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Amazon Fire TV Stick Review

Amazon Amazon Fire TV Stick

: Amazon Part#: Amazon-Fire-TV-Stick

Rating: The Amazon Fire TV Stick has a 5 star rating.5 | 2 reviews
Average Price: $39.99
Check Amazon Pricing Now
 
Pros:
  • Alternative to cable TV
  • Reasonably Priced
  • Easy to install
  • Simply put - It WORKS!

Cons
  • Not always a HD picture

Amazon Fire TV Stick Beats Cable TV

I think Jack Black said it best, "...They have Stickittodamaneosis." Now what bigger man to stick it to than the cable TV provider. They have been jacking everybody for years and with outrageous cable bills, in many cases exceeding a $1000 dollars a year, there has got to be a paradigm shift. Enter the Amazon TV Fire Stick where you can run Netflix, Sling and a bunch of other apps that will let you get many of your favorite shows for a fraction of the cost.

The Fire TV Stick is Just Getting Warmed Up

In getting started on this review I need to predicate the following with the fact that streaming technology is fairly new, and we have experienced it through 3 devices now, and each one has dramatically increased viewing enjoyment and selection. However, this method is not perfect nor does it always have the high quality of a cable connection, but if you do not mind some ghosting or sound/image mismatch in exchange for keeping $1000 in your bank account than you need to check the Amazon Fire TV Stick.

Getting Started With Netflix and Amazon Prime

So "necessity is the mother of invention" could be modified to "I never knew how to use this damn thing until I had to." Our Netflix and Amazon TV started back a few years when my wife let me cut the cable. Now here in Gig Harbor we are quite a way from the digital TV signal, but to my surprise I was able to get all the local stations up and going for free with a digital converter and antenna. Once again it is not perfect, but I was saving money and I got to Stickittodamaneosis at the same time! Since we only got local channels, 4, 5, 7 and 13, I decided to check out my DVD player that had an old Netflix logo on it. I did not know how it worked, but with a short investigation, I was able to get it up and running and now I enjoyed Netflix for a relatively low cost. It was a great trade off, but the DVD player was a little older and there were some hiccups while viewing so I remembered that the Wii had some sort of capability, so I gave that a quick look and now I could watch Netflix and Amazon Prime! This was a definite improvement over the old programming in my DVD player, but still was finicky now and again and it was hard to switch from Netfix to Amazon. So now the big "necessity," my daughter goes off to college in Texas (Go Aggies!) and I want to make sure I got every Texas A&M game, so I check out the web and there is this new app called "Sling" which has ESPN, ESPN2, SEC Network and a host of other stations that used to be held hostage on cable TV. Now there is a cost associated with the Sling app, but at a fraction of the cost and no contract it is a great feature, the only downer was that Sling is new and only works on a few devices and one of them was the Amazon Fire TV Stick, so I Primed it and had it by the weekend.

The Amazon Fire TV Stick Arrives

So now I have the Fire Stick and to be honest it has far surpassed the performance of my previous devices. It plugs right into your TV's HDMI port (you do need an HDMI port in your TV) and there is just a small power adaptor that is suggested and then you fire it up, connect to your wifi and either log into your old Netfix and Amazon accounts or sign up for a new one. Yes, it is just that easy to set the Amazon Fire Stick up! The performance increase in both viewing and range of shows was dramatic. So what is there really to review on the Amazon Fire TV Stick since it is really just a little stick and remote? It looks nice and changes the channel and does what you would expect from a little remote, so I will try to spend a little time going over what you can expect from the image and sound quality of the streamed programs. So if you are new to streaming videos and live TV then you may be a little set back because the quality is not nearly as good and consistent as cable and some video types are better than others. Streaming movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime seems to have decent quality, but at peak demand you may have some buffering issues. Live TV, with the Sling app on the other hand, especially sports, will have some ghosting and the audio will sometimes precede the video, which can be a little fun because you can make your own comments as the video catches back up. If you are a person that has to have a perfect HD picture, then this device is not for you yet, but for those of us that just want to watch the game and not be held hostage to a contract or outrageous prices then the Amazon Fire Stick is a great option.

Compare Cable to Streaming

How about a cost comparison for the Cable TV VS Netflix and Amazon Prime. I am actually a little interested myself because I have not done a direct comparison, you can just tell it is less so here we go:

Streaming with Amazon Fire TV Stick
Amazon Fire TV Stick (one time cost)$40
Amazon Prime TV - Also covers Amazon Prime Shipping$99 /yr
NetFlix$120 /yr
Sling - Half year$120 /6mo
Sling - Sports Package - Half year$30 /6mo
Internet Access - $34 /mo$408 /yr
Total$817 /yr



Cable Comparison
Internet Access - $25.95 /mo - It is part of the bundle you have to get$299 /yr
Cable TV /with sports package $99.99 /mo $1199 /yr
Total$1498 /yr


So the cable deals were the best I could find with a sports package and they ALL required a 2 year contract but the price lock was only good for 1 year. So guess what happens after that first year, you guessed it, they StickittoUneosis. So with a 1 year service as a bench mark, you have a potential savings of $681 and even more the 2nd year since everyone I know gets a price hike that second year.

The Amazon Fire TV Stick is a Great Option

So as more and more people cut cable, the Amazon Fire TV Stick is a great alternative. It offers what seems to be a decent cost savings over cable and the stick's functionality is a huge improvement over older streaming devices (if you have an older streaming device, the Fire Stick is definitely worth the $40). There are other options that the Fire TV offers through the interface and through a method called side loading, so it is a pretty capable device that may have a decent service life. I think the main thing I like about the Amazon Fire TV Stick is that it gives me the freedom to enjoy TV again without feeling like I am getting ripped off by a monopoly and artificially inflated pricing. So here in Gig Harbor with a good antenna and the Amazon Fire TV Stick you can Stickittodamaneosis and cut your cable tv bill, and still get all your favorite programs.



Read the Ion Review



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