Thursday, December 8, 2016

Amazon Fire TV Stick in the Fuse

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Well I started the search for more entertainment by looking for a way to use Amazon Prime Video on the back TV on the Fuse.   We have talked a little about connecting directly from my iPhone to the TV using a HDMI adapter.   We talked about a little about using a Roku Streaming Stick.  And since Amazon is having a Christmas sale I figured I would try the native approach as well.  I purchased a Amazon Fire TV Stick   during the huge black Friday sale Amazon was having.

The cool thing was that since I ordered it directly from Amazon, once I had connected it to the WiFi, it auto configured it with my Amazon Prime  information.  A very nice touch from Amazon to make things easier.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

From the setup and what is included in the box,  the Amazon Firestick seems to be more complete than the Roku Streaming Stick.   It comes with the small HDMI standoff cable I had to request from Roku support.  The WiFi is actually a dual band 802.11ac which is an improvement over the dual band 802.11abgn in the Roku.   The remote also supports Amazons Alexa voice assistant.  It is kind of cool and another feature that is only available on the more expensive Roku devices.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Size wise it is a little larger than the Roku.  About 1.5x the size of a standard USB thumb drive.    It also comes with a 110v to USB adapter to power the device.  I used the same  Roku Mini USB Cable  I purchased for the Roku to power it all from the TV and avoid the need for the AC adapter.

The Grand Tour
Amazon - The Grand Tour
It works very well.  I brought up our test video source, Amazon's own "The Grand Tour" and it ran great.  No drops and it looked beautiful.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

If you are looking for Amazon content this is the device for you.  No question about it.   It also has a number of additional applications that can be downloaded giving you access to a number of other video sources.    But it is no where near the number available on the Roku.  For example both devices have the CNNgo application but only the Roku has the National Geographic app.  It will cost to watch some of the past National Geographic content on the Firestick where with your Cable TV credentials on the Roku you can watch for free.  

Direct TV now - LifeDirect TV now Guide
DirectTV now - Streaming the D-Life Channel

The decision point on all of these devices turns into what content you are wanting to watch.  This is the key differentiators.  They both support Amazon Prime content, Netflix, HBO and Youtube.  If you are wanting streaming live TV they both support Sling, Playstation Vue.  The Amazon Firestick supports  "DirectTV now" today with support promised for the Roku in the near future.

It is still a question on which RV park and other WiFi services will support streaming.  If you use your cellular data plan both the sticks seem to work about the same.

There is one other device I will review in the future.  This is the Apple AppleTV.  This is a much more expensive solution (3-4x the price) but it does something that no other device does - it supports Airplay - The Apple proprietary streaming solution which may be of use if you are using apple devices.

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