Streaming Cutting the Cord 85 85 people found this article helpful Amazon Fire TV: What You Need to Know Use Amazon’s Fire TV to stream media to your HDTV by Joli Ballew Writer Joli Ballew is a former freelance contributor to Lifewire and Microsoft MVP, Lynda.com trainer, Microsoft Press author, and college professor. our editorial process Joli Ballew Updated on June 24, 2019 Cutting the Cord Cut The Cord Tweet Share Email Fire TV is a series of devices from Amazon that physically connect to your television and uses your home network to stream digital audio and video from media providers, such as HBO and Netflix, directly to you. Setting Up and Using Fire TV Devices Amazon sells two different devices under the Fire name: Fire Stick and Fire TV. The Fire Stick is a small device that plugs into your TV and sticks out of your TV's HDMI port. The Fire TV is a small box that plugs into an HDMI port on your TV; it also tends to hang off the back of your TV. Once the devices are attached to your TV, you navigate to the show or movie content you’d like to view using the Amazon Fire user interface. Once selected, the device accesses your chosen content over the internet and plays it on your TV. Some Amazon Fire content is available at no cost, and apps are available that allow you to access premium content on YouTube Red; subscription cable channels like Showtime, Starz, and HBO; and cable alternatives such as Hulu, Sling TV, Netflix, and Vudu on Amazon Fire TV, among others. Most premium content channels like HBO, Showtime, and Netflix require you to have a subscription to that service; however, in many cases, these subscriptions can be set up on the spot through the Amazon device. Your subscription fee for each is billed through your Amazon account. Amazon Fire devices can also be used to play games, view your personal photos, and access other media saved on your local network devices. You can even browse Facebook. Amazon Prime content that is available to subscribers is also accessible through Amazon Fire TV, if you are a subscriber to Amazon Prime, that is. In some models, you can use the Fire TV remote to locate content using voice commands with Alexa or an Echo device. Amazon’s Fire TV devices and Amazon Fire Sticks are often called, generically, firesticks. You may also see them referred to as, among other terms, the Amazon Prime stick, Amazon TV box, and the streaming media stick. Amazon Fire TV With 4K Ultra HD The Fire TV model released in October 2017 includes the following major changes and improvements over previous versions: Enhanced 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) supportHDR (high dynamic range) image support (for clearer pictures)Additional TV channels and appsMore movies, games, and other contentSmaller form factorImproved Bluetooth functionality and Wi-Fi supportImproved support for Alexa and Echo devices to find, launch, and control content with your voice The newest Fire TV also offers the same features from past generations of devices, including screen mirroring and content sharing, as well as support for physical HD antennas, among others that long-time users already know. Fire TV Stick The Fire TV Stick comes in different versions. Earlier versions offer a very basic remote control; later versions offer remote controls with volume, mute, and power buttons. All look like a USB stick or flash drive and connect to your TV’s HDMI port. The Fire TV Stick offers these features, which have been improved in newer generations: Up to 1080p HD resolution at 60 fpsVoice-controlled remote, and Alexa and Echo device supportScreen mirroringContent sharingAccess to thousands of apps, media providers, games, etc. The 15 Best Amazon Fire Stick Apps Make sure to keep your Fire Stick updated with the latest software. Previous Versions of Fire TV The older generation of Fire TV is physically larger than newer models. It is now officially called Fire TV (Previous Version) but is also referred to as the Fire TV Box or Fire TV Player, because the device looks more like a cable box than it does a USB stick. Fire TV (Previous Version) isn’t available from Amazon anymore, but you might have one at home or be able to find one from a third-party seller. There was a Fire TV device prior to Fire TV (previous version) that was also a box-type device. It offered features similar to those listed here.