There are extremely many expansion options around the television today, we decided in the long term for the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K because of a test device. Before that, I used a Google Chromecast, which always needs the smartphone to feed content. I prefer a real remote control. That’s why the Fire TV Stick 4K is now our favorite hardware because the platform works independently and can be used with a very compact remote control.
YouTube app is there, but still needs to be improved.
A homicide argument against the Fire TV platform has long been the lack of – official – support for YouTube, but Google was able to agree with Amazon some time ago and since then has offered an official YouTube app for the Amazon platform. We usually use the app whenever we “cast” a YouTube video from the smartphone to the Fire TV. Unfortunately, this is still not possible without errors even after months. An unfortunately recurring example:
When I cast a video from my smartphone to the Fire TV, 80 percent of the times the YouTube app on the Fire TV starts the last video I watched. So I have to search and select the actually selected video again so that it actually plays. In addition, the connection is sometimes tough, although the Fire TV Stick 4K otherwise leaves nothing to be desired in terms of system performance and responds briskly.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K in everyday life
Apart from the frustrating YouTube app, we like to use the Fire TV Stick 4K and now every day. The device is integrated via HDMI on the TV, via HDMI-CEC I also control the television and the connected soundbar with the enclosed remote control. The power button on the Fire TV remote control is sufficient to activate the TV, soundbar and Fire TV. Also, to switch everything off later at the touch of a button.
Although I also use a Sky receiver, which could theoretically watch linear free TV channels via the cable connection, I prefer to pay for a Zattoo subscription and use the corresponding app via the Fire TV. Basically, our experience with the offered Fire TV apps is just good. First and foremost, I would only criticize the software’s large Amazon banner, which I always have to skip to get to my apps and content.
For this, the apps can be adjusted in their order according to your own taste. I almost always use the “Recently Viewed” bar to get to my apps.
A colorful mix of content
We use Prime Video, Netflix, DAZN and Zattoo, which all works well and also in a maximum of 4K (Ultra HD) with HDR. Once a month, the entire Fire TV greases because of the Netflix app, I can not explain it to this day and the culprit does not seem to have been found. A voice control is possible via the remote control, but I actually use it only for the search for content and therefore rarely.
Incidentally, content is also found in third-party apps, such as Netflix. On the home page there are also recommendations for content that is also curated from the apps you use. However, I usually go very specifically into my apps and then select my content. Everyone will handle this differently. Like the Alexa voice control. I almost always use the remote control, but play / pause is also good with the Alexa voice command.
Recently, echo speakers can be connected to Fire TV devices as home theater, which now works for me. On request, you can get a complete system from Amazon, which can be enlarged and expanded as required. Exciting story.
Conclusion: a really smart TV
Basically, Amazon offers a very compatible platform that you can get used to quickly. The system can be scaled as required, be it with new apps or with the hardware just mentioned. Voice control is available, but must be used more naturally. But that has to be general about voice control, it’s not an Amazon-exclusive topic.
In any case, I no longer want to do without the Fire TV Stick 4K and would definitely go back to the Amazon platform with new hardware. Starting at 40 euros, you can add a really smart and intuitive TV interface to your TV, which is my conclusion about the Fire TV platform in its current form.
Disclaimer: I was given the Fire TV Stick 4K for a test and then left it for a long time.