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All-New Amazon Fire TV Stick User Guide - Newbie to Expert in 1 Hour!

All-New Amazon Fire TV Stick User Guide

Newbie to Expert in 1 Hour!

by Tom & Jenna Edwards

Copyright © 2015 by Tom Edwards & Jenna Edwards – All rights reserved.

Fire TV Stick is a trademark of Amazon Inc. All other copyrights & trademarks are the properties of their respective owners. Reproduction of any part of this eBook without the permission of the copyright owners is illegal – the only exception to this is the inclusion of brief quotes in a review of the work. Any request for permission should be directed to [email protected]

Table of Contents

Introduction

Welcome

Do You Need This Book?

How to Use This Book

1. What is Amazon Fire TV Stick?

Amazon Fire TV Stick’s Competitive Edge

Fire TV Stick by the Numbers

2. Setup and Basic Navigation

Fire TV Stick Voice Remote

Amazon Fire TV Remote App

Registering Your Fire TV

Getting to Know the Home Screen

The Settings Menu

Display Mirroring Your Fire HD Screen

3. What You Can Watch on the Fire TV

It’s Hard to Say No to Amazon Prime

A Closer Look at Channel Subscriptions

Movies and TV

Music and Music Videos

Games

Media Organizers and Storage

Head in the Cloud….

Deleting Unwanted Files From Your Fire TV Stick

4. So Who and What is Alexa?

Music, Radio, Audio and Alexa

General Knowledge

Sports

Weather, Traffic and More

To-Do and Shopping Lists

5. Watching Movies and TV Shows

Buy or Rent Shows From Amazon

Using Second Screen Functionality

Subscribe to a Channel and Get Unlimited Viewing

Amazon Coins – Play Money!

Managing Closed Captions

Using Plex to Put Your Local Content on Your Fire TV Stick

6. Music Video and Radio

Amazon Music Library and Prime Music

Music Video Channels

Radio Station Channels

7. Photos and Personal Videos

Life Size Memories

View Slideshows

Using Second Screen to Mirror Photos and Videos From Your Kindle

Set up a Screen Saver

8. Games & Apps

Game Controller Pairing

GameCircle

Available Games for the Fire TV Stick

9. Troubleshooting

Basic Troubleshooting

Problems Connecting to Wi-Fi

If You Can’t Pair Your Remote or Game Controller

10. The Fire TV Stick Next Time

A Final Quick Reminder About Updates

INTRODUCTION

A Reminder About Updates

Before we start, we just want to remind you about the FREE updates for this book. The Amazon Fire TV Stick and indeed all media streaming services, like Apple TV, Roku and the Chromecast, are still in their infancy. The landscape is changing all the time with new services, apps and media suppliers appearing daily.

Staying on top of new developments is our job and if you sign up to our free monthly newsletter we will keep you abreast of news, tips and tricks for all your streaming media equipment.

If you want to take advantage of this, sign up for the updates here – www.lyntons.com/updates. Don’t worry; we hate spam as much as you do so we will never share your details with anyone.

Welcome

Welcome and thank you for buying the Amazon Fire TV Stick User Guide: Newbie to Expert in 1 Hour! a comprehensive introduction and companion guide to the exciting possibilities that the Fire TV Stick has to offer for those new to streaming media to an HDTV.

Do You Need This Book?

We want to be clear from the very start – if you currently own the Amazon TV set top box or consider yourself tech savvy, e.g. the kind of electronics user that intuitively knows their way around any new device or is happy Goggling for answers then you probably don’t need this book.

We are comfortable admitting that you can probably find most of the information in this book somewhere on Amazon’s help pages or on the Internet – if, that is, you are willing to spend the time to find it!

And that’s the point… this Fire TV Stick book is a time saving manual primarily written for those new to streaming media devices, bluetooth devices and tech that works in tandem with your PC or mobile device.

If you were surprised or dismayed to find how little information comes in the box with your Amazon Fire TV Stick and prefer to have to hand, like so many users, a comprehensive, straightforward, step by step Fire TV Stick guide to finding your way around your new device, then this book is for you.

Furthermore the Fire TV Stick 2015 is a brand new piece of kit and there will be new features, channels and games, not to mention Amazon Fire TV Stick tips and tricks, appearing constantly over the coming months. We will be updating this Fire TV Stick manual as these developments unfold, making it an invaluable resource for even the tech savvy.

Even if you are buying the first edition of this Amazon Fire TV Stick instruction book, never fear, you too can keep up to speed with all the new Amazon Fire TV Stick updates by signing up to our free email newsletter so you’ll never miss a thing. Click here to sign up in seconds – www.lyntons.com/updates.

How to Use This Book

Feel free to dip in and out of different chapters, but we would suggest reading the whole book from start to finish to get a clear overview of all the Fire TV Stick information contained. We have purposely kept this book short, sweet and to the point so that you can consume it in an hour and get straight on with enjoying your Fire TV Stick.

This Amazon Fire TV Stick user manual aims to answer any questions you might have and Fire TV Stick instructions for…

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p<. What is the Amazon Fire TV Stick and how does it work?

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p<. What does the Fire TV Stick do?

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p<. How to setup your Fire TV Stick

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p<. How to manage your Amazon Fire TV Stick account

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p<. Amazon Fire TV Stick & Alexa

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p<. Amazon Fire TV Stick specifications

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p<. Amazon Fire TV Stick settings

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p<. Amazon Fire TV Stick parental controls

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p<. Amazon Fire TV Stick password change & pin reset

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p<. And a general Amazon Fire TV Stick review

This Amazon Fire TV Stick tutorial will also look closely at Amazon Fire TV Stick features including:

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p<. The Amazon Fire TV Stick voice remote (including Amazon Fire TV Stick voice commands for Alexa)

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p<. Amazon Fire TV Stick apps

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p<. Amazon Fire TV Stick channels

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p<. Amazon Fire TV Stick games and gaming

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p<. Amazon Fire TV Stick music & music app

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p<. Amazon Fire TV Stick movies & radio

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p<. Amazon Fire TV Stick accessories

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p<. Plus much, much more….

And for further Amazon Fire TV Stick technical support we have links to

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p<. Amazon Fire TV Stick customer service

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p<. Amazon Fire TV Stick FAQ

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p<. Amazon Fire TV Stick troubleshooting

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p<. Amazon Fire TV Stick Help Pages, help forum and community

As we will be updating this book on a regular basis we would love to get your feedback, so if there is a feature that you find confusing or something else that you feel we’ve missed then please let us know by emailing us at [email protected] Thank you!

So without further ado let’s begin…..

1. WHAT IS AMAZON FIRE TV STICK?

The fusion of the Internet with the television set has been talked about since the late 1990s, but it only became a reality after the legally-required switch to digital TV starting in 2009.

With the changeover to digital now complete in the United States, the streaming of digital media over the Internet to your TV has finally arrived in force, with a blizzard of new products and services entering the market every month.

When Amazon.com introduced its Fire TV on April 2, 2014, the online retail and digital media giant became the life of the digital party overnight.

The Fire TV is a small, sleek black box that connects to the HDMI port on your HDTV and comes with its own voice-activated remote. After a brief setup sequence to connect the box with your home Internet, you have a massive selection of movies, TV shows, music, and gaming at your command on your TV screen. What could be better?

Well many would argue that the new Fire TV Stick released in Novemeber 2014 fits the bill. In direct competition with other streaming media dongle’s like the Chromecast and the Roku Stick, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick is pocket-sized, a fraction of the price of the Fire TV box and does pretty much all the same things. Just stick it into the back of you HDTV and within minutes you’re up and running.

Amazon Fire TV Stick’s Competitive Edge

The digital media player market was already very competitive before Amazon joined the pack and upped the ante. According to the publicity surrounding the Fire TV’s launch, Amazon used its position as the number one online retailer to tap into customer comments about other set-top boxes like Roku and Apple TV, along with wireless dongles like the Chromecast.

Amazon then used this information to develop both the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick and make them do things the others don’t.

Let’s take a look at these unique features…

“Easy” is the theme of Amazon’s advertising for the Fire TV Stick: easy to set up, easy to use, easy to search for the shows you want to see. Currently it’s the only digital media device with a voice-activated search facility (although the competition is no doubt already busy at the drawing board so they can catch up).

Please note: In fall 2015 Amazon released their All-New Fire TV Stick although it turns out “All-New” is a bit of an exaggeration! Basically you can now buy the Fire TV Stick with the voice remote as opposed to with the basic remote…so actually as far as the hardware goes nothing has changed! You can still buy the Fire Stick with a basic remote for $10 less and if you went that route you can still voice operate your device via the Fire TV remote app. You can download the Amazon Fire TV Remote App onto your smart phone or tablet. More on how to use it in Chapter 2

Another big selling point for the Fire TV Stick is that it plugs you into Amazon’s gigantic media store, with over 200,000 movies and TV episodes for sale or rental, along with millions of songs you can buy.

It’s true that Apple’s iTunes store has more movie titles and songs than Amazon, but Amazon has a hook that the other boxes don’t have: 40,000 movie titles in the Prime Instant Video library that you can watch for free with a $99 yearly Prime membership.

Every streaming device from Apple TV through to Roku and the Chromecast now has so many entertainment channels and assorted apps that there is very little to choose between them in terms of content. What is clear though about the Fire TV is that it is best suited to those who are already committed to Amazon and in particular Amazon Prime.

Amazon has also developed its exclusive Advance Streaming and Prediction (ASAP) technology to address a common customer complaint about Internet video streaming: buffering. You’ve probably experienced stuttering, “hanging”, and audio out of sync with the video when you play videos through your computer’s web browser, and possibly with other digital media players you’ve tried out.

Buffering occurs because most people’s broadband service isn’t up to the heavy bandwidth usage demands of digital media streaming. Amazon’s solution is to tap into your user history and use it to predict which movies and TV episodes you might want to watch.

These titles are pre-loaded into your account on their server. If you buy or rent one of these titles, they’re already buffered for you and waiting for instant playback A-S-A-P.

As the name implies, the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick are built to pair with Amazon’s wildly popular Kindle Fire tablets, which can wirelessly mirror the image on your Kindle screen directly to your HDTV through the Fire TV box or stick.

That includes apps and content available on Kindle but not available through the Fire TV Stick, so if you already own a Fire tablet, the Fire TV Stick becomes an even more attractive option for media streaming. It’s true that the Fire also mirrors directly to some devices like the Samsung Smart TV, but we think the Fire TV is much easier to use – with the Kindle or without it..

Finally, it’s obvious that Amazon took a look at its competition and decided to build in something nobody else had: gaming support. The Fire TV box contains a powerful hardware package that’s suited for gaming, along with Dolby digital sound. The Fire TV Stick, it must be said, is not as powerful as its larger sibling and can’t handle more power hungry and technically demanding games. Before buying any game apps please check whether the Fire TV Stick is supported. In fact it is worth noting that when you visit the Fire TV apps page on Amazon if you look in the left hand column you can refine your app search to those that work with specifically with the Fire TV Stick.

While the device can’t match the horsepower of the dedicated gaming units like the Playstation or Xbox, there’s a sizable difference in the price tag, especially when you figure in all the other things the Fire TV can do.

Fire TV Stick by the Numbers

If you’d rather just watch a movie than look at numbers, you can skip ahead to the next section. However, if you’re technically inclined, you’ll be impressed with the things Amazon has done with the Fire TV Stick.

We can start with its dual-core processor compared to the single core processor of the Chromecast and Roku stick. In addition, the Fire TV has 1 GB of built-in memory – two times as much as the competition.

Internal storage is 8 GB for downloading, saving, and storing content locally (four times as much as the Chromecast), along with free cloud storage for all of your content purchased from Amazon.

The Fire TV’s Wi-Fi receiver is dual-band/dual antenna using multiple-input/multiple-output (MIMO) for faster reception. It features Dolby digital sound output and video quality goes up to HD-quality 1080 pixels.

The Fire TV stick itself measures just 3.3” × 1 × 0.5” and weighs 25 grams. It comes bundled with a 5’ USB cable and power adapter, an HDMI extender cable and a remote (without built-in mike) plus two AAA batteries to power it.

The remote is Bluetooth compatible with no line of sight required.

Now that you know what the Fire TV Stick is, let’s look at what you can do with it….

2. SETUP AND BASIC NAVIGATION

When you open up your Fire TV Stick you will find the following:

Fire TV Stick and Voice Remote

HDMI Adapter – use this in the space behind your HD TV if it is a bit tight and you have problems inserting the Fire Stick into one of your HDMI sockets. However you will need an HDMI cable which is sold separately!

USB Cable and Power Adaptor – Plug the mini usb end of the cable into the side of the Fire Stick and the other end into the power adapter and plug it in.

2 AAA Batteries – For the remote

Quick Start Guide – The quick start guide that comes in the box tells you everything you need to know and is available on Amazon’s website if you ever lose it.

The word “easy” keeps popping up in Amazon’s promotional copy for the Fire TV Stick, and they’re true to their promises – particularly when it comes to setting up the device. In fact, it’s so easy that you can just follow the on-screen prompts and be looking at the Fire TV Home screen on your HDTV within minutes.

The Amazon’s Fire TV help videos are also short, simple, and very well done.

Set up really is as easy as pushing the Fire Stick into one of the HDMI sockets on your HDTV and plugging the power lead into the stick. One thing you do need to remember is to use your television remote (not the Fire TV remote) to select the correct HDMI input channel that the Fire Stick is plugged into as the source for your TV screen.

Thanks to the voice search function on your Voice remote or the Fire TV Remote App (more on that later) you won’t need to ‘type’ in anything very often, but there are some instances where you will and entering the password for your WiFi network when you first setup is one of them. You will be asked to choose your Wi-Fi network and if, as it should be, it is password protected then the password prompt box will then appear. Just use the navigation wheel to move around the letters and numbers and the select button to enter them. Upper case letters can be found by selecting ABC and symbols by selecting #$%, and adding spaces or deleting a letter can be done more quickly using either the fast forward or rewind buttons on your remote if you prefer.

If all goes well with the setup, you end up looking at the Fire TV Home screen with a colorful carousel of movie titles enticing you to start watching.

FYI, you can access on-screen help from the Fire TV Home screen by scrolling down the left sidebar and selecting Settings.

Fire TV Stick Voice Remote

As previously mentioned the Amazon Fire TV Stick does now come with the impressive voice activated remote control unit for an extra $10.

Amazon surprised everyone when it first released the Fire TV with a voice activated remote. We love the voice activation; however, the most important button on the remote is the Select button, the unmarked center button inside the 5-way directional trackpad at the top of the remote.

You’ll use Select to choose options from the Home screen while the raised ring around it lets you navigate up, down, left, and right, just like any other remote.

Below the trackpad you’ll see the Back, Home, and Menu buttons, and below that are the Rewind, Play/Pause, and Forward buttons for controlling the video player.

Earlier this year Amazon added a nice navigational update to the controller. Hold down the Home button for a few seconds and an options screen appears showing the time and 3 useful options, sleep mode, screen Mirroring and Settings which you navigate to quickly.

With the first generation Fire TV the voice activation was only used for searching the Amazon media store for media titles. Now the new second generation model also gives you access to Alexa, the voice activated personal assistant that was developed for Amazon’s new Bluetooth speaker the Amazon Echo. We will discuss Alexa more fully later, for now let’s just look at the way to do a basic search of content.

Simply press and hold the microphone button while you hold the remote 1 to 8 inches from your face, speak into it, and release the button when you’re finished speaking to start the search.

Keep background noise to a minimum for best results, and use short, descriptive keywords. Simply say a movie title, or an actor, character, or director’s name, such as “The Graduate,” or “Dustin Hoffman.”

Don’t ask questions like, “Where can I find movies from 1967?” Fire TV will display text of your search request on your TV screen and ask you to verify that the words are correct by pressing the Select button on the remote. When you get the results, use the remote’s trackpad to scroll through them, and use the Select button to choose one.

If you can’t get the results you want with voice search, simply press Up on the trackpad to open the text search menu and use the trackpad to key in your search term.

Amazon Fire TV Remote App

With The Fire TV voice remote you have everything you need to operate your device. However there is an alternative for those who prefer to do everything from a mobile device, either your phone or tablet, and that is the Amazon Fire TV Remote app. This is also the app you will need if you didn’t buy a voice remote with your Fire Stick

If you would like to try using the app you should first download it from the Amazon app store from the mobile device you want to use it on, search for “fire tv remote”. Alternatively, you can download the Amazon Fire TV Remote App onto your smart phone or tablet.

Once you’ve downloaded the Amazon Fire TV Remote App you will need to go through a short set up first before you can use it for voice search. Open the app on your smart phone or tablet and it will immediately start searching for any Fire TV devices (either the TV box or Stick) so you should have your Fire TV Stick operational before you begin with the app. The app will discover your Fire TV Stick and you should then select it on the app to connect. The first time you set up your app your Fire TV Stick will display a 4 digit code on your TV screen and at the same time the app on your smartphone will ask you to enter the 4 digit code. Enter and submit the code and your app and Fire TV Stick will now be paired and working together; you won’t need to do this again.

Now that you’re set up and the remote app is working, you will see the small microphone icon at the top of your smartphone/tablet screen. With your finger, pull down and hold on the icon to activate the voice search feature and, as with the physical Fire TV remote, speak into your phone/tablet, letting go of the icon when you’re finished. The results of your search will appear on your HD TV screen as normal.

As you can see from looking at the Fire TV Remote App, you can also use it instead of the physical remote that came with your Fire Stick. It has all the same playback buttons and instead of the 5-way directional trackpad the app uses your touch screen to navigate around and you just tap to select items.

Registering Your Fire TV

When you purchase your Fire TV Stick online from Amazon, it ships pre-registered to your Amazon.com buyer account, so there’s no need to register the device at set-up.

The set-up process becomes just a bit more complicated if you’re buying or selling one used, if you buy one from another retailer, or if someone purchased one on Amazon as a gift to you and forget to check off the box saying it’s a gift before clicking the Buy button.

In these cases, you’ll possibly need to deregister the device, and you’ll definitely need to register it under your own account. To check the registration, use the remote to go to the Home screen. Use the down command on the remote to scroll to the bottom of the left sidebar menu. Select Settings; then select My Account.

If the account listed doesn’t match your own, select that account and select Deregister. You can then select Register to set up your Fire TV Stick on your own Amazon account.

You also need to set up 1-Click Payment in your Amazon account from your computer, tablet, or smartphone Internet browser so you can make media purchases from the Amazon store.

You will need a credit card on file with Amazon to complete this task. Step away from the Fire TV Stick and go to whatever device you use to browse the Internet.

Open a browser window and go to the Amazon.com website. Log in to your Amazon account and click the small black triangle next to Your Account under your name at the top right of the screen. Choose Account Settings from the Your Account page, scroll down, and click 1-Click Settings. Go through the additional login and password screen and use the Edit button to enable 1-Click Payment.

Getting to Know the Home Screen

The Fire TV Stick Home screen is the central headquarters for finding and playing all the media you’ve been waiting to watch. To get there at any time, simply press the Home button on the remote.

On the left side of the Home screen you’ll see the Main Menu, which contains your content libraries and lets you control the settings for the Fire TV Stick. Kindle Fire users will be pleased to see that the Main Menu is very similar to the Navigation Bar on the Kindle.

To scroll down the Main Menu, press Down on the remote. Press Up to scroll up, and press the Select button in the center of the navigation ring to select a highlighted menu item.

From top to bottom the menu items are….

Search: Opens the text search menu and keyboard for entering search terms with the remote, and provides a text display of what the Fire TV Stick is hearing when you use voice commands to search.

Home: Returns you to the Home screen.

Prime Video: If you’re a Prime member browsing this section will highlight all the free extra content available to you.

Movies: Browses the movie selections in the Amazon Instant Video store.

TV: Browses the TV episodes in Amazon Instant Video.

Watchlist: Displays media in the Amazon store and your Video Library (see below) that you’ve bookmarked to watch later.

Video Library: Displays movies and TV shows that you’ve already purchased from Amazon, which are automatically stored on your Amazon Cloud account for free (we explain Amazon Cloud in Chapter 3).

Games: Browses games available for streaming to the Fire TV Stick.

Apps: Browses apps available for the Fire TV Stick.

Music: Browse and play all the music in your Amazon Music library.

Photos: Browses your Amazon Cloud storage account for your personal photos and videos.

Settings: Sets custom functions on your Fire TV Stick device.

We’ll cover each category of Fire TV Stick media on the Main Menu in depth separately in the upcoming chapters.

To the right of the Main Menu you’ll find several rows of carousel items. These will change based on the type of media selected from the sidebar as well as your usage patterns, but we’ll do a quick walk-through based on what you’re most likely to see on your Home screen.

To enter the carousel area, press Right on the remote. To go back to the Main Menu, either press Left, or press the Back button.

The first carousel contains Recently Viewed items which you can select to watch again. As you scroll down the carousel rows, you will see Recommended Items based on your previous search history, New and Featured items that Amazon wants to promote, Bestsellers, and finally some selected categories based on Amazon’s record of your interests.

To delete a title from the Recently Viewed carousel, use the remote’s trackpad to navigate to that item and select it. Navigate to the Remove from Recent button below the item and press Select. You can also remove items from your Recommended Items list or Watchlist using similar commands. The rest of the carousel items can’t be changed.

The Settings Menu

In addition to registering your device, there are a couple more items on the Settings submenu at the bottom of the Main Menu that you might need to visit at some point.

Display & Sounds: This is where you can adjust your screen saver settings, change the screen size of your display settings, change the audio output settings and enable/disable the device mirroring option (more on this later). You can also turn on or off Second Screen notifications here, again more on this in Chapter 5.

Parental Controls: Uses password protection to restrict access to certain content on your Fire TV Stick. You can also block media purchases and in-app upgrades so an unauthorized user or exuberant teenager won’t max out your credit card shopping in the Amazon store.

Note that Parental Controls will only restrict access to media titles in Amazon’s store. Restriction of media in apps like Netflix must be done from within the app itself.

Navigate to the Settings menu and scroll across to Parental Controls and select it. By default Parental Controls will be ‘OFF’ and you should tap the OFF button to activate the feature. You will immediately be prompted to enter and then re-confirm a 5 digit PIN. Once done you will now see further options.

You can, of course, turn off Parental Controls again, which will require you to enter your PIN first. You can also set either PIN Protect Purchases or PIN Protect Amazon Video, the first option will require you to enter your PIN for any Amazon purchases and the second option will require you to enter your PIN just for Amazon Instant Video purchases.

Block Content Types allows you to block hand pick content from being viewed without first entering your PIN and Change PIN is for changing your PIN number, but will require you to enter your old PIN first.

Should you forget your Amazon Instant Video PIN number then you can reset it from your Amazon user account screen in your web browser at http://amazon.com/PIN.

Controllers & Bluetooth Devices: Pairs Bluetooth compatible game controllers with the Fire TV Stick.

Applications: Controls several functions in your apps and games. If you have trouble stopping an app that runs in the background after you close the app, which is common with radio channels, use the Force Stop command in this submenu to quit the app.

You can also delete downloaded applications here – rest assured that they are always available to download again from your Amazon Cloud account where all of your purchased media is stored. However, some saved data like game scores, may be permanently deleted.

System: sets up a screen saver and connects the Fire TV Stick with your home wireless network.

Help: A handy way to look up a process if you don’t feel like getting up out of your chair and finding it on a computer.

My Account: In addition to registering and deregistering your device, this function syncs your Fire TV Stick with your Amazon Cloud account so that all of your Amazon purchases are available for streaming.

Display Mirroring Your Fire HD Screen

Amazon developed their Fire HD tablets with the capability to “fling” its screen image to mirror on smart TV devices, and it expanded that capability to the Fire TV when the device was released. Note that some Fire tablets don’t support screen mirroring on the Fire TV, if you have a Fire tablet go to Settings and then Display. If you don’t see a Display Mirroring option then your tablet is not compatible with this feature.

To mirror your Fire HD screen to your HDTV, start by enabling the Fire TV’s Display Mirroring setting from the Settings menu as described in the previous section. Note that both the Kindle and the Fire TV must be turned on and connected to the Internet, preferably on the same wireless network, and registered to the same Amazon user account.

You should also enable location-based services from the Settings menu on your Fire tablet so the familiar pop-up window doesn’t stop your video cold while trying to find your location. We have tried and failed to disable that annoying pop-up, but nobody seems to know how to do it.

Next, on your Fire HD tablet, swipe down, tap Settings, and tap the Display Settings submenu. Look for Display Mirroring, tap it, and wait for the tablet to detect your Fire TV.

When the Fire TV device name appears, tap it. After about 30 seconds you should see an exact mirror on your HDTV of whatever appears on your Fire tablet screen.

You can mirror your Silk Browser window, presentations from apps like Office Suite Professional, and numerous games that are available for the Fire HD but not for the Fire TV. To stop mirroring, swipe down from the top and use the Settings menu to end the process.

If you don’t own a Fire HD tablet, screen mirroring support for Android devices is available by downloading the AllCast app to your smartphone or tablet from the Google Play app store.

3. WHAT YOU CAN WATCH ON THE FIRE TV

Amazon has entered the digital media market as a power player, thanks to the huge array of movies, TV shows, music, and games available for the Fire TV Stick. Like Apple TV and Chromecast, the Fire TV Stick gives you two ways to access content: either via purchase/rental à la carte, or by subscription.

With à la carte, you buy or rent one title at a time from Amazon’s digital media store and play it via your Fire TV Stick or other Internet-connected device.

With a subscription, you download and run an app for one or more of the media channels in the Fire TV line-up and get unlimited access to that channel’s entire content library. If you’re like most users, you’ll end up with a combination of both.

It’s Hard to Say No to Amazon Prime

From the very first time you set up your Fire TV Stick, Amazon uses it to advertise its Amazon Prime membership service. For a $99 per year subscription fee (£79 in the UK), Prime offers you 40,000 video titles from the Amazon Instant Video store to stream through your Fire TV Stick and other Internet-connected devices for free.

Prime also gives you free two-day shipping on all eligible merchandise orders from the Amazon store totaling $35 or more, and access to the Kindle Owners Lending Library where you can lend and borrow books with other Kindle owners.

You also get one free ebook a month from the Kindle First editor’s pick of new releases. If you’re a student, the Prime annual fee is reduced to $49 until you graduate.

You get the idea: Amazon offers you lots of nice freebies in hopes that you’ll buy more stuff from them. If you’re planning to buy or rent videos à la carte from Amazon’s store, a Prime subscription looks like a pretty good deal – especially if you also buy a lot of merchandise from them, or if you own a Kindle.

If you want to learn more about Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited take a look at our book Amazon Prime & Kindle Unlimited: Newbie to Expert in 1 Hour!

A Closer Look at Channel Subscriptions

If you’re looking at channel subscriptions, keep in mind that all of the Fire TV Stick’s channels require you to download that channel’s app from the Amazon app store. An app is simply a piece of software with a specific purpose (for example, the Netflix app’s purpose is to display Netflix content).

Many apps for streaming media subscriptions like Netflix and Hulu Plus are free, but for some of them you need to pay a monthly fee to get access through the app to the shows and music you want. All apps can be downloaded directly through your Fire TV Stick, the links we include below are just for your convenience should you wish to check them out on your tablet or computer first. (We explain more about channel subscriptions in Chapter 5).

Here’s just a taste of what’s currently available for the Amazon Fire TV….

This list is getting longer literally by the day, so keep an eye open for updates. (Please note we don’t receive any monetary compensation from the companies we describe below.)

Movies and TV

Movie and TV channels abound via the Fire TV Stick….

Amazon Instant Video: Although Amazon lists it as a “channel” in its line-up, this is simply its “à la carte” video store, similar to Apple TV’s iTunes, or the Google Play Movies and Music store for the Chromecast.

Both purchases and rentals are available, and you don’t need to be a member of Amazon Prime to use it. No app is required, and there’s no monthly subscription fee – you simply choose the title you want, pay, and watch.

Amazon Prime Instant Video: Among the many benefits of buying a $99 annual Amazon Prime membership, you get a subscription to unlimited free streaming from their 40,000 title movie library. No app required, since the Fire TV Stick is tied directly into Amazon’s digital store.

Netflix: The giant of digital media streaming. For $7.99 a month, you get unlimited access to their huge selection of movies, TV shows, and original Netflix programming, ad-free. Netflix recently announced that it will increase its monthly subscription rate by $1 or $2 before July 2014 for new customers only, so if you’re debating whether to subscribe, grab it now to lock in the low price. The first month is free and you can always cancel.

Hulu Plus: The selection of TV episodes in this upgrade to the free Hulu service is unbeatable. You’ll pay a small monthly subscription fee and on top of the great content you get a more limited number of ads than on the free service. The first week is free to try.

Showtime Anytime: Watch movies, sports, comedy, and Showtime original programming. A paid Showtime subscription through your cable or satellite dish plan is required, but Showtime Anytime is a free add-on to your subscription.

Crackle: Like Netflix and Showtime Anytime, Crackle offers movies, TV shows, and original programming. Sony Pictures Entertainment owns Crackle (formerly known as Grouper), so the emphasis is on Sony-produced media. The service is free and has commercials.

YouTube: The Internet’s largest library of free videos, featuring movie clips, music, and independently produced original programming. Huge selection, ad-supported.

Vimeo: This YouTube alternative is a video sharing site that’s free to watch, but unlike YouTube, it recently started charging users a $9.95 monthly subscription fee for uploading their videos and an ad-free viewing experience.

Huffpost Live: The Internet streaming version of the left-leaning Huffington Post news and politics website features original programming and live interviews in addition to syndicated videos. The basic version is free and ad-supported.

AOL On: A free, ad-supported news and entertainment video channel from the media giant. AOL On is developing original content and paying its content producers, so watch for changes in the near future.

Flixster: This free social networking channel lets users share movie trailers and reviews of their favorite movies. Flixster is the parent channel of the well known movie review site Rotten Tomatoes and the app includes access to both.

For business programming, take a look at these channels….

Bloomberg TV: This old standby in the business media world features both paid ad-free programming and free ad-supported video content, along with its well-known moving stock ticker.

TastyTrade: This financial trading channel blows up the stuffed-shirt image that has plagued Wall Street for years. Videos feature money management and investment tips, live interviews, and a humorous take on contemporary news and entertainment. Free, ad-supported.

Sports fans will find a small but acceptable selection of programming thanks to ESPN. Watch for additions in the upcoming months….

Watch ESPN: Streams all of the ESPN products via simulcast, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, Longhorn Network, ESPN Goal Line, and ESPN Buzzer Beater. Free add-on to your paid Watch ESPN subscription through your cable or satellite dish provider.

NBA Game Time: Includes live box scores, schedules and statistics for all NBA games, plus video highlights for each game. Free app, with a paid upgrade for the NBA League Pass so you can watch the games live.

Red Bull TV: Watch interviews, breaking news, and short and full-length movies on topics ranging from hockey to break dancing to motocross to extreme snowsports. Free, ad-supported.

And if you prefer your sports hands-on, instead of as a spectator….

Daily Burn: This well known smartphone workout app now has a workout video channel for the Fire TV Stick. Free for the first 30 days, then $10 monthly subscription.

Music and Music Videos

Music video fans will find the following offerings….

Qello Concerts: HD video footage of the world’s greatest concerts, old and new, with every genre represented from rock to hip-hop to classical. Free basic subscription with paid VIP upgrade.

Vevo: The Internet’s premiere music video site, with videos from two of three major record labels – a great alternative to MTV. Free, ad-supported.

Fire TV also supports Internet radio stations….

Pandora: The first open source Internet radio project with channels in every musical genre. The free version is ad-supported, with an ad-free paid upgrade.

iHeart Radio: A streaming compilation of all 800 Clear Channel radio stations in the US that you can use to create custom music stations of your own. Free, with live streaming stations supported by commercials. Custom music stations are currently commercial free.

TuneIn: Over 100,000 stations for live listening, plus 2 million on-demand radio programs including podcasts, concerts and interviews. Free, ad-supported.

Games

There are already over 500 for the Amazon Fire TV Stick, and with an in-house game development team, they’re in a good position to add at least another 1000 to that number within the upcoming year. (We cover the best of the Fire TV Stick games in Chapter 8).

Media Organizers and Storage

Plex: This app stores all of your digital content in one place on its enormous cloud-based servers so you can access it from any device at any time. The Plex app for the Fire TV Stick with basic features is currently costs $4.99 in the Amazon app store, not cheap for an app, but worth it. Buy the premium Plex Pass subscription to get the expanded features. (We cover Plex in depth in Chapter 5).

Frequency: This ad-supported app scours the Internet for videos and turns them into channels that you can watch via your Fire TV Stick without queuing up each video separately. It automatically sorts through popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, CNN, the New York Times, National Geographic, Forbes, and more, plus you can add videos from your favorite websites and blogs. Frequency is especially handy for queuing up a batch of YouTube videos.

Head in the Cloud….

….the Amazon Cloud, that is. Just what is Amazon Cloud? This file backup service lets you securely copy any file you own to your own little corner of Amazon’s huge storage drives and download it back to your device at any time.

Your Fire TV Stick can access your Amazon Cloud account to retrieve the movies, apps, games, photos, and personal videos you’ve stored there.

Simply scroll down the Main Menu and choose the media type you want to retrieve. The Fire TV Stick will pull it down out of the Cloud.

When you open an account with Amazon, you automatically get 5 GB of free Cloud Drive storage for any type of media you upload to it. If you have a huge number of files that you want to back up, you can buy more storage from Amazon for a reasonable annual fee.

Better yet, any media you purchase from Amazon is automatically stored for free in your Amazon Cloud account, and it doesn’t count against your 5 GB quota. The files you’ve stored in the Cloud are available at any time, on any Internet-connected device you own.

We explain how to retrieve them in the upcoming chapters on specific types of digital media, with a detailed explanation of how to upload your own files to your Amazon Cloud account in Chapter 7.

Deleting Unwanted Files From Your Fire TV Stick

Although you’ll be streaming most of the movies and TV shows you watch on your Fire TV Stick, games and apps are another story.

The Fire TV Stick needs to download a local copy of these files to its internal storage drive, and even though that drive is a generous 8 GB, it does fill up.

To uninstall a game or app, scroll down and select Settings on the Home screen’s Main Menu and select the Applications sub-menu. Scroll down or up and select the app or game you want to delete. Select Uninstall and follow the prompts.

All of your Amazon purchased media is always available to download again from your Amazon Cloud account unless you deliberately delete it through your Amazon Cloud app (see Chapter 7) – which we recommend you don’t do!

4. SO WHO AND WHAT IS ALEXA?

Alexa is the voice activated, computerized personal assistant originally developed for the new Amazon Echo Bluetooth speaker. Basically it is Amazon’s answer to Apple’s Siri, ask Alexa a question or set her/it a task and Alexa will respond in “her” soft friendly voice.

Alexa is the selling point of the Amazon Echo, without Alexa the Echo is just a Bluetooth speaker and there are plenty of those on the market already. Amazon is selling the Echo as a device that they hope will become an integral part of your Smart Home.

As well as asking Alexa all kinds of questions, from getting weather, traffic reports and sports scores through to Wikipedia information on any given topic, the Echo can also be linked into your smart home devices allowing you to control your lights, order certain items from Amazon and populate, shopping and to-do lists just using your voice.

So we were slightly surprised that Amazon didn’t make more of a song and dance of the fact that they have added Alexa to the new Fire TV; by the way they are also working on an update to bring Alexa to 1st generation Fire TV users.

Now that we have had a chance to look more closely we realise the low key approach to Alexa on the Fire TV is due to the fact that Amazon have not yet fully integrated all the Alexa features into their streaming box. For instance you can’t yet control any smart home devices via your Fire TV yet nor can you use the Flash Briefing feature which, via the Echo, allows you to get headline news stories read to you by Alexa.

For the time being Amazon wants users to focus on some of the simpler, but still excellent features. These include playing Prime Music and streaming radio from Prime Stations, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn, playing Audible audio books, creating shopping and to-do lists and getting factual information.

Most of your interaction with Alexa will be accompanied by on-screen images as well as Alexa’s dulcet tones so you will know that you are using Alexa rather than a simple voice search for Fire TV content.

We’re going to go into more detail on these features now, but as updates are coming thick and fast for Alexa we also advise you to start by saying “Alexa, tell me what can you do?” into your voice remote to get an overview of what you can do. We also suggest that you navigate on your Fire TV homescreen to Applications > Alexa > Things to Try where you will find the latest features available.

You will also, at your earliest opportunity want to explore the Alexa App on your PC, mac, mobile or tablet. The app is not essential to start using many of Alexa’s features, but getting familiar with the app will help you to get the most out of Alexa and learn about future features.

Visit alexa.amazon.com to get started. If you visit that address via a mobile or tablet you will be able to download the app from the app store relevant to the device you are using, either the Amazon app store, Google Play store or the Apple Store. On a PC or mac there’s no app to download, instead you can access the app through your browser using your Amazon login details. Makes sure your Amazon Fire TV is fully set up before accessing the Alexa app.

Music, Radio, Audio and Alexa

The Fire TV brings you a lot of music options (see Chapter 6) and Alexa can help you control these options using just your voice (and the voice controller!). Any music that you have bought via Amazon will be in you music library and you can get any track or album playing by holding down the Voice button and saying “Play” followed by the artists name, album or track name.

Going beyond your own personal music collection you can also control music from other sources. Prime Stations, Tunein and iHeartRadio are three internet radio providers (Prime Stations being a part of Amazon Prime) offering access to both curated playlists of music and actual radio stations around the world.

Once you have discovered content that you like from these sources all three can be controlled with Alexa. Again just say “Play” followed by the content you want to hear, for example “Play iHeart90’s Radio” to start iHeartradio’s selection of hits from the 90’s.

Clearly to get the most out of this feature you need to be quite familiar with the content on offer from these providers so take some time to familiarize yourself with what they offer.

Do you buy and listen to audio books from Audible? If you do just say “Play…” or “Read…” followed by the book title that you would like to listen to and you audio book will start.

While you have music or audio playing you can also speak other commands like “Next song/previous song” “Pause”, “Resume”, “Stop” to control your Fire TV. At this time you are unable to adjust the volume using your voice or fast-forward and rewind part of a track.

General Knowledge

The Alexa connects to the Cloud and its vast storehouse of data for measurements, conversions, capital cities, times around the world, mountain heights, population numbers, spelling and pronunciation, etc. Ask a question in these categories, and more than likely, you will receive an accurate answer.

Alexa is excellent with trivia too. For simple answers, ask Alexa about people, dates, stars of movies or their dates of release, Academy Award winners by year and category, singers, lyricists, song and album release dates, World Series and Super Bowl winners and much more. Our guess is that you’ll enjoy picking Alexa’s brain to discover her fountain of interesting factoids about your favorite topics.

So, ask, “Who starred in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’?” and you’ll get a list starting with Gregory Peck.

When you want a longer answer, for example, about Gregory Peck, say, “Alexa, Wikipedia, Gregory Peck.” And the device will read the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry.

In the category of education, Alexa will be of help with spelling, definitions, conversions, simple calculations, geography, nutritional information and much more that you’ll enjoy discovering.

Sports

For sports information from your personal assistant get information by asking Alexa specific questions such as, “Alexa…

*
p<. What is the score of the Dallas Cowboys game?

*
p<. How are the Boston Red Sox doing?

*
p<. Who won the Kentucky Wildcats game?

*
p<. When does the Atlanta Dream play next?

*
p<. What time do the Los Angeles Dodgers play tomorrow?

At the time of writing, the Alexa offers scores from the NFL, NBA, WNBA, MLB, MLS, NHL, PGA and NCAA Men’s Basketball.

The Amazon Echo is able to access a hit-and-miss blend of other sports information. Questions it could answer when we experimented where:

*
p<. Who won the British Open?

*
p<. Who won the Belmont Stakes?

We got, “Sorry, I didn’t understand the question I heard” when asking:

*
p<. Who won the NASCAR race?

*
p<. Who won the Toledo Mudhens game?

So, you’ll have to ask Alexa if she’s a fan of your favorite obscure sport or team!

Weather, Traffic and More

Weather information can be accessed by asking these questions or queries similar to them. “Alexa…

*
p<. What’s the weather for this weekend?”

*
p<. What’s the weather for Tuesday?”

*
p<. What’s the extended forecast?”

*
p<. What’s the weather for next week?”

*
p<. What’s the weather in Chicago?”

*
p<. Will it rain tomorrow?”

*
p<. Will it rain in Los Angeles tomorrow?”

When asked for an extended forecast or the week’s weather, the Amazon Echo will provide seven days of weather forecast information.

For traffic information you will need the Alexa app. First go to settings within the app and then the Traffic tab. There, you can enter the address of the starting and ending points of your daily commute or a trip you’re planning. Additional stops in between can be added and deleted using the buttons.

When you’ve added these details, ask a question similar to one of these: “Alexa…

*
p<. How is traffic?

*
p<. What’s my commute?

*
p<. What’s traffic like?

Traffic information is provided by HERE, a company owned by Nokia. Alexa gives you the best route to take given current conditions including volume of traffic and construction. The expected time of your commute is given too.

To-Do and Shopping Lists

Like us, you might soon find these Alexa features indispensable. They are certainly easy to use with either voice commands or with the Alexa app. Both your Shopping List and To-do List are featured on the home page of the app. Choose the one you want to manually add items or activities to.

For the To-do list, use the Add Item box on the app to populate the list. When you complete a task, select the box next to it, and a check mark will appear and the task will be lined through. Finished tasks are moved to the Completed list while the rest remain on the Active list.

Move back and forth between these lists with the tab at the top of the page. Print the list using the tab at the top. The printer dialogue box will appear for you to use to complete the process.

Or you can just use Alexa via your remote that does a pretty good job populating the list via voice commands, though it might get a word wrong here or there. We asked, “Alexa, add ‘find CDs’ to my to-do list,” and what appeared on the list was, “Find c.d.s.” Later, a note to get “screen grabs” was listed as “screen grahams.” Misunderstandings happen most often with uncommon words.

There have been occasions where we’ve had to think a bit to remember what it was we asked Alexa to add because what’s on the list doesn’t make sense. It’s inspired a blend of comedy, frustration and “ah-ha!” moments when we figure it out.

Typically, a request such as, “Alexa, add mow the grass to the to-do list” is clearly understood. Amazon suggests as an alternate saying something like, “Alexa, I need to organize my tools.” We’ve found that Alexa doesn’t comprehend this voice command very well. We stick to the “Add to to-do list” commands for best results.

Note that checking completed tasks or deleting tasks cannot be done with voice commands; the app must be used. However, you can ask the device something like “Alexa, what is on my to-do list” or “Alexa, read me my to-do list,” and your request will be granted.

Using the Shopping list function is very similar to creating and managing a to-do list:

*
p<. Create it with voice commands or manually using the app

*
p<. Ask Alexa to read the list to you for review

*
p<. Delete an item you no longer want

*
p<. Items must be manually removed; voice recognition won’t work for this function

5. WATCHING MOVIES AND TV SHOWS

There are two ways to watch movies and TV episodes via the Fire TV Stick: you can stream or download them directly from Amazon’s video store, or you can subscribe to a channel, download its app, and get access to that channel’s content library. In this chapter we explain how to do both.

Buy or Rent Shows From Amazon

The Amazon Instant Video store is the source of all the splashy content you see on your Fire TV Stick’s Home screen. Here you can buy or rent movies and TV videos à la carte, one title at a time, and pay for them with 1-click ordering in your Amazon account.

Buying à la carte assures you of getting the titles you want, when you want them. The movies and TV episodes you buy are yours to watch on any device you own, including a laptop, smartphone, tablet, and of course your Fire TV.

Pricing in Amazon’s movie and TV store ranges from $12.99 to buy new movie and TV releases to $4.99 for older titles. HD versions of some movies are available for a $5.00 upcharge.

You can stream your purchased titles directly from their permanent storage spot in Amazon’s Cloud server, or download them your Fire TV Stick or other device.

Rentals are either $3.99 or $2.99 depending on the age of the show, with some HD titles available for a $1.00 upcharge. The rental period for video content is only 48 hours, but it doesn’t begin until you actually start to watch the video and you typically have up to 30 days to start watching.

You don’t need to return a rental video – it simply becomes unavailable when the rental period expires. Another handy thing about Amazon!

To start browsing in the Amazon Instant Video store, use the remote to scroll down to either Movies or TV on the Main Menu in the Home screen and select one of them. The carousels to the right will display several subcategories for you to scroll through and choose from, using the trackpad’s right and left buttons.

You can also search for particular titles, actors, directors, and types of videos using the voice command on the remote, or with a text search (see Chapter 2). Press Select to pick a video out of the line-up.

If you have the $99 annual Amazon Prime membership, then you can stream your pick of 40,000 Prime Instant Video titles to your Fire TV – for free! Some Prime Instant titles are even available to download for offline viewing.

Prime members will see the blue and yellow Prime badge in the upper left corner of any carousel items that are available for free. There’s also a carousel row for Top Prime Movies and TV that you can use to search for those coveted freebies.

To buy or rent any movie or TV show, select the title to display its product page. You’ll see a brief summary of the show and a row of buttons underneath. These buttons enable you to buy the show, to rent it if it’s available for rental, to add it to your Watchlist, or to watch its trailer.

Selecting the More Ways to Watch button displays pricing for HD versions if they are available, and sometimes the option to watch the video through a channel subscription.

To buy or rent a title, select the buy or rent option you prefer and then select the Buy Now button to give Amazon permission to charge your credit card with 1-Click Payment (see Chapter 2).

When your purchase is complete, you’ll be given the option to select Watch Now. If you want to watch your purchase later, simply navigate to another menu item while Amazon immediately stores your video permanently in your Cloud account for access at any time.

To play a video from your Cloud account, you can select it from the Fire TV Stick carousel if you’ve recently watched or purchased it, or you can find it by scrolling down the Main Menu on the Home screen and selecting Video Library to display all of your stored Amazon videos. Select the artwork for the one you want and it will start to play immediately.

Note that rentals and free Prime Instant Videos are not stored in your Cloud account, since you don’t own them. However, you will see carousel rows on your Fire TV Stick’s Home screen for Recently Viewed and Recently Added to Prime, which will save you from having to hunt for them if you want to watch them again.

Also remember that you can always add any video to your Watchlist by selecting that button on its product page. To access your Watchlist, use the trackpad to scroll down the Main Menu and select it.

The Play/Pause, Forward, and Rewind buttons toward the bottom of the remote give you some great options for controlling your movie and TV show playback. Play/Pause is a “toggle” button – press it once to pause the video; press it again to release the pause.

Pressing the Rewind or Forward button once allows you to skip 10 seconds backward or forward. You can also press and hold the Rewind or Forward button to keep going backward or forward in the video, while additional presses allow you to cycle through the available speed options.

Using Second Screen Functionality

Us ing the Second Screen feature is not dissimilar to Mirroring. Specifically in this context Second Screen is about watching Amazon Video on your TV and using your Fire HD tablet as a companion device that both controls your viewing and allows you to view, if available, any x-ray information about the movie/show you are watching or.

X-Ray is powered by IMDb and, if available for the show you’re watching, lets you dive deep in-scene to explore characters, trivia, music, and more.

To activate Second Screen don’t forget to turn this feature on in your Fire TV settings as previously discussed. Then go to the Video store on your Fire HD tablet, via the Amazon Video App and select the movie or TV show you want to watch. Look for the Send To icon embedded in the Watch button on the product page and select it. You’re Fire TV should now be listed and when selected your show will start to play on your HDTV while you use your Fire tablet to explore its X-ray data and control play/pause, volume, and fast forward.

You can also use your Amazon Fire tablet to check your email, look at your personal photos, read a book, or surf the Internet while using it as a movie player for your Fire TV. Multitasking at its best!

Subscribe to a Channel and Get Unlimited Viewing

With the channel subscriptions like Netflix, you download an app to your Fire TV Stick and use it to find and watch unlimited content in that channel’s library. In some cases you’ll need to pay for a subscription to a particular channel, while other channels are completely free. There are others that are free but allow you to pay to eliminate advertising.

Channel subscriptions begin with selecting the App option from the Main Menu on the Fire TV Stick home screen. This will change the carousel to display new and popular app selections, as well as any apps you’ve recently used.

Finding the app you want is almost exactly like shopping in the Amazon Instant Video Store. For example, if you want to download and install the Netflix app on your Fire TV, you can use either the voice command on your smartphone/tablet’s remote app, or a text search.

Select the Netflix app artwork to bring up its product screen, and click the Buy button to begin downloading. Most channel apps are free to download, and you can pay for the few paid apps you’ll need for your Fire TV Stick with your Amazon Coins as well as your 1-Click Payment method. (See below to learn about Amazon Coins.)

You’ll see an Open button to start using the app right away, or if you don’t, the app will be safely stored in your Amazon Cloud account. To uninstall an app, scroll down and select Settings on the Home screen’s Main Menu and select the Applications submenu. Scroll down or up and select the app you want to delete. Select Uninstall and follow the prompts.

For channels that charge a subscription fee, you will need to enable an in-app purchase and pay for it with a credit card. An in-app purchase is an upgrade that unlocks that channel’s content library for unlimited viewing through the app.

Although Amazon says you can pay for these with 1-click payment or Amazon Coins (see below), in practice we’ve found this is rarely possible since the channel providers are outside of Amazon’s content ecosystem.

The first step for an in-app purchase is usually registering an account with your email address and password, followed by keying in your name, address, and credit card number. While these purchases are generally secure, entering the data with the Fire TV remote can be pretty tedious, although using the keyboard of your smartphone or tablet via the Fire TV Remote App makes it easier.

We prefer to register and subscribe from our laptop’s web browser so we can do it with a real keyboard. Simply type the channel’s name (e.g., Netflix) into a search engine like Google or Bing.

Go to its home page and look for a link that says “Register,” or in the case of Netflix, “Not a member? Click here.

Be sure to record your user name and password somewhere so you don’t lose them. Once you’ve registered and paid up, you can go back to your Fire TV Stick, log in once with your user name and password, and you shouldn’t have to do it again.

If anything, playing movies and TV shows on a Fire TV channel is even easier than making an à la carte purchase from Amazon Instant Video.

If you’ve used the channel’s app recently, it will show up in the Recently Viewed carousel on your Fire TV Stick Home screen. If you haven’t used it lately, you can find it in your Amazon Cloud account by scrolling down the Main Menu and selecting Apps. Select the Your Apps Library submenu, and look for the app you want amongst all of your apps purchased on Amazon.

Select the app’s artwork to open it and look for movies or TV episodes to watch. Most channels, including Netflix, use a carousel-style menu similar to the one on your Fire TV Stick Home screen. Use the trackpad to scroll left or right and to move up and down from row to row. Select the artwork for any title to immediately start playing it.

There are some things that channel subscriptions can’t do on the Fire TV Stick. Voice command searching doesn’t work within channel apps since they don’t use Amazon’s search engine, so you’ll have to resort to text searching if you’re looking for a specific title.

Also keep in mind that channels are for streaming only, so you can’t download any shows from them, and they don’t store your show selections in your Amazon Cloud account.

Amazon Coins – Play Money!

Coins? Has Amazon gotten so huge that they’re printing their own money? Well, yes. Coins are Amazon’s virtual money that you can buy with your real money and spend on apps, games, and some in-app upgrades. Amazon has a generous “exchange rate” – one Coin is worth one US penny, but the more coins you buy at once, the bigger your discount, anywhere from 4 to 10 percent.

You also earn extra coins as an incentive for buying certain apps and games, and when you activate your Fire TV Stick, Amazon gives you a nice 1,000 Coin deposit to get you started.

When you use your Fire TV Stick, Android device, or Kindle to shop for a game or app, the product page will display the Coin price as well as the regular price, any Coin bonuses for purchase, and how many coins you have left in your account.

To buy more coins for your account, say “Amazon Coins” into the Fire TV Remote App, or press Up and use the Fire Stick remote to type those words into the text search menu. You’ll be able to buy as many coins as you need with your 1-click ordering account on Amazon.

Managing Closed Captions

It’s easy to watch a video that offers closed captions. Movies and TV in the Amazon Instant Video Store are marked with a small “CC” icon on the product page if closed captioning is available.

Start by selecting the show you want to watch and playing it. Then press the Menu button on the remote. A menu will appear on your screen and you can simply select Turn Captions On. Then use the trackpad to choose text size and color for the caption text.

Press Menu again to resume playback with captions enabled. You can turn captions off by pressing the Menu button on the remote and selecting Turn Captions Off.

Netflix lets you change your caption settings from your computer, tablet, or smartphone web browser by going to Subtitle Appearance at www.netflix.com/your account. Other Fire TV channels also may allow you to set up captioning if you do a bit of browsing around on their websites.

Using Plex to Put Your Local Content on Your Fire TV Stick

It’s inevitable that sooner or later you’ll want to play some locally stored non-Amazon content from another device on your Fire TV Stick, and unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t make it easy for you to do that.

We would really like to see a Main Menu option allowing us to access our entire Amazon Cloud storage account, where we’ve backed up our entire music and video library from our personal collection of CDs and our iTunes account for our Mac laptops.

Alas, at this time only our Amazon-purchased content plus personal photos and home video are available from Amazon Cloud on our Fire TV Stick.

Enter Plex, a super-smart media storage app that backs up any content from any device you own on its enormous hard drives and stores it securely for you to access with the Plex app.

There’s a version of this app for just about every device on the market, including the Fire TV Stick. This means you can upload your entire media collection from your computer’s hard drive to Plex, and then stream it on your Fire TV Stick through the Plex app.

Like that really smart kid you remember from school, Plex can be a bit intimidating, but don’t be put off. You’re not going to lose any data if you use it, so why not give it a whirl? We did, and we’re hooked.

It’s best to start with one simple uploading task, which for us was getting our iTunes library uploaded from our Mac laptop so we could play our songs on our HDTV via our Fire TV Stick. Windows users will find the process is almost identical, and we’ve noted below where it’s different.

Your first step is to scroll down the Fire TV Stick’s Main Menu and open the Amazon app store. Search for the Plex app using voice command or text search, buy it, and install it. You don’t need to open it just yet.

Next, go to the device where the local content you want to upload to Plex is stored. For us, that was our MacBook Pro. Use your web browser to navigate to the Plex.tv home page.

Click the Sign Up button at the top right and register your information. You’ll get an email asking you to click a link to confirm your registration. Be sure to record your user name and password for future reference.

Click the Launch button in the top right corner to go to the download page and install the Plex app for your computer.

Note that you can also download an app for your tablet or smartphone from this page if that’s where your local media is stored, but we downloaded the app for Mac OS. It’s a big .zip file that goes to your Downloads folder.

When downloading is complete, click it open and drag the app to your Applications folder. (Windows users will put it in Programs.)

The next part is not exactly intuitive, but we just kept following the prompts and it turned out great. You need to add at least one library to your Plex account so there’s a place on their storage drives to hold your media files.

Click the Add Library button. The app will ask you to choose a type of media from a set of graphic icons.

We chose Music for our iTunes library.

Now Plex will want to you to show it the folder where you keep the media you want to upload. This is fairly easy on both a Mac and Windows computer since both operating systems have clearly labeled folders for music, videos, and photos.

We selected the Music folder on our Mac and then chose the iTunes library. Whoosh, suddenly our entire music collection was uploading to Plex. Success!

Back with your Fire TV Stick, you’ll need to find and open the Plex app from Your Apps Library under Apps on the Main Menu.

Log in with your Plex user name and password – the only time you will need to do this. Select My Library from the menu bar at the top, and with any luck you will see a little gold Plex icon with a label for the library you just uploaded from your computer.

Select this icon and scroll through the album artwork from your iTunes account to find your music and play it via your Fire TV Stick.

Plex will also upload and play videos and photos on your Fire TV Stick, plus it’s a great place to store any content you value and don’t want to lose. It’s a fantastic app with far more capabilities than we’ve described here, but those are beyond the scope of this Fire TV Stick guide, however, we encourage you to explore it further.

6. MUSIC VIDEO AND RADIO

Music lovers won’t go hungry for long with the Fire TV Stick. Already Amazon has negotiated channel agreements with two music video companies and three Internet radio providers, giving you thousands of concerts and millions of songs to choose from.

It’s well worth owning the Fire TV Stick simply to get your audio off the small speakers on your tablet or laptop and onto your HDTV where the sound quality is better.

You can even use your Fire TV Stick as a radio playing in the background – it allows you to return to the Home screen at any time while it keeps playing your music selections, allowing you to browse the Amazon media stores, play games, and share photos. The powerful Fire TV Stick is robust enough to handle all of these tasks at once.

Amazon Music Library and Prime Music

All music purchased in your Amazon account is stored online in your personal Amazon Music Library. You can see your music library here www.amazon.com/musiclibrary. We were also surprised to find that many of the CD’s we had bought from Amazon many moons ago were also there waiting for us in our library. This is thanks to Amazon’s AutoRip feature.

Thousands of albums in Amazon’s music store now have the AutoRip icon next to them which means if you buy them in physical form, either as a CD or Vinyl record, you will automatically receive an MP3 version of the track/tracks that you purchase. If you’ve ever bought a CD for someone else as a gift it’s quite a nice surprise to find that you still have that music for yourself in MP3 form!

Getting back to your Fire TV Stick, if you click on Music from the main menu of your Home screen you will be able to access all the music in your Amazon Music Library and play it on your HDTV. Just navigate to a track or album you want to play and press Select. You can search for your music with voice search or with text search.

Once a track is playing you can navigate away from the music menu to anywhere else on your Fire TV Stick and your music selection will continue to play, why not set up a photo slideshow to go along with your music (more on Slideshows in Chapter 7). To stop, pause, fast forward or rewind just use the relevant playback button on your remote.

You can’t yet navigate the Amazon music store and buy music via your Fire TV but you will have access to anything you’ve already bought, and that includes any Prime Music content, that you’ve previously added to your Music Library. Prime Music is the latest benefit for Amazon Prime members and brings you over a million tunes and hundreds of curated playlists for free (or rather for $99 a year, the price of Prime membership).

So to play Prime Music content via your Fire TV Stick use your computer or tablet to navigate to amazon.com/primemusic. There you can browse all the free tracks and playlists and add them to your Amazon Music Library and once they’re in your library go back to the music menu on your Fire TV Home screen and select the tracks you want to listen to.

Music Video Channels

Music video streaming is a natural for the Fire TV Stick. There’s nothing quite as dynamic as a good live concert viewed in HD, especially if your HDTV has a good sound system. Here’s a look at the Fire TV Stick’s two music video channels.

Qello Concerts: This premium music video channel offers something to please just about everyone.

Just browsing around in their categories, we found concert footage of the early Beatles, jazz genius Miles Davis, the Sleeping Beauty opera by the Royal Ballet, and Pink Floyd live at Knebworth.

Qello’s emphasis is on contemporary music, but if you have a wide range of tastes, as we do, then their library will keep you busy for a good long time. Registration is required even for their free account, but it’s easy enough to do from directly from your Fire TV Home screen using the remote to key in your email and password.

The really good stuff is only accessible for their $4.99 a month upgrade, but if you click away from the purchase screen, they’ll offer you 25 percent off your subscription – not a bad deal at all.

Vevo: This music video site will remind you of MTV, and in fact it’s their biggest competitor. Choose from Vevo’s 24/7 streaming music video channel, or browse through their library of over 75,000 music videos.

This library doesn’t have a very robust search function – it doesn’t let you search by category – and the home screen display is definitely aimed at the youth market.

However, we found plenty of great stuff for more “mature” audiences through searching by artist and keyword; it just took a bit of patience to type in all those keystrokes, even when using the Fire TV Remote App. Vevo is free, supported by 30 second ad spots before the video starts. Registration is simple enough to key in with the Fire TV Stick remote.

Radio Station Channels

Amazon has partnered with three big players from the world of Internet radio with dedicated apps for the Fire TV Stick. Their interfaces are fairly similar, so we’ll give you some general pointers for turning your Fire TV Stick into a radio.

The Fire TV Stick’s three music-only channels use a layout similar to your Fire TV Home screen, with categories to the left and suggestions to the right. In the left sidebar, you can choose a musical genre, which will change the suggestions displayed in the right column.

Pandora and iHeart Radio also give you the option of building one or more custom song lists from their available music libraries, which they call custom stations. This process is less frustrating if you do it from a device with at least an on-screen keyboard, so we recommend downloading the app to your smartphone, tablet, or Kindle Fire before you play around with building your own stations.

Pandora: This Internet radio project was doing social media before it was cool. Begin by registering a free account, which is easy enough to do from your Fire TV Stick. You’ll be presented with the option of making your song list public, which allows you to actually create your own radio station, but you can remain private if you like.

If you don’t feel up to the task of building your own station, you can browse through a huge selection of genres containing radio stations created by other Pandora users. One of the things we really like about this app is its sleep timer and alarm clock features. The paid upgrade to Pandora One is $3.99 monthly to get rid of the pop-up ads.

iHeart Radio: The media giant Clear Channel has compiled its 800 US radio stations into a single channel for the Fire TV Stick. You can either listen live to one of more of these stations, or compile their content into your own custom music stations and share them with your friends.

iHeart doesn’t require registration, and there’s no paid upgrade. You’ll see video ads on the live stations, but your custom music stations are currently commercial free while this new service gets off the ground. This Fire TV channel also has a sleep timer and alarm clock.

TuneIn: Enjoy live listening on over 100,000 Internet radio stations, including big names like CBS, ESPN, NPR, C-SPAN, and a nice selection of international stations. You’ll also get access to 2 million archived podcasts, concerts and interviews.

Registration is required and is easy to do from the Fire TV Stick. TuneIn has an easy to use interface that allows you to set favorites. It’s free and ad-supported, but the scrolling banner ad bar at the bottom of the screen is completely tolerable. Not only that, but for a one-time $3.99 fee, you can record anything you hear on TuneIn – the only restriction is that you can’t share the recording.

7. PHOTOS AND PERSONAL VIDEOS

With the release of the Fire TV, Amazon was smart enough to recognize that other digital media players had weaknesses when it comes to playing local content.

By “local,” we mean content that you’ve stored on one of your devices, such as the hard drive on your desktop or laptop computer, or in the limited Flash memory that comes installed on a tablet or smartphone.

Although the Fire TV Stick doesn’t play all types of local content, it does let you stream your photos and personal videos, as long as you’ve uploaded them to your Amazon Cloud account.

Life Size Memories

The Fire TV Stick is tailor made for a family photo or video viewing session on your HDTV, but first you’ll have to install Amazon’s Cloud Drive application on your computer.

You can click Your Cloud Drive from the drop-down menu under Your Account on the Amazon home screen and install the application from there.

Open and install the downloaded file to your hard drive. This application will then let you connect to Cloud Drive with your computer so you can upload and download up to 2 GB of data with a simple drag-and-drop interface.

If you install it on your tablet or smartphone, it will automatically upload any photos and videos you shoot within seconds, so they’ll be immediately available for streaming to your Fire TV Stick. The Cloud Drive app also syncs your content across all of your devices, so you’ll always be up to date.

To upload content from your computer to Amazon Cloud Drive, open the Cloud Drive app that you’ve just installed, you can find it by clicking Start, then All Programs on Windows or in the Applications folder on a Mac. Once you open the app you’ll see a Cloud Drive folder with several subfolders for different types of media.

Simply drag and drop any media you want into one of the folders and it will automatically upload to your Amazon Cloud account. To download it back to your computer, open the Cloud Drive folder and drag the file out of its folder and onto your hard drive.

If you only have a small number of local files to store, and they’re not too big, you can just upload your content straight into your Cloud Drive account via your browser.

Sign in, and instead of clicking on “Install Cloud Drive” click on “Continue to your Cloud Drive” located at the top right of the page. Once there you will see your content subfolders, and by clicking Upload, you can browse your computer for the relevant content you wish to store.

Once you’ve uploaded your local content to your Amazon Cloud account, you can view it on your Fire TV Stick by scrolling down the Fire TV Main Menu and selecting Photos to stream your personal photos and videos to your HDTV.

Your Cloud Drive account also contains a record of every digital file you’ve ever purchased from Amazon (including free apps and games). We strongly recommend that you NEVER delete these files, or you’ll have to pay for them again if you need to download them to one of your devices.

View Slideshows

The Fire TV Stick has a built-in slideshow function inside the Photos submenu on the Main menu. Start by selecting Photos from the Home Screen. Amazon Cloud organizes your photos into albums, so all you have to do is select one of them from the Photos submenu and then select Start Slideshow.

The slideshow advances automatically through your album, but you can use the remotes trackpad to go forward or back at your own pace.

Using Second Screen to Mirror Photos and Videos From Your Kindle

If you have a recent Kindle Fire tablet, you can use the Second Screen feature to “fling” your personal photos and videos stored on your e-reader to your Fire TV Stick. Tap Photos on the Navigation Bar to open your photo library.

Then swipe from left to right to select a category or album. Look for the Send To icon indicating that Second Screen is available to use.

Tap it, and the photo album on your Kindle will display on your HDTV.

Set up a Screen Saver

Your Fire TV Stick automatically goes into sleep mode after 30 minutes with no activity. If you want to customize its screen saver display, you can set up one of your photo albums in your Amazon Cloud account as your personal screen saver.

From the Home screen, select Photos from the Main Menu, and then select Add Photos and Videos. Choose the photo album you want to display, and then select Set as Screen Saver. You can customize the style, speed, and start time for the slideshow from the Fire TV Settings menu on the Home screen.

Select the System submenu, and then select Screen Saver. Within this section you can Preview your current screen saver, select Album to choose a different album of photos or the default Amazon Collection. Select Shuffle to show the photos in your album in a random order, select Slide Style to choose the way one photo transitions into another and select Slide Speed to set the speed with which photos change. Finally selecting Start Time allows you to determine how long your Fire TV Stick is idle for before your screen saver starts.

8. GAMES & APPS

Everything about the Fire TV declares its edge over its competitors when it comes to games. Although the device can’t beat the dedicated gaming devices like the PlayStation or Xbox for speed and variety, it’s going to be a great, inexpensive option for families who want to play some simple games, particularly those with younger children. As mentioned in the intro the Fire TV Stick isn’t quite as robust and powerful as the Fire TV box and so some of the more technically advanced and memory intensive games won’t run via the Fire Stick. Still there are lots of simpler and equally addictive games to enjoy.

A month after the release of the Fire TV, the selection had already grown to 150 game titles, with more being added every day. Many of them originate with Amazon’s in-house game development department, which is working to develop games specifically for the Fire TV box and Fire TV stick. By the time the Fire Stick was released there were over 700 games available and over 500 of them are suitable for the Fire TV Stick!

To sweeten the deal and bring as many users on board as possible, virtually all games for the Fire TV Stick are either free, or under $5.00.

To see the Fire TV games store, scroll down the Main Menu on the Home screen and select Games to browse by category or access the carousel displays. Click the artwork for the game you want to start playing it.

If your game requires a controller device and you don’t have one connected, you’ll see a warning on the purchase screen that you need it to play the game.

To uninstall a game, scroll down and select Settings on the Home screen’s Main Menu and select the Applications submenu. Scroll down or up, and select the game you want to delete. Select Uninstall and follow the prompts.

If you want to block your household’s resident gamer from buying paid upgrades to a particular game (or all of them) on your Fire TV, follow the instructions for setting up Parental Controls in Chapter 2.

Game Controller Pairing

Amazon has developed a nice, reasonably priced game controller device specifically for the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick that you can order from its online store. The controller doesn’t come bundled with the Fire TV Stick and must be ordered separately, but Amazon gives you a nice $10 bonus for ordering in the form of a 1,000 deposit of Amazon Coins in your account. (See Chapter 5 to learn about Amazon Coins.)

To pair your Amazon controller with your Fire TV Stick, install the controller’s batteries so it powers on and then hold down the Home button for 5 seconds. You will see the four status lights on the unit flashing back and forth two at a time, signaling that pairing is available.

Next, on your Fire TV Home screen, select Settings from the Main Menu and select the Bluetooth Controllers submenu. Select Add New Controller and choose Amazon Fire game controller from the list of available devices. Watch the four status lights carefully until all of them light up at once, showing that pairing succeeded. After 6 seconds they will go off completely.

You can also pair your controller with your Kindle Fire and take advantage of the larger game selection for the Kindle. If your Kindle is an HDX model, you can mirror the game to your Fire TV (see Chapter 2), greatly expanding its gaming capabilities.

Some Fire TV Stick games will also work with other, non-Amazon controllers that run on Bluetooth, and some games can be played with the Fire TV remote alone. To see the capabilities of each game, select its artwork from the Games submenu on the Main Menu. On its product page, look in the Works With box to see what kind of options you have for controlling that game on your Fire TV Stick.

GameCircle

The GameCircle function lets you share your Fire TV Stick gaming milestones in a public profile, including your game scores, times, and major victories. You and all other members of your Circle can see each others GameCircle profiles, adding a social dimension to Fire TV gaming.

You can use GameCircle to set up your profile, view other users’ profiles, and send and receive invitations to join any GameCircle.

To share data through GameCircle, the game you’re playing must be GameCircle enabled. Select a game from the Fire TV Stick’s Games submenu to open it, and then press either the Home button on your remote, or the GameCircle button on the Amazon game controller.

If you see a Welcome Back message, you’ll know GameCircle is enabled for that game.

To hide your GameCircle profile, select Settings from the Main Menu, and select the Applications submenu. Select Amazon GameCircle, and set Share Your GameCircle Nickname to Off.

Your profile will be completely hidden, and you won’t be able to participate in any circles until you reactivate it. However, your gaming data will remain stored in your account unless you delete your profile entirely.

Available Games for the Fire TV Stick

Although the selection isn’t huge as of yet, there are some amazingly sophisticated games in the Fire TV Stick line-up. Here are a few of the best-known highlights; you will download them directly through your Amazon TV but we include the links to Amazon.com here should you wish to look them up on your computer or tablet.

Quell: This gorgeously designed puzzle game features 80 levels of play, 3D graphics, and a fascinating soundtrack by composer Steven Cravis. Don’t be fooled by its New Age packaging – this game is extremely challenging and will give your gray matter a real workout.

My Singing Monsters: Build a world of seriously odd monsters and then…have them sing to you!

Sonic the Hedgehog series: Lace up your running shoes and join the world’s fastest animated hedgehog as he races through complex 3D environments and eludes his competitors and enemies while making new friends along the way.

Hill Climb Racing: One of the favorites in our house, it may look simple but it’s very addictive. Help Newton Bill drive all kinds of vehicles through physics defying 2D landscapes.

Flappy Birds Family: This game is a classic remastered exclusively for the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. Fly your birds through the obstacles, looks simple…until it isn’t!

Monsters University: It’s back to school time at Disney/Pixar studio’s dear old MU. Get acquainted with Mike, Sulley, and Squishy, and chase Archie the Scare Pig around as he squeals and tries to get away.

Badland: This atmospheric platform game is a real award winner. Enter the forest as one of its inhabitants and journey through a bewitching landscape of traps and obstacles.

9. TROUBLESHOOTING

Trouble with the Fire TV Stick is fairly rare. Most of the issues seem to occur with third-party devices and apps from outside of the Amazon system. Here we’ve tried to focus on problems you’re mostly likely to experience and offer some easy fixes.

Basic Troubleshooting

For the catch-all category of errors such as frozen screens, apps that hang, or media that won’t play, try the first step of simply resetting the Fire TV Stick. Disconnect the power cord, wait at least three seconds, and plug it back in.

If a particular app for the Fire TV Stick is giving you problems, try changing its settings. Select Settings from the Main Menu, select Applications, and select the troublesome app. There are several actions you can take from here, from clearing its data, to force stopping it, to uninstalling it entirely and then reinstalling it.

One of these fixes usually works; however, any saved information may be lost, including your winning game scores.

If you can’t connect to the Amazon store to browse or buy content, make sure you have an active Internet connection for your Fire TV Stick. From the Main Menu, select Settings, select the System submenu, and select Wi-Fi to make sure your connection is working.

Problems with purchasing or accessing content can be solved by enabling or re-enabling your 1-Click Payment settings (see Chapter 2). You should also make sure your Fire TV box is registered to the right Amazon account.

From the Main Menu, select Settings and then select My Account. If you don’t see your account, you’ll need to deregister and reregister your Fire TV Stick (see Chapter 2).

Problems Connecting to Wi-Fi

Wireless Internet signals can be troublesome from time to time. If the Settings menu on your Fire TV Stick shows you have no wireless connection, first make sure your Fire TV Stick is out in the open where the signal won’t be blocked.

Disconnect and reconnect the power cord to reset the device before you continue. Also, sometimes your wireless router or modem will spontaneously disconnect.

Try restarting them both at once by unplugging them to trigger a reset. If your other wireless devices are connecting, though, then the router or modem isn’t the problem.

Make sure you have entered the right password for your wireless network. This password isn’t the same as your Amazon account password. If you’re not sure, go to Wi-Fi in the Settings menu and re-enter it.

Your Fire TV Stick has pretty conventional requirements for a wireless connection, but if you’re not technically inclined, you might not know the specs for your wireless router.

Look on the case on the underside of your router and get name and model number; then look it up on the Internet. The Fire TV Stick requires the following router specs:

*
p<. Open, WEP, WPA/WPA2 PSK, or WPA/WPA2 EAP encrypted network

*
p<. B, G, and N routers on 2.4Ghz or A and N routers on 5Ghz

If your router doesn’t match these specs (probably because it’s too old), then you’ll have to buy and install a new one.

If You Can’t Pair Your Remote or Game Controller

The Fire TV remote’s pairing with the stick is automatic as soon as you install the batteries. The Amazon game controller has to be paired manually, but it’s a simple matter of pressing and holding the controller’s Home button for 5 seconds (see Chapter 8).

If the box is unresponsive to the remote or controller, press and hold the Home button for 5 seconds and try again within 5 minutes, before the Fire TV goes into sleep mode.

Make sure the remote or controller batteries are fresh, and that you’re within 30 feet of the Fire TV unit.

10. THE FIRE TV STICK NEXT TIME

Well some of our predictions after the launch of the first generation Fire TV have come to pass. Hundreds more games and apps have been added, but we still await HBO GO and Vudu apps for the Fire TV. You can now pair Bluetooth headphones with your Fire TV, but screen Mirroring is still limited to Fire HD tablet users.

We were promised an iOS compatible app for Apple mobiles and iPads but it has yet to materialize and in October 2015 Amazon declared that at the start of November it would stop selling the Apple TV and the Chromecast which makes us think its Fire TV is going to become even less compatible with Google and Apple products. Battlelines are being drawn and consumers are being asked to choose between platforms (or asked to buy more than one streaming box!).

Expect Amazon’s catalog of games, apps, TV shows and Films via Prime to keep growing and especially keep an eye on the develpoment of Alexa. It will be interesting to see where they go with Alexa and the Amazon Echo and how much of Alexa’s features they bring to the Fire TV.

A Final Quick Reminder About Updates

As we mentioned at the start of this book, the Amazon Fire TV and indeed all media streaming services, like Apple TV, Roku and the Chromecast, are still in their infancy. The landscape is changing all the time with new services, apps and media suppliers appearing daily.

Staying on top of new developments is our job and if you sign up to our free monthly newsletter we will keep you abreast of news, tips and tricks for all your streaming media equipment.

If you want to take advantage of this, sign up for the updates here – www.lyntons.com/updates. Don’t worry; we hate spam as much as you do so we will never share your details with anyone.


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Here it is! This is the Amazon Fire TV Stick User Manual that should have come in the box! BONUS - Sign up to our free monthly newsletter and never miss news, views, tips and tricks of your favorite streaming media devices, including the Amazon Fire TV Stick. From the Number 1 Best Selling authors in Computers and Technology, this clear and concise guide will show you how to get the very best from your new Amazon Fire TV Streaming Stick Media Player. Step by step instructions will take you from newbie to expert in just one hour! About the Authors: Tom and Jenna Edwards are the Amazon Tech authors behind the Number 1 Best-selling e-books 250+ Best Kindle Fire HD Apps for the New Kindle Fire Owner and Kindle Fire HDX User Guide: Newbie to Expert in 2 Hours!

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All-New Amazon Fire TV Stick User Guide - Newbie to Expert in 1 Hour! All-New Amazon Fire TV Stick User Guide - Newbie to Expert in 1 Hour!