Do you need a fire stick with a smart TV? The Fire Stick has revolutionized the entertainment industry. Find out what it can do here.
The purpose of a Fire Stick is to provide streaming capabilities to TVs, But most Smart TVs nowadays have built-in streaming capabilities. So the question arises, do you need a Fire Stick for a Smart TV?
If you are seeking the answer to this question, then you have come to the right place because, in this article, we will discuss how the Fire Stick works, its benefits, how to connect it, and whether should you buy a Fire Stick for your Smart TV or not. So let’s dive in.
How Does the FireStick Work?
The Fire Stick has everything it needs inside its small plastic frame to function as a streaming device except for a screen that comes from the device you use the Fire Stick on, such as your TV or computer that has an HDMI port.
Like all other amazon devices, the Fire TV Stick utilizes Google’s open-source Android OS. This OS lets you launch apps that allow you to stream content from anywhere.
Fire Stick Hardware
The Fire TV Sticks nowadays usually have a powerful quad-core processor with 1 to 1.5 GB RAM. These specifications are pretty impressive considering how small they are and because they have no cooling fans and extremely low power usage.
To operate the Fire Stick, you just need to insert it into the TV’s HDMI port and connect it to a Wifi source.
What is Better, a Smart TV or a Fire TV Stick?
The basic function of a FireStick is to turn your Non-Smart TV into a Smart TV on which you can stream from any platform. Besides this, it also offers some other benefits that we will discuss below:
The starting price for a Smart TV is 200$, which only has some basic features. For a top-of-the-line Smart TV, you may need to spend thousands of dollars. On the other hand, the starting price for a Fire Stick is less than 50$.
A Fire Stick can be used on any device you want as long as the device has an HDMI port, while the Smart TV features are limited to themselves. Therefore a Fire Stick can offer you portability while a Smart TV cannot.
Before FireStick, the TV options were quite limited, as you could only view the channels you had on cable.
But gradually, people shifted from cable to streaming apps as the content online expanded. This was all due to the introduction of Fire Sticks and Smart TVs. Below are some of the most popular streaming apps:
- Amazon Prime
- Youtube TV
- BBC iPlayer
- Apple TV
- Pluto TV
- HBO Max
Video and Audio
Fire TV Stick can also improve the quality of your sound and display. The Fire TV Stick is capable of handling 4K/Ultra HD, 4K HDR, as well as Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.
Dolby Atmos creates a surround sound experience by utilizing object-based sound rather than traditional surround sound, which has encoded channels. Fire TV Sticks also support a 5.1 surround sound format to provide a home theatre experience.
Better User Experience
Fire Sticks have a simple interface that makes them easy to navigate through and explore. On the other hand, TVs that offer online streaming options are quite complex. Therefore it can be concluded that Fire Sticks are more user-friendly than Smart TVs.
Increased Streaming Speed
Most TV brands put all their effort into improving the screen quality and don’t pay much attention to the TV’s processor, which is why you may sometimes notice that your Smart TV takes more time to load streaming apps than your phone or computer.
Fire Sticks have a better processor than Smart TVs and offer better streaming speed. This is also because most people use Fire Sticks for online streaming; thus, streaming apps try to make their apps as compatible as they can with Fire Sticks.
Easy to Control
Smart TV remotes are usually oversized and have a lot of buttons which can be confusing sometimes. FireStick remotes are small and simple and don’t have more than 20 buttons, so when you’re streaming, you don’t have to search for the buttons you need to press.
Sometimes with FireStick remotes, you even get a quick launch button that directly takes you to popular streaming services like Netflix and Disney+.
All Fire Sticks nowadays also come with Alexa’s voice remote control that lets you control the TV with your voice.
To use the Alexa voice control, you just need to press and hold the microphone button and then Say whatever command you want to give to Alexa. For example, “turn up the volume” or “open Netflix”.
If you ever lose your FireStick remote, you still don’t need to worry as you can easily download their remote apps from the play store and use your phone or tablet as a remote.
Fewer Throwaway Apps
Most of the time, the app menu of Smart TVs consists of some unwanted apps you don’t use but can’t remove either.
Such apps are added because their manufacturers make deals with TV companies to include their apps in the app menu. Thus, these apps just sit in the menu without any purpose or utility.
But this is not the case with Fire Sticks, as you have complete control over the menu. It’s totally up to you which app you want to keep and which you want to delete. You can even change the placement of the apps to keep the ones you like on the top and the least used ones at the bottom.
The streaming apps on Fire Sticks receive more frequent updates than Smart TVs. This means that they have newer features and fewer bugs. This is all because Fire Stick users are in majority compared to Smart TVs, which is why app developers bring more updates on the Fire Stick version of the apps.
Do you need a Fire Stick with a Smart TV?
It may seem awkward to plug a Fire Stick into a Smart TV. However, there are certain situations where a Fire Stick can make your Smart TV even smarter.
If you have a high-end Smart TV from a big brand like Samsung or Sony, you might not need a Fire Stick. But if it’s from a brand that doesn’t offer many smart features, then the addition of a Fire Stick would be great.
For example, the Vizio Smart TVs don’t offer a large app selection, but if you plug in a Fire Stick, you can unlock a more comprehensive selection of apps.
Another situation for adding a Fire Stick to your Smart TV can be if you have an outdated model of a Smart TV that doesn’t support some popular apps you want to use. So, a Fire Stick can keep your outdated Smart TV up to date.
When is the Fire Stick Not Worth Buying
There are certain situations when investing in a Fire Stick won’t be beneficial. One of these situations is when you prefer watching cable and don’t have a subscription to streaming apps like an Amazon prime account or a Netflix account.
Moreover, if you have a gaming system like a Playstation or Xbox, these devices also offer streaming services that work perfectly as well.
Lastly, if you already have a Smart TV and you’re satisfied with its features and performance, then there is no point in buying a Fire Stick separately.
How Do You Set up an Amazon Fire TV Stick?
The Fire TV Stick setup process is quite simple. The first thing you need to do is to plug the included power adapter into a power outlet.
Then connect the included USB cable on one end to the Fire TV Stick’s micro USB port and the power adapter on the other after this, insert the FireStick into your TV’s HDMI port.
Once that’s done, select the HDMI channel on which you inserted the Fire Stick. Now add a few AAA batteries to the remote, and it will automatically pair with the Fire Stick. If it doesn’t, hold the home button for a few seconds, which will take you to the discovery mode, where you can complete the pairing process.
Then connect the FireStick to an internet connection ( wi-fi or Ethernet). For an Ethernet connection, you may require an ethernet adapter to connect the ethernet cable to the Fire Stick.
Once everything else is done, you should now follow the on-screen instructions to register your Fire Stick on your amazon account.
No doubt a FireStick can make any Non-Smart TV with an HDMI input into a Smart TV. But if you use it with a Smart TV, it will turn it into a Smarter TV.
So whether you own a Non-Smart TV or a Smart TV, the addition of a Fire Stick would be great. The only thing you should consider while using a Fire Stick with the Smart TV is whether you need these Smart options or not.