Fire TV Subtitles when watching Youtube and Prime

If you are like me, sometimes you want to watch tv shows or movies with the subtitles to ensure you catch everything that is being said and not miss a thing. I also like to turn on the subtitles when the kids are asleep and you don’t want to wake them up. Fire TV and Fire TV Stick has subtitle capabilities but it depends on the app and the content you are watching.

Subtitles on Amazon Prime or videos

To turn on subtitles on Amazon Prime or videos on Amazon, you simple press the icon with the 3 horizontal lines on your Fire TV remote.

This is the menu button. Once you click this button, you will see an option to enable Closed Captioning or simply ‘cc’ which is the same as subtitles. From here, you are given more options to select font size, color of the text and background of the text block.

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Subtitles on other apps

Most apps utilize the menu button similar to Amazon videos to enable subtitles or closed captioning. However, some apps such as Youtube has the cc icon beside their on screen navigation menu. Closed captioning options also vary depending on the app. Some apps have lots of options for text size, actual font, and colors.

Here is an example subtitle and closed captioning from the ESPN app:

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Here is an example for the Bloomberg app for closed captioning and subtitle:

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Enable subtitle / closed captioning on the Fire TV for Crackle app:

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Here is the closed captioning setting for Youtube on Fire TV:

The feature is enabled through the navigation menu and not through the menu button on your remote.

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What do you do if you enable closed captioning and subtitles but still do not see it? It is likely due to the content you are watching didn’t come with it. Even when I was working on the above snapshots and enabled closed captioning, nothing came out for ESPN or the Avengers video on Youtube. Some videos simply do not have the subtitles so don’t panic. No content provider will gaurantee all of their videos include subtitles although Amazon has done a great job in updating their video libraries to have them.

If there is an app you want us to test out, let us know!

Unlocked Amazon Fire Phone for $189 Only! (expired)

amazon fire phoneThis deal has since expired.

For a limited time, Amazon is releasing the unlocked Amazon Fire Phone for only $189. This is a great deal considering it comes with Amazon Prime which is valued at $99. If you do the math, the phone comes out to just $90 for an Unlocked quad-core Android phone with 32GB. This is a contract free Amazon Fire phone and you can use this on any network that uses a sim card. You may also take this overseas. You cannot get this deal anywhere else. I’m thinking about jumping on this deal. I recently renewed my Amazon Prime membership. If you buy this phone, an additional year of Amazon Prime will be added to your subscription.

Dish’s sling TV to be available on Fire TV

Dish joined the masses and announced at CES 2015 that they will launch a new service called “sling television”. This is a new service which would cost $20 for consumers to have access to stream a number of what has traditionally been known to be cable / satellite channels such as ESPN, TBS, TNT, CNN, HGTV, food network, Disney and more. Fire TV is one of the confirmed devices which will support sling TV.

This is likely in response to so called ‘cable cutters’ who ditched their premium cable and satellite service and use antennas as well as streaming services such as Netflix. This would also attract people who want to watch these premium channels but simply didn’t want to pay for the high costs associated with cable or satellite.

There is no DVR service, but you will have access to the live content up to 3 or 7 days depending on the source.

You will also be limited to one stream per account. In other words, you will not be able to stream ESPN while the kids watch Disney on another device.

Return the Fire TV to factory settings

The general consensus is that the Amazon Fire TV and TV Stick is a winner especially for those with Amazon Prime account. The device is extremely smooth and the ability to access hundreds of apps for entertainment is a tremendous value at $39. However, some of you may be dissatisfied and want to return it to Amazon or give the Fire TV away.

There are some things you need to consider before returning the Fire TV or Fire TV Stick or giving it to another party. As of any device which has personal and private information, you want to delete all details before it lands in any hands.

The best and easiest way to remove all personal info, is to restore the Fire TV / Stick to factory default. You can accomplish this by the following sequence:

Go to Menu -> Settings -> System -> Reset to Factory Defaults

Click factory reset fire tv factory reset fire tv 2‘Reset’ when dialogue pops up to confirm.

You can also perform a factory reset by pressing on the Right and Back buttons together on your Fire TV remove for 10 seconds to reset to factory default.

How to uninstall, clear data and cache on Fire TV

Amazon apps on Fire TV are like any apps where it may have issues where or you want to uninstall apps you no longer want. Clearing data will remove any information you have stored on the app which may require you to re-enter your info and lose game data. Clearing cache will cause the loss of non-essential temporary data. First bet is to try to clear the cache first and see if it resolves your issue. If you are still encountering issues including streaming or connectivity to just one app, clear the data. Last resort, you may uninstall and reinstall the app. If you no longer have the need for the app and want it removed, you can uninstall as well.

Here are instructions on how to clear data, clear cache, and uninstall apps.

Clear Cache: Go to Menu -> Settings -> Manage All Installed Applications
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Select the App you are concerned with.

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You will be able to see the following options.

Clear Cache – to delete temporary files associated with the app.

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You will received a confirmation message when clearing data.

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And lastly, to uninstall. You can also force stop an app here as well.

 

fire tv uninstall app

How to mirror your phone or tablet screen to Fire TV

One neat feature for the Fire TV is the ability to mirror your phone or tablet screen to the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. This will allow you to stream content from your phone or apps which is not available through Amazon appstore. You can enable display mirroring by doing the following steps. Note, this will only work for Android based devices running over OS 4.2.2 and above.

First, go to Settings -> Display & Sounds -> Enable Display Mirroring

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Next, go to your Android phone settings -> Display & lights

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Next, click on Cast Screen.

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Turn on the toggle on the Cast screen setting and you should see the name of your Fire TV. Click your Fire TV and you should be mirroring your screen.

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The screen shots are from the OnePlus One phone. I also tested this on a Samsung Galaxy S4 and my Nexus 7 tab and it all worked. Give it a try!

How to turn off ‘Collect App Usage Data’

By default, Amazon has enabled the Fire TV to allow their Appstore to collect info on how often and how long you use their downloaded apps. If you feel extra generous about opening up your privacy, feel free to leave this as it is. However, if you are like me where you want to limit what information companies have access to and want to retain your privacy, turn it off using the below instructions.

Menu -> Settings -> Applications -> Collect App Usage Data

You can see here highlighted below that by default, this is set to ‘ON’. Click it and turn it off.

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You will receive confirmation as above. This is how you can turn off Amazon app store from collecting your app usage data.

 

Difference between Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

What is the difference between the amazon fire TV and fire TV stick aside from the obvious, the price. Amazon has a good side by side comparison of the device if you click on a link on the fire TV stick product page.

See which Fire TV is right for you
Compare Fire TV Stick and Amazon Fire TV (available now)

Price and Size
Let’s get the two obvious differences out of the way, the price and the size. Full retail price of the fire TV stick is $60 cheaper but we have seen Amazon offer discounts to both devices respectively. The fire TV is larger in size and heavier in weight but it’s not big enough to matter to move people unless you live in a RV. Most people won’t be carrying the fire TV around. However, the fire TV stick may come very useful to road warriors who travel a lot. Amazon created the setup portal on the fire TV stick to allow you to sign into your any WiFi connection through the setup screen. This should allow you to sign on to your hotel’s WiFi connection with its network and password.

Processor
What exactly is a processor and what does it do? Simply put, the processor is the CPU which is essentially the brain of your device. Dual core means the device has two separate CPU and quad core means the device has four separate CPUs at it’s disposal. The two processors are not the same. Fire TV’s processor is a Qualcomm Krait 300, quad-core to 1.7 Ghz each CPU. The fire TV Stick processor is a Broadcom Capri 28155, dual-core 2xARM A9 up to 1 Ghz. It isn’t so easy to compare the two processors as they are different. Each core’s utilization also depends on how the apps are programmed. Unlike PC’s, you have no control over how the device or apps use the CPU. One thing for sure is that the Fire TV will perform computations faster than the Fire TV stick. You will likely see very minimal difference when watching videos or music except for load time but you will experience difference when playing games.

Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
Amazone Fire TV uses a Qualcomm Adreno 320 chip as it’s GPU and the Fire TV stick uses a VideoCore4. Neither supports over 60hz of refresh rate but both support 720p and 1080p hdtv. So if you have that 240hz refresh rate TV, it won’t come to full use with either device.

Storage and Memory:
Both devices have 8 GB of internal memory used for storage. I haven’t come to a conclusion HOW the devices use this but I presume it is used for preloading content to avoid buffering delays during streaming. You cannot watch any content when wifi is off so those on a boat without wifi is out of luck. Fire TV uses 2 GB LPDDR2 @ 533 mhz external memory while the Fire TV Stick has 1 GB of build in memory. I haven’t seen any reports of anyone trying to upgrade the fire TV memory but I don’t see why anyone would want to do that.

Remote:
The Fire TV has a built in mic which allows you to perform voice search for content. The Fire TV stick remote does not have voice search but you may purchase the Fire TV remote or simply download the Fire TV app for voice search which I have video demo here.

Ethernet:
The Fire TV has an Ethernet port which can provide a much more reliable and ensure fast connection between the router to your device. However, your TV and Fire TV will need to be at a location that is relatively near your router unless you want a long Ethernet cable threading through your house. Both support WiFi which works for most people unless you have poor wireless connectivity where your device is located. In that case, you can purchase a repeater available at (where else?) Amazon!

Optical Audio Output:Optical outputs are a must for audio junkies to connect to your home receiver for surround sound, sound bar, and sub-woofers for that low base. The Fire TV will allow you to directly connect to your receiver but the fire TV stick will be limited in this aspect. However, not all is lost. If you want improved audio from your fire TV stick, you may connect your home theater system to the audio output of your TV and it will be almost equivalent. My TV has an optical out which I have connected to a Vizio sound bar and it works well.

Apps Availability:
As we stand today when this post was written, there are 898 apps available on the Amazon App store for Fire TV and 706 apps available for the Fire TV stick. I expect this number to change. You can click Amazon Appstore to see if they have the app that you want. You can filter the apps at the right menu by selecting the device you want to limit. The same apps will be available to you when you navigate the Amazon appstore on your Fire TV or Fire TV sticl.

amazon fire tv app

Fire TV Require Subscription like Netflix?

There seems to be some confusion as to what Fire TV and Fire TV Stick offers in terms of content such as Netflix and other subscription based streaming services. First of all, Fire TV and Fire TV Stick is a streaming device produced by Amazon. The device enables your TV to stream thousands of TV episodes, movies, video clips, and music. It also enables you to play games by installing apps and using your remote.

Technically, you do not need any subscription to any service to enjoy the product by itself. All you need is an Amazon account to sign in. If you do not have one, you will need to create one. Through Amazon’s appstore, you will be able to install apps which have free content and services. However, without any subscription, you will be limited to services such as Youtube, certain Watch ESPN clips and games, Pandora, and apps such as Twitch.

In order to get the most out of your Fire TV / Stick, you should have at the minimal Amazon Prime. With Amazon Prime, you get hundreds of TV episodes and movies for free. They also recently launched Amazon Prime Music where you can add songs or playlists and simply play. Alternatively, you can use Amazon Cloud and add pictures and stream them to your TV as a large digital photo frame during a party.

For paid services such as Netflix, Hulu plus, HBO Go, and others, you will need a paid subscription in order to enjoy those content. If you are not sure if the app you need is there, check out this link from Amazon and search it.

Fire TV Remote App with Video

One of the benefits to the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick is the availability of the free app which is available for iOS and Google Play store. The below snapshots are from the Google Play Store.

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Once installed, open the app and select the device. I forgot to turn on the WiFi on my Samsung Galaxy S4 so I wasn’t able to find it initially.

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Once found, select your FireTV Stick.

 

 

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Once you are in, you will go through a quick tutorial on how to use the app. It is quite useful as not all the functions of the app is that intuitive or self explanatory.

Below is a snapshot of the app.

On the top row and from left to right, it is the options menu, the voice search, and keyboard.

In the gray region, you can use it to navigate through the menu by using your finger and swipe to the menu you want on your TV.

At the bottom row, there is the back, home, and menu button.

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If you hit the 6 small dots just above the home button, you can expand to additional menu for rewind, play, and fast forward.

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To use the voice function, slide down your finger from the mic at the top of the screen down. While keeping your finger on the screen, say your keyword that you want to search. Once you are done, let go of your finger.

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See my video demo below.