How to watch Super Bowl on my Fire TV

Super Bowl weekend is here and the talk of town is where you will watch the game. Super Bowl will be broadcast by Fox channel. You can check our your local Fox affiliate through this chart from Wikipedia. This is for over the air channels you get from your antenna. If you use premium TV service such as cable or satellite, you should check your digital TV guide or your provider’s website. There may be more than one channel for Standard Definition (SD) and High Definition (HD). Some may even have a different channel for Ultra High Definition (UHK or 4K).

If you don’t have access to Fox through antenna or don’t have premium TV service, then you can stream via the Internet with your Fire TV. First, you download the Fox Sports Go app from the Amazon App store. You can also do this via your computer and have it auto install to your Fire TV.

 

Difference between Fire TV Stick and Chromecast Ultra

chromecast-ultra-1Google announced their latest streaming device, the Chromecast Ultra. Chromecast Ultra is the next step to Chromecast where you can simply plug the device into the HDMI port and cast content from the Internet. While the Fire TV Stick is a good competitor to Chromecast, Chromecast has a slight edge in terms of featured content. A lot of apps support Chromecast and even some TV’s have Google’s Casting built in such as Vizio‘s Smartcast. With Chromecast, you can cast content from Youtube and from a Chrome browser. Neat!

What Chromecast distinguished itself apart from the Fire TV Stick is the capability to stream in 4K Ultra HD / HDR. For Amazon, only the Fire TV has this capability.

Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Stick’s advantage is its access to Prime videos and its library. Amazon also has more 4K content as well as exclusive content. Google Play is lacking in this area.

Both have mirroring capabilities from their respective phones but Google may have a slight edge over the ease of use.

At this event, Google also announced Google Home which has its AI, Google Assistant, which will seamlessly integrate information from various Google apps from calendar, maps, traffic, and location to give you information such as news and weather. Although Amazon’s Alexa is amazing, it doesn’t compare to the integrated offering that Google can offer. This is when the Fire phone’s failure is coming to bite Amazon.

Chromecast Ultra Amazon Fire TV Stick – Gen 2 Amazon Fire TV – 2nd Gen
Launched Nov. 2016 Sep-16 Dec. 2015
Price $69 $39.99 $99.99
HD Type All up to 4K, Ultra HD, HDR Up to 1080p – 60hz up to 2160p 4K – 30Hz
Chip CPU Marvell Armada 1500 Mni Plus Mediatek 8127D
Quad-core ARM 1.3Ghz
MediaTek 8173C
Quad-core ARM Cortex A72 (2x2Ghz, 2×1.6Ghz)
RAM 512mb 1GB 2GB
Storage 256mb 8GB 8GB
Connectivity HDMI, Wifi, Ethernet (adopter) Bluetooth 4.1, Micro USB, HDMI, WiFi Bluetooth 4.1, Micro USB, HDMI, WiFi, Ethernet, Dolby
Dimension 52x52x13.5mm 86x30x12.6mm 115x115x17.8mm
Weight 40g 32g 270g
Remote No Yes Yes

New Fire TV Stick Comparison and Difference

What is the difference between first and second generation Fire TV Stick? Here is a run down of the old and new Fire TV Stick. Most notable change is the cpu. The first gen Fire TV stick used a Dual Core 2xARM A9 chip by Broadcom. The new Fire TV Stick sports a Quad-Core ARM CPU by MediaTek with speed of 1.3GHz. The WiFi and Bluetooth technology has aso improved. The voice search function with Alexa is not default whereas the first gen model didn’t have voice search capabilities.

another subtle change is that the warranty went from a full year to now only 90 days. We also saw this change for the Amazon Echo Dot which is set to be released on Oct.

Fire TV Stick Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote (2nd Gen)
Size 3.3 x 1.0 x 0.5 in. (84.9 x 25.0 x 11.5 mm) 3.4″ x 1.2″ x 0.5″ (85.9 mm x 30.0 mm x 12.6 mm)
Weight 0.9 oz. (25.1g) 1.1 oz. (32.0 g)
Processor Broadcom, Dual-core 2xARM A9 up to 1 GHz MediaTek Quad-core ARM 1.3 GHz
GPU VideoCore4 Mali450 MP4
Storage 8 GB internal 8 GB internal
Memory 1 GB 1 GB
Wi-Fi Connectivity Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO); supports 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi networks. Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi supports 2×2 MIMO 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth Bluetooth 3.0 with support for the following profiles: HID, SPP Bluetooth 4.1
Voice Search Support Yes, requires Fire TV Voice Remote (sold separately) or free Fire TV Remote App (available for download on Fire, Android OS, and iOS) Yes, with Alexa Voice Remote (included) or free Fire TV Remote App (available for download on Fire, Android, and iOS)
Game Controller Support Yes, optimized for Amazon Fire TV Game Controller and most games are compatible with other Bluetooth controllers Yes, optimized for Amazon Fire TV Game Controller and most games are compatible with other Bluetooth controllers
Cloud Storage All Amazon Cloud Drive customers start with 5 GB of free storage Free cloud storage for all Amazon content
Ports HDMI output, Micro USB for power only HDMI output, Micro USB for power only
Audio Support Dolby Audio, 5.1 surround sound, 2ch stereo, and HDMI audio pass through up to 7.1 Dolby Audio, 5.1 surround sound, 2ch stereo, and HDMI audio pass through up to 7.1
Content Formats Supported Video: H.264, Video: H.264 1080p30H.265 1080p30,
Audio: AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, Audio: AAC-LC, HE-AACv1 (AAC+), HE-AACv2 (eAAC+), AC3 (Dolby Digital), eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MIDI, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, AMR-NB, AMR-WB
Photo: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP Photo: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP
Output Resolution Supported 720p and 1080p up to 60fps 720p and 1080p up to 60fps
System Requirements High-definition television with available HDMI input, Internet connection via Wi-Fi, a power outlet. High-definition television with available HDMI input, Internet connection via Wi-Fi, a power outlet.
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 Compatible with high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 1080p or 720p at 60/50Hz, including popular HDCP-compatible models from: Hitachi, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, NEC, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Vizio, Westinghouse, and others.
Warranty and Service 1-year Limited Warranty and service included. Use of Fire TV Stick is subject to the terms found here. 90-day Limited Warranty and service included. Optional 2-year and 3-year Extended Warranty available for U.S. customers sold separately. Use of Fire TV Stick is subject to the terms found here.
Regional Support Certain services may not be available outside the U.S. 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. Watch videos and TV shows with closed captioning displayed. Captions are not available for all content.
Included in the Box Fire TV Stick Fire TV Stick
Amazon Fire TV Remote Alexa Voice Remote
5′ USB cable and power adapter USB cable and power adapter
HDMI extender cable HDMI extender
2 AAA batteries 2 AAA batteries
Quick Start Guide Quick Start Guide
Amazon Fire TV Remote Alexa Voice Remote
Size 4.7 x 1.6 in x 0.5 in (119.0 x 40.4 x 13.8mm) 1.5″ x 5.9″ x 0.7″ (38.4 mm x 150.7 mm x 16.7 mm)
Weight 2 oz. with batteries inserted (56.9 grams) 2.4 oz (68 g) with batteries / 1.6 oz (45 g) without batteries
Batteries 2 AAA (included) 2 AAA (included)
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Buttons 5-way directional, select, back, home, menu, rewind, play/pause, fast forward Voice button, navigation, select, menu, back, home, rewind, play/pause, fast forward
Battery Life Up to 12 months battery life with typical use

Local Channels on Fire TV

basic tv networksCan you get local channels such as CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, CW (CBS+Warner Bros.), or Telemundo? These are channels that are widely available by using an over the air antenna for free. In some areas, these channels are not available unless you have a high power over the air antenna. This poses a problem for say people who live in apartments where installing a high power antenna on the roof is not possible. The only means to get access to these channels are through paid subscription services such as cable, fiber, or satellite TV. Cable cutters would love to swap out these paid services and stream.

I tried installing a few apps from the Amazon App store from Fire TV. It was a mixed bag of what is available vs what isn’t available. One thing that was consistent was that no apps provided live content for free. If the app from a major TV network offered live content on Fire TV, it was for people with paid subscription. As for what is available, you have a mixed bag. For example, the NBC app offered dateline episodes for free but America Ninja Warrior and America’s Got Talent required a sign in from a paid subscription.

A possible alternative would be to pay for Sling TV. With Sling TV, you get a handful of popular TV networks for $20/month.

Looks like it is not possible to truly cut the cord if your residence is outside the TV signal area.

2016-08-29 20.21.19 2016-08-29 20.20.37 2016-08-29 20.20.29 2016-08-29 20.20.12 2016-08-29 20.19.58 2016-08-29 20.19.35

Turn your TV into a Digital Sign – App

I will explain how you can turn your TV into a digital sign using just an app and Fire TV stick. This is great when you want to turn your TV into a sign for a restaurant menu signage, instruction or floor plan, directory of an office building, daily schedule of the day at a hotel banquet all, funeral home, pictures at a dental office and more. Here is what you need.

The app is free for the first 30 days. After, you can sign up for an annual unlimited subscription of SignageCreator. With this subscription, there are over 1000+ templates which you can use to create your sign. Signagecreator have two pricing plans. Standard license is for $100/template for just one use. Unlimited usage is for $30/month.

If you want to make it vertical, you can change the setting on the TV and use the app and set it up the way you want.

digital sign app

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

&nbsp

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

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.

amazon

You can download the Amazon App here.

 

 

Netflix to add video previews to next update

Netflix has done very well considering they have not made any major improvement to its user interface since late 2013. Netflix announced today that they will make some updates starting with today. One such improvement is the ability for users to view video previews when navigating through the menu screens. Currently, when you navigate through the interface to search for a movie to watch you get a static screen capture. After the update, you will be able to see a video. Kind a like what www.paypal.com at its homepage.

Netflix feels this is to give a “more immersive and cinematic experience” giving users an easier way to select something to watch.

Personally, it helps as it will allow me to better recall where I last left off. Sometimes I simply forget and by viewing a video, it allows me to remember better.

Netflix-motion