There seems to be confusion with how much the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick cost and the recurring monthly costs. The actual cost for these two devices are $99 and $39 respectively. You will find varying degree of discounts like right now where you can purchase the Amazon Fire TV for $84 at a 5 discount for a limited time.
The confusion are the recurring costs. Once you spend the respective amounts for the Fire TV and Fire TV stick, you can use the device to stream service right away. You will need an Amazon account in order to sign in. If you do not have one, you will be redirected to a registration page to sign up. An Amazon account is free. There is no way around this.
At this point, you still have not spent any more than what you paid for the device. By default, the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick has some pre-installed apps which will allow you to search and stream content such as movies, tv shows, and music. You can go on the Amazon App Store to find apps to get more content.
To get the best bang for the buck, there are paid services which you can subscribe to access millions of minutes of movies, tv shows, clips, and music. Below is a list of my recommendations.
When Amazon Prime was first introduced people responded with criticism as no one understood why anyone would want to prepay shipping costs. Futhermore, it was very confusing as no one knew how much shipping they were paying for the year to justify enrolling in Amazon Prime. For my family, who were heavy Amazon user and fans, it was a no brainer. We recently had a child so we were buying things on Amazon.com even though it may have been cheaper at a brick and mortar store. Keep note this is before free 2-day shipping!
Since then, Amazon Prime has extended its membership services to free streaming of quality collection of films, movies, TV shows. This has further expanded to Amazon Music which is like a free online jukebox of a sort.
Recently, Amazon also launched Amazon Cloud which gives you UNLIMITED photo storage and 5 GB for movies and all other files.
Amazon Prime membership is $99/year which breaks down to $8.25 which is a great deal especially if you purchase frequently from Amazon and use it’s services.
Great Free Movie and TV Show Apps for Fire TV:
Viewster – a wide range of TV series, movies, and news clips. One good thing about Viewster is that it hosts a lot of independent films as well as International ones. Not a lot of the latest content. You will get ads at certain points of the movie.
Crackle – decent selection of not the newest well known movies. You may be surprised to find some movies that are available all for free with HD.
YouTube - You may be surprised to hear that Youtube actually has several full length movies in HD quality as well as Vevo which gives you access to some of the hottest new music videos.
Hulu - coming soon
Other subscription services apps for Fire TV:
Other notable apps which require paid subscription are Netflix which is $7.99/month and also have a wide range of movies and tv shows. Netflix also has original series such as House of Cards which has won numerous awards.
Another new app and streaming service which will be a market changer is Sling TV streaming service. Sling is a streaming service which provides unlimited streaming to some of the most premiere tv channels which traditionally is only available to cable or satellite subscription such as ESPN, TNT, TBS, Food network, HGTV, travel channel, CNN, abc family and more for $20/month. At this price point, it is more than the likes of Netflix and Amazon prime but much cheaper than a full subscription to cable and satellite TV. Had I known this service was going to be available, I would not have subscribed to AT&T U-verse recently after I cut my Charter cable service. After my one year contract to AT&T is up, I will look to hop over to Sling TV. Sling TV is available via invitation and you can sign up on the waiting list as http://www.sling.com/ .