in box that could be used to provide entertainment by streaming shows and apps to a TV. 

Later that year, Amazon released the Amazon Fire TV Stick. Whereas the Fire TV is a set box, the Fire TV Stick, as the name suggests, is a plug-in stick. 

As well as being smaller in size, the TV Stick or “Firestick” as it’s been dubbed, has similar functionality to its big brother. Able to stream TV shows and channels, it can also be remotely powered and some even have voice capabilities. However, it does have slightly less power than the TV Box.

Amazon Fire TV device comparison:

To go back to the original question, an Amazon Fire TV Stick is a slightly watered down version (but one that’s still extremely powerful) of the Amazon TV Box. A media player that allows you to connect a TV to the internet. 

The Amazon Fire Stick Basic Edition (around $50) is an even cheaper "plug and play" device for streaming Netflix or something on Amazon Prime. However, this comes without a search function or voice control, so trying to find a specific app or game can be really difficult.

Uses for the Amazon Fire TV Stick: 

  • Watching Netflix, or another internet streaming service
  • Voice search from a TV
  • Digital signage
  • Connecting to games or YouTube from a TV
  • To share photos to a TV screen
  • Gaming (although Amazon is quoted as saying it does not intend the Fire TV to compete with gaming consoles per se)

Where to buy and how to set up an Amazon Fire TV Stick

Is it difficult to buy and set up an Amazon Fire TV Stick? In a nutshell, no. These types of media devices are made to be set up by anyone in their home so you can bet they’re going to be pretty simple to get going.

You can buy an Amazon Fire TV Stick from pretty much any hardware store. Here are a few examples of stockists:

From the UK:

From the US:

How to buy an Amazon Fire TV Stick in a location where it’s unavailable

If you reside in a country such as Thailand or New Zealand, you may find yourself unable to get Amazon to ship out a Fire TV Box or Stick. We have found a way around this in the past by ordering from B&H link here.

How to setup your Fire TV Stick

Before you set up your Amazon Fire TV Stick check you have everything you need including:

  • A compatible TV - this is any TV that has HD or UHD plus a HDMI port (most TV screens today will have this)
  • A wireless internet connection
  • An Amazon account. You don’t have to be an Amazon Prime customer to use the Amazon Fire TV Stick but you do have to have a regular Amazon account. If you don’t have one, don’t worry, you can create this on setup.
  • 2 AAA batteries for your TV Stick remote

Here are the steps you need to get things setup:

1. Add power

Plug the power adaptor into your TV Stick and plug the other end into a power outlet.

Then ensure your TV Stick is turned “on”. 

2. Attach to your TV’s HDMI port

Plug the Fire TV Stick directly into the HDMI port on the back of your TV, or use a HDMI extender if you don’t want it plugged directly into the screen.

3. Select your channel

Turn your TV to the same channel that the TV Stick is plugged into (i.e. HDMI1, HDMI3). You should then see a loading screen with the "Fire TV Stick" logo.

4. Add a remote

Pop a few batteries into your remote. Once you’ve done this it should automatically pair with your stick.  If your remote doesn't pair, press and hold the Home Button for up to 10 sections to send it to "discovery mode" so you can complete the pairing process.

Further remote troubleshooting details here.

5. Connect to the Internet

Follow the instructions onscreen to connect your TV Stick to your Wi-Fi network. 

6. Register your device

Follow the on-screen instructions to register your Fire TV Stick to your Amazon account. 

That’s it amigos! Your Fire TV Stick is set up and ready to go. If you need more help, watch the welcome video which should now be playing on screen. 

What can you do with your Amazon Fire TV Stick?

Once you’re setup, here are five of the many different things you can use your Fire TV Stick for. 

1. Watch Netflix on your TV Stick

To download Netflix through your TV Stick, head to the main screen and select “Search”.

Type in Netflix and when you see the app, download this. 

Open Netflix and sign-in (or sign-up). 

That’s it! You’re ready to get stuck into a boxset marathon.

2. Ask Alexa stuff

The new Amazon Fire TV Stick is equipped with Alexa, Amazon’s version of Siri, which allows you to pull stuff up on screen using your voice alone. This can be anything from choosing a movie on Netflix, to ordering a Dominos or even asking what the weather’s like. 

3. Listen to music

There are a few different ways to listen to music via a Fire Stick device. 

If you’re an Amazon Prime member you can listen to included songs, or sign up to a music subscription. You can also search for the Amazon “Music app” to listen to any songs you’ve imported to the library or purchased from the music store. 

If you have a Spotify account you can also download the Spotify app for free from the Amazon App Store.

4. Setup digital signage with your TV Stick

If you’re interested in sharing your own content to the screen using a Fire TV Stick, check out the video and guide below.

Read the full digital signage guide.

5. Mirror your phone’s screen

A bit like Apple TV, the Fire TV Stick can also take whatever’s on your phone and put it up on your TV.

To set this up, hold down the home button on your Fire TV remote. This will open the quick-access menu, where you’ll see a mirroring option.

Now, find the mirroring option on your phone. This will depend on what device you’re using but will usually be within the Settings menu. 

For example, on an iPhone, if you slide up as if you’re going to put your torch on you’ll see an option called “Screen Mirroring”. Select this and you should be able to mirror your iPhone to your Amazon Fire TV Stick.

Amazon Fire TV Stick question buster

Does the Amazon Fire TV Stick have to be plugged in to work?

You can try to use the Amazon Fire TV Stick with the USB power from your TV alone, but it is unlikely this will be enough. You’re much better off plugging your TV Stick into the mains instead. 

Does the Amazon Fire TV Stick have Bluetooth?

Yes, the TV Stick is Bluetooth enabled. Read Amazon’s guide on how to pair a Bluetooth accessory with your Amazon Fire TV Stick. 

Does the Amazon Fire TV Stick have YouTube?

To use YouTube with the Amazon Fire TV Stick you can download the YouTube app from the Amazon App Store. 

Does the Amazon Fire TV Stick need WiFi?

Yes you need WiFi to power the TV Stick. The device does not have an ethernet port so WiFi is the only way to connect your device (and TV) to the internet.

What channels do you get with the Amazon Fire TV Stick?

View this list of channels that can be downloaded through the Amazon Fire TV Stick. 

Got a question to add? Email us: hello@screen.cloud.