When I decided to buy a new smart TV for my bedroom, I also got a Fire TV Stick with it.
My friend immediately questioned the decision. He was curious to know why I was willing to spend extra on a Fire TV Stick when my smart TV already had all those features.
Well, he wasn’t wrong. My smart TV did have a great display and all the popular streaming services came pre-installed. So why did I get a Fire TV Stick? Because of all the additional features it offers.
Apart from access to an app store and a smoother and reliable high-quality video streaming experience, Fire TV Stick also came with advanced voice controls.
So, if you ask me whether you need a Fire TV Stick with your smart TV or not, the answer is simple.
You do not need a Fire TV Stick with a smart TV if you only intend to stream basic streaming services on your TV. However, if you are looking for additional streaming options, extended app store, responsive interface, and long-term support, Fire TV Stick is a must-have accessory with your smart TV.
How is Fire TV Stick Different From a Smart TV?
A Fire TV Stick is a dongle that connects to your TV’s HDMI port and allows you to stream content from the internet.
Similar to a smart TV, you can watch a wide range of content on a Fire TV Stick, including movies, TV shows, live TV, sports, and music. However, one of the biggest advantage a Fire TV Stick has over a smart TV is a wider variety of apps.
A smart TV only has access to a handful of in-built apps. Whereas you can download any app you need from the Amazon app store on your Fire TV Stick.
Additionally, Fire TV Stick is a portable, inexpensive, and versatile device that offers a great way to stream content on practically any TV.
Depending on the features you need, there are various models of Fire TV Stick available to choose from.
|Fire Stick Model||Notable Features|
|Fire TV Stick Lite||Basic HD streaming|
|Fire TV Stick||HD streaming with TV controls, HDR, Dolby Vision, and Atmos audio|
|Fire TV Stick 4K||4K Ultra HD and HDR streaming|
|Fire TV Stick 4K Max||High-performance 4K streaming with Wi-Fi support|
|Fire TV Cube||Ultimate 4K streaming with hands-free Alexa|
How to Connect a Fire TV Stick to Your Smart TV
To use a Fire TV Stick with your TV, all you need is a TV with an HDMI port, a stable internet connection, and an Amazon account.
To set up a Fire TV Stick on your TV:
- Connect the Fire TV Stick to an HDMI port of your TV.
- Plug the power adapter into an outlet.
- Turn on your TV.
- Select the input source to which you connected the Fire TV Stick.
- The Fire TV Stick will not boot up and display on the screen.
Once the Fire TV Stick starts, you can follow the on-screen instructions to set up your Fire Stick.
You will be asked to select your language, connect your Fire TV Stick to your Wi-Fi, and log in to your Amazon account. In case you do not have an Amazon account, you can also create one for free.
After setting up the Fire TV Stick, you can install the apps you want from the in-built Amazon app store.
Benefits of Using a Fire Stick with Your Smart TV
A Fire TV Stick is a cost-effective way to upgrade the streaming experience of your smart TV. But apart from streaming, Fire TV Stick also offers exciting features over a usual smart TV.
- Voice Control: Fire Sticks come with a voice remote or an Alexa-enabled remote, allowing you to control your Fire Stick with voice commands. You can search for content, launch apps, and control playback with just your voice.
- Portability: Fire TV Sticks are small and portable, so you can easily take them with you when you travel or move from room to room. You can also use them with any TV that has an HDMI port, including older TVs that don’t have smart features.
- Expanded App Store: The Fire TV Stick app store offers a wider selection of apps and games than most Smart TVs. You can download apps for streaming services, news, weather, sports, and more, as well as games and other entertainment apps.
- Parental Controls: Fire TV Sticks offer advanced parental controls, allowing you to restrict access to certain content based on ratings or content type. You can also set a PIN to prevent unauthorized purchases or app downloads.
- Remote Access via Smartphone: By downloading the Fire TV app on your smartphone, you can easily control your Fire TV Stick’s interface from anywhere in your home. Once you connect your smartphone to the same Wi-Fi network as your Fire TV Stick, you can control playback, access your apps and games, and navigate through the Fire TV Stick interface from the Fire TV App. It is available for free on iOS, Android, and Amazon app store.
- Alexa Integration: If you have other Alexa-enabled devices in your home, you can use your Fire TV Stick to control them with your voice. You can ask Alexa to turn on your lights, adjust your thermostat, or perform other smart home functions.
Additionally, Fire TV Sticks are also easily upgradable allowing you to improve the performance and features of your streaming device in a single click.
Alternatives to Fire TV Stick
While Fire TV Stick is a powerful streaming device, there are other alternatives available as well.
Roku is a popular streaming device that offers access to thousands of channels and streaming services. It is compatible with most major streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.
Roku also offers a voice search feature and can be controlled using a mobile app.
Apple TV is a streaming device that offers access to the Apple ecosystem, including Apple Music, iTunes, and the App Store.
It also offers features like Siri voice control and integration with other Apple devices.
Google Chromecast is a small dongle that plugs into your TV’s HDMI port and allows you to stream content from your phone or tablet.
It is compatible with most major streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.
Nvidia Shield is a high-end streaming device that offers 4K HDR streaming and gaming capabilities.
It runs on the Android TV operating system and is compatible with most major streaming services.
Getting a Fire TV Stick Was the Right Choice
As I explored my smart TV, I realized that while my smart TV did have some apps built-in, it didn’t have as many as the Fire TV Stick. There was no app store available either to download new apps.
So, after using my smart TV for a week, I decided to buy a Fire TV Stick. And I can say that it was the right decision.
The Fire TV Stick’s interface is much better than my smart TV. It has added a lot of features to my TV and has made it a lot easier to access my favorite content.
That said, I’m a little annoyed by the ads running right on the home screen.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need an Amazon Prime subscription to use Fire Stick?
You don’t necessarily need an Amazon Prime subscription to use a Fire TV Stick, but having one will give you access to additional content and features like Prime Music, Prime Reading, and free two-day shipping on eligible items.
Can I purchase items on Amazon using a Fire Stick?
Yes, you can purchase items on Amazon using a Fire TV Stick. The Fire TV Stick comes with the Amazon shopping app pre-installed, which allows you to browse and purchase items from Amazon directly on your TV.
Can I connect my Fire TV Stick to my mobile hotspot?
Yes, you can connect your Fire TV Stick to a mobile hotspot, but it may affect the streaming quality and use a significant amount of data.
Can I cast to Fire TV Stick from my smartphone?
Yes, you can cast to Fire TV Stick from your smartphone using the Fire TV App, native screen mirroring, and third-party apps. Casting makes it easy to stream content from your phone to your TV, without having to navigate through the Fire TV Stick interface.