Amazon blocks sale of Chromecast and Apple TV

Amazon has a love – hate relationship with Google and Apple. On one hand, Amazon has made a lot of money selling Android devices such as smartphones, tablets, accessories, and other related devices. It’s very own Fire tablet OS is based off of Android! Similarly, it has sold a lot of Apple products as well as resale of the said products from iMacs all the way down to iPod touches and all of its accessories.

The big disagreement comes from the fact that both Chromecast and Apple TV lacks support for Amazon’s Prime content. This has been called out by many users in the past as support for Prime on Chromecast and Apple TV would be a very nice icing on the cake. It would absolutely expand the media library especially for Prime subscribers.

However, this would also put Amazon at risk as it may mean the death to its very own Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV stick. With this in mind, Amazon is likely to have made a conscious decision to block the sale at one of the world’s largest e-retailer. Amazon officially responded that the reason for pulling Apple TV, Chromecast, and Nexus TV is to “prevent confusion”. Right…ridiculing your customer base doesn’t bode well with said consumer *sneer*.

 

Amazon Fire Stick User Guide Manual

If you have been searching online for Amazon’s own user guide manual for the Fire TV Stick, you came to the right place. The overwhelming trend for most electronic manufacturers are shipping their products without a manual. Instead, they include a quick setup guide on how to connect your device to get started then provide a link to the full instruction manual which will be available online. Amazon has their Fire TV stick user guide online which you may download or view online anytime.

Amazon Fire Stick User Guide

It is a pdf file so you will need an app / software that allows you to view Adobe Acrobat files. It has the following table of contents.

Fire TV Stick Basics

•Fire TV Stick Hardware Basics on page 5
•Navigate Your Amazon Fire TV Device on page 6
•Main Menu Basics on page 8
•Settings Basics on page 10
•Register or Deregister Your Amazon Fire TV Device on page 12
•Access & Remove Content on page 13
•Set Up Parental Controls on page 15
•Use Your Voice to Search Amazon Fire TV Devices on page 16
•Differences between Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick on page 17

Remote & Game Controller Basics

•Remote Basics on page 20
•Compatible Remotes for Amazon Fire TV Devices on page 26
•Game Controller Basics on page 27
•Pair a Remote or Game Controller on page 29

Fire TV Remote App Basics

•Fire TV Remote App Basics on page 31
•Download & Pair the Fire TV Remote App on page 33

Quick Fixes

•Can’t Connect to Wi-Fi on page 35
•Can’t Pair a Remote or Game Controller on page 36
•Video Issues on Your Amazon Fire TV Device on page 37
•Basic Troubleshooting for Amazon Fire TV Devices on page 38
•Can’t Pair the Fire TV Remote App on page 40

Set Up Fire TV Stick

•Get Started with Fire TV Stick on page 42
•Set Up Fire TV Stick Hardware on page 44
•Set Up a Wireless or Wired Connection on page 45
•Connect Your Amazon Fire TV Device to a Public Wi-Fi Network on page 46

Watch Movies & TV Shows

•Buy or Rent Movies & TV Shows on page 48
•Watch Movies & TV Shows on page 49
•Use an Amazon Fire TV Device as a Display Mirroring Destination on page 50
•Use an Amazon Fire TV Device with a Second Screen Device on page 51

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How to watch Amazon Prime videos offline

Amazon announced a series of new products but hidden among the new products is a new feature that will really get a lot of people onboard to not only Fire TV but for Amazon Prime. The new feature? Offline viewing of Amazon Prime videos. Previously, the only way to watch Amazon Prime videos was to stream them. To watch any Amazon Prime or any videos through offline you had to buy or rent it. Only then will you be able to download the video and watch without an Internet connection. After this announcement, you will now be able to download Amazon Prime videos for offline viewing. (edit) This feature was previously only available to Amazon Fire devices. Now, this has been enabled for Android and iOS devices. Note that not all Prime videos are available offline. Amazon is working closely with content owners to obtain rights so that you can view these offline.

Before you can download the video you want to watch offline, you need to download the Amazon Video app. If you have a Kindle Fire, you can download this app through the Amazon App store. This app is not found on the Google Play or Apple App store.

Follow the below instructions for Android / iOS Apple iPad or iPhone devices:

Install Amazon Video App for Offline Video Viewing:

for Android

If you do not have the Amazon App store, you will first need to install it. First, navigate to this website:

www.amazon.com/gp/video/splash/sd/t/appstore

Next, follow the instructions and download the Amazon Appstore.

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Open the file that downloaded called ‘AmazonApps.apk’. It is an executable file to install an app. You will get the below screen asking you to install the app. If you have problems clicking the install button, you will need to disable any screen filter apps such as a blue light filter in order for it to work.

If you still get an error, go to phone settings -> security -> enable ‘unknown sources’ which will allow you to install apps from unknown sources.

 

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After a bit, you will get to the below screen asking you to sign into your Amazon account. If you already have an Amazon account from Amazon Shopping, the same login will be used. Click the ‘sigh out and use a different account’ link if you want to use another account.

 

 

 

 

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Once inside the Amazon Appstore, search for the Amazon Video app. It is a free app with the below icon.

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Click install and go through the same process as above when you installed the Amazon App.

 

 

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Once installed, open the Amazon Video App. From here, you can navigate through Prime videos. If you see a download icon next to the video, it means you can download it for offline viewing.

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Make sure you are on WiFi connection when you download it. I did a test by downloading the Pilot for an Amazon Prime exclusive series, “Transparent”. After I downloaded the Pilot, I turned on Airplane mode and the play icon was displayed.

 

 

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I hit play and I get a pop up saying that I have a 76 day offline viewing period. Seems overly generous unless you are going off on a long boat ride across the Pacific!

Once you are done, you can simply delete the video from your account.

How to watch Prime videos offline through iOS devices (iPad and iPhone)

To watch Amazon Prime videos offline, you simply install the Amazon Video app from the Apple App store. Once you install it, you can follow the same instructions as we have for Android.

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Updated Amazon Fire TV will stream 4K and support Alexa

firetv 4kAmazon announced that its flagship streaming device will stream 4k Ultra HD video and support Alexa. The new Amazon Fire TV will be released October 5, 2015. You can now pre-order on Amazon.com at the same cost of $99! Apple also recently released their updated Apple TV. Let’s see how this holds up.

Amazon Fire TV – 4K Ultra HD

4K Ultra HD quality TV is no doubt the next big thing. However, you may wonder the same dilema we had with 1080p HD when it first came out. Content. There were very little content that was true 1080p HD. Amazon answered this. Amazon promised that they will be creating original and exclusive content in 4k. The Fire TV will also support Netflix’s 4k content as well. There will be no upcharge to stream in 4k vs. 1080p or lower quality like SD content. Also, even if you do not have 4k TV, you will benefit from Amazon’s support for HEVC (high efficiency video coding) which makes streaming high quality content more efficient.

Alexa support

One other feature that would be welcomed by Amazon fans is Alexa support. Many people got a taste of Alexa through Amazon Echo. Fire TV and Fire TV Stick remotes will have Alexa support through its voice enabled remote control or through the Fire TV app. Through Alexa support, you can use your Fire TV to replace the Echo.

Below is a full comparison between the old Amazon Fire TV and the newly updated 2015 Amazon Fire TV:

Previous Fire TV New 2015 Fire TV
Size 4.5″ x 4.5″ x 0.7″ (115 mm x 115 mm x 17.5 mm) Size 4.5″ x 4.5″ x 0.7″ (115 mm x 115 mm x 17.8 mm)
Weight 9.9 oz (281 grams) Weight 9.5 oz. (270 g)
SOC Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 8064 Processor MediaTek Quad-core up to 2 Ghz
Processor Qualcomm Krait 300, quad-core to 1.7 Ghz Dual-core @ 2.0 GHz + Dual-core @ 1.6 GHz
GPU (Video) Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU Power VR GX6250
Storage 8 GB internal Storage 8 GB internal
Memory 2 GB LPDDR2 @ 533 MHZ Memory 2 GB
Wi-Fi Connectivity Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO) for faster streaming and fewer dropped connections than standard Wi-Fi. Supports 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi networks. Wi-Fi Connectivity Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO) for faster streaming and fewer dropped connections than standard Wi-Fi. Supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi networks.
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0 with support for the following profiles: HID, SPP Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.1 with support for the following profiles: HID, HFP, SPP
Cloud Storage Free cloud storage for all Amazon content Cloud Storage Free cloud storage for all Amazon content
Ports 5.5 mm DC Jack, HDMI, Optical Audio, 10/100 Ethernet, USB 2.0 Type A Ports DC Jack, HDMI output, 10/100 Ethernet, microSD slot, USB 2.0
Voice Support Yes, with Fire TV Voice Remote (included) or free Fire TV Remote App (available for download on Fire, Android, and iOS) Voice Support Yes, with Fire TV Voice Remote (included) or free Fire TV Remote App (available for download on Fire, Android, and iOS) and Alexa
Audio Support for Dolby Audio, 5.1 surround sound, 2ch stereo and HDMI audio pass through up to 7.1 Audio Support Dolby Audio, 5.1 surround sound, 2ch stereo, and HDMI audio pass through up to 7.1
Game Controller Support Yes, optimized for Amazon Fire TV Game Controller and most games are compatible with other Bluetooth controllers Game Controller Support Yes, optimized for Amazon Fire TV Game Controller and most games are compatible with other Bluetooth controllers
Content Formats Supported Video: H.263, H.264, MPEG4-SP, VC1; Photo: JPG, PNG Content Formats Supported Video: H.265, H.264, Audio: AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, Dolby Atmos (EC3_JOC), Photo: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP
Audio: AAC, AC-3, E-AC-3, HE-A, PCM, MP3
TV Compatibility Compatible with high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 1080p or 720p at 60/50Hz, including popular HDCP-compatible models from these manufacturers: Hitachi, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, NEC, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Vizio, Westinghouse TV Compatibility TV must support minimum HDCP requirements for protected content playback. Learn more. Compatible with (1) 4K ultra high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 2160p at 24/25/30/50/60 Hz and HDCP 2.2, including popular models from LG, Samsung, Sony, Sharp, Toshiba, Vizio, and others or (2) high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 1080p or 720p at 50/60 Hz, including popular HDCP-compatible models from Hitachi, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, NEC, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Vizio, Westinghouse, and others.
Output Resolution Supported 720p and 1080p up to 60fps Output Resolution Supported 2160p up to 30fps; 720p and 1080p up to 60fps
System Requirements High-definition television, HDMI cable System Requirements Compatible high-definition or ultra high-definition television with available HDMI input, Internet connection, a power outlet
Warranty and Service 1-year Limited Warranty and service included. Use of Fire TV is subject to the terms found here. Warranty and Service 1-year Limited Warranty and service included. Optional 2-year and 3-year Extended Warranty available for U.S. customers sold separately. Use of Fire TV is subject to the terms found here.
Regional Support Certain services may not be available outside the U.S. Regional Support Certain services may not be available outside the U.S.
Closed Captioning Watch videos and TV shows with closed captioning displayed. Captions are not available for all content. Closed Captioning Watch videos and TV shows with closed captioning displayed. Captions are not available for all content.
Included in the Box Amazon Fire TV Included in the Box Amazon Fire TV
Amazon Fire TV Voice Remote Amazon Fire TV Voice Remote
2 AAA batteries Power adapter
Power Adapter 2 AAA batteries
Quick Start Guide Quick Start Guide

Buy Amazon New Fire Tablet for Cheap $50!

amazonfireAmazon launches probably the best quality, cheap, product with its new Fire tablet for just $50! Rumors started circulating last week that Amazon was going to drop their tablet for just $50. Amazon has taken some criticism for their failure of the Fire phone but this is a major game change for people who do not want to shell out hundreds of dollars for devices such as the iPad. You can pre-order now and they will ship / arrive on Sept 30th. Below are the specs for the new fire tablet:

  • 7″ IPS display with 171 ppi (1024 x 600)
  • 1.3 GHz quad-core processor
  • Front and rear facing camera
  • Access to Amazon Underground (Amazon’s app store)
  • Access to an array of movies, tv shows, music. If you have Prime, a lot of content is free
  • 8 GB of internal storage
  • microSD card expandable to 128GB
  • Free unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content and photos
  • 5GB for files and videos for cloud storage
  • Fire OS 5. You can likely flash another OS onto it but you will void your warranty
  • Battery is unknown but Amazon is citing 7 hours of continuous use
  • WiFi support

The best part of this is the microSD support. This will allow you to expand the storage which makes it more enticing. I have the 2nd generation Nexus 7 tablet and suffer from lack of storage.

Note that the $50 price is for sponsor version of the tablet. Similar to the Kindle, you have the option to buy sponsor version or non sponsor version. Sponsor version will display ads during screen lock. Non sponsor version will be ad free and will cost $15 more.

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One more thing, there is an amazing deal right now if you buy 5 Fire tablets, you get one free! This will bring your cost down to only $41.60 per tablet!

firetab6pack

 

 

 

 

I just bought one. Will do an unboxing and review video soon!

Amazon, Apple, Google, and Roku leads streaming devices with 86% of market sales

Recent research found that Amazon, Apple, Google, and Roku leads the streaming device market at 86% in 2014. This research was led by Park Associates who are well known for their research in market intelligence for over 25 years. They also predict that by 2019, up to 86 million such devices will be sold. Roku led all devices at 34% and Google’s Chromecast followed at 23%. Amazon’s Fire TV is a newcomer, but it has overtaken Apple at #3.


Source: Amazon, Apple, Google, and Roku dominate streaming media device market with 86% of sales

Amazon Fire TV Stick and Samsung TV Compatibility Issues

samsung_firetvIf you have been having issues with getting your Samsung TV to detect recognize your Amazon Fire TV Stick, you are not alone. Many users are reporting that they are having compatibility issues with their Samsung TV and Fire TV Stick. The issues stem from not being able to connect the Fire TV stick into a HDMI port to the TV not recognizing the device. Several people have called both Amazon and Samsung who seems to acknowledge the issue but stop short of admitting fault.

If you are one of the unlucky ones who are having issues, try the below tips.

1) Upgrade the firmware to both FireTV stick and your Samsung TV.

For most users, your Fire TV Stick should have the most current firmware. The only exception is if you have opted not to upgrade when it prompts you to do so. For Samsung TV’s, updating the firmware is not so simple. First, you navigate to Samsung’s firmware page. Next, select your TV. If you do not know your TV model or do not remember, sneak to the side of the TV and you will find it. It is usually in the format xx##x#### where x is an alphabet and # is a number. The first set of # is the size of your TV. Find the latest firmware and download it to a USB thumb drive. Remember the filename. Take your USB thumbdrive then plug it to your TV. From the TV’s menu, go to settings and look for an option to upgrade firmware. Follow the instructions. It should ask you to select the firmware file. After a few min. the firmware to your TV will be upgraded. Now, try to plug your Fire TV and see if it will be detected.

2) Toggle Anynet / Anynet+

Most of you may already know or been using this but Samsung has a proprietary program built into all of its TV’s called Anynet+. What it does is it allows you to use a remote control and control various devices through its connected network. There is some suspiscion that it is actually Anynet or Anynet+ which is preventing the Fire TV Stick to be detected. A user on Amazon forums stated that they got it to work by following these steps:

-Plug the Fire TV stick in an HDMI port powered by USB port
-Hid the refresh button (red button)
-A message should pop up with the message, “anynet device”. Click yes or ok
-Your Fire TV Stick should now be visible.
-If not, go through your input and try to locate the Fire TV through different HDMI connections

Still have issues? Leave a comment.

 

Amazon Fire TV Download

Amazon has made it much simpler for you to navigate through your Amazon TV or Amazon TV Stick through its remote. However, If you want a more smart device to control your Amazon Fire TV, you can download the app. The app will enable you to view what you are watching and allow you to play, stop, pause, skip, rewind your progress of your content. Setup and download the app it simple. This will work on your Kindle as well.

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You can download the Amazon App here.

 

 

Amazon Prime’s Top TV Shows for July 2015

Here are the top 10 most popular TV shows that were watched on Amazon Prime for the month of July 2015!

  1. Under The Dome, Season 3 2015
  2. Downton Abbey Season 5 2015
  3. Catastrophe Season 1 2015
  4. The Good Wife, Season 6 2014
  5. Downton Abbey Season 1 2010
  6. Under The Dome, Season 1 2013
  7. Creative Galaxy 2014
  8. Downton Abbey Season 4 2014
  9. Extant, Season 2 2015
  10. Suits Season 4 2015

amazon prime top 10 tv july

Amazon Prime’s Top Movies for July 2015

Here are Amazon’s top movies for the month of July.

  1. Transformers: Age of Extinction 2014 PG-13 CC
  2. The Expendables 3 2014 PG-13 CC
  3. A Most Wanted Man 2014 R CC
  4. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire 2013 PG-13 CC
  5. The Words 2012 PG-13 CC
  6. Little Accidents 2015 NR CC
  7. The Prince 2014 R CC
  8. Wolf of Wall Street 2013 R CC
  9. Beastly 2011 PG-13 CC
  10. Seven Psychopaths 2012 R CC

amazon prime top 10 july