Whats the big deal about the Amazon Fire Stick

JohnnyTheFox

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Will be looking later in the year for some cord cutting options and am curious about the Firestick. It turns a regular TV into a Smart TV or something along those lines i presume? If someone already has a Smart TV, how is this advantageous?
 

DanteEXT

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If you have access to all the apps you need on a Smart TV, then it can be redundant. I've had a Smart TV in the past and continued to use my Roku as I preferred the interface. That might be one reason one would use a dedicated streaming device over their TV. Another reason for the Fire Stick (and honestly, it's the only reason I have ever known anyone other than myself to have one) is to load Kodi onto it.
 

BrAinPaiNt

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There are two advantages to using a fire stick,

Some smart TVs may not update the apps after a certain amount of time, My last tv had a number of the apps and after some time it did not update the apps. I remember that the youtube app on the tv quit working,
Now this was a few years ago and I have since replaced the tv so I do not know if newer TVs will do the same or not.

With Roku and Firestick the apps are generally updated from the app maker and they do so for both platforms.

I started using Roku and really enjoyed the interface it has.

However I think Firestick has a couple advantages over the Roku system. With Roku I could not load my VPN. With Firestick I can. I use surfshark VPN but I think you can use others on Firestick,
With a VPN, you can change where apps believe you are located. So for instance with Netflix you can set your VPN so it shows you are in London. In doing so you will get some different content on netflix that is not being shown in the US.

The other advantage to the firestick is you can download third party apps that let you watch pretty much any tv show or movie for free. This is the other good reason someone may want a VPN, because you are basically streaming content that you are not paying for even though you should be....in other words pirated content. this includes pretty much any content from HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Paramount and even includes some movies that are still in the theaters. Again this is pirated material.

I do not think you can have the VPN on smart TVs nor the other third party apps that allow you to watch the paid content for free.

One other thing I forgot. I don;t think the option is available on Roku and I am not sure about most smart TVs but I have not seen it....You can use an internet browser on firestick. So you could actually load up the cowboyszone on your tv if you wish but using the remote for the mouse and keyboard function is a pain, but it can be done.

What ever platform you decide, if you need some advice for some apps, ask on the forum.
There are some good paid apps but there are also some decent free ones like Tubi and Freevee

I cut the cord a couple years back. Got where the the wife and I were watching more Youtube and other app related content and did not watch regular cable much so it was a natural thing just to cut the cord,

I currently pay for add free Youtube as we watch a good deal of youtube. I pay for HBOMAX and I will switch between ParamountPlus and Peacock for my paid services. The last two are cheaper but the content is not as good so I will pay for one for a month or so and then drop it and get the other and so on. That way newer content is loaded.
 
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DanteEXT

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There are two advantages to using a fire stick,

Some smart TVs may not update the apps after a certain amount of time, My last tv had a number of the apps and after some time it did not update the apps. I remember that the youtube app on the tv quit working,
Now this was a few years ago and I have since replaced the tv so I do not know if newer TVs will do the same or not.

With Roku and Firestick the apps are generally updated from the app maker and they do so for both platforms.

I started using Roku and really enjoyed the interface it has.

However I think Firestick has a couple advantages over the Roku system. With Roku I could not load my VPN. With Firestick I can. I use surfshark VPN but I think you can use others on Firestick,
With a VPN, you can change where apps believe you are located. So for instance with Netflix you can set your VPN so it shows you are in London. In doing so you will get some different content on netflix that is not being shown in the US.

The other advantage to the firestick is you can download third party apps that let you watch pretty much any tv show or movie for free. This is the other good reason someone may want a VPN, because you are basically streaming content that you are not paying for even though you should be....in other words pirated content. this includes pretty much any content from HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Paramount and even includes some movies that are still in the theaters. Again this is pirated material.

I do not think you can have the VPN on smart TVs nor the other third party apps that allow you to watch the paid content for free.

One other thing I forgot. I don;t think the option is available on Roku and I am not sure about most smart TVs but I have not seen it....You can use an internet browser on firestick. So you could actually load up the cowboyszone on your tv if you wish but using the remote for the mouse and keyboard function is a pain, but it can be done.

What ever platform you decide, if you need some advice for some apps, ask on the forum.
There are some good paid apps but there are also some decent free ones like Tubi and Freevee

I cut the cord a couple years back. Got where the the wife and I were watching more Youtube and other app related content and did not watch regular cable much so it was a natural thing just to cut the cord,

I currently pay for add free Youtube as we watch a good deal of youtube. I pay for HBOMAX and I will switch between ParamountPlus and Peacock for my paid services. The last two are cheaper but the content is not as good so I will pay for one for a month or so and then drop it and get the other and so on. That way newer content is loaded.
I did not know about the VPN part for Fire Stick. Now I know of two reasons, that and Kodi. Thanks for the info!
 

BrAinPaiNt

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I did not know about the VPN part for Fire Stick. Now I know of two reasons, that and Kodi. Thanks for the info!
No Problem.
I wish Roku would allow VPNs and the other few things.
I like the roku interface a little better than firesticks.
Firestick annoys me if you have a number of apps you want to use as they have one
main line where you see the apps you most use but for the others you have to navigate to another drop down section.
 

BrAinPaiNt

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I did not know about the VPN part for Fire Stick. Now I know of two reasons, that and Kodi. Thanks for the info!
Not sure you know this or not. You can add channels to Roku that are not listed on the Roku app.

You can search how to add hidden channels to Roku for instructions and you can search hidden channels for Roku for a list of some channel codes.

To be honest, I have yet to find any that really interested me. However if you like old movies and tv shows there are some decent ones. Also some other ones that show some content from other countries, gaming stuff, anime and various topics.
 

Kellsbells

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We have one tv that isn't a smart tv, and use the Fire Stick in that. We also bring it on vacation with us so we can watch Netflix on the tv in the hotel room. We also like to play the JackBox games on it as a family. The only issue is that sometimes we fill it up and have to remove some apps in order to add a new one.
 

DallasEast

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However I think Firestick has a couple advantages over the Roku system. With Roku I could not load my VPN. With Firestick I can. I use surfshark VPN but I think you can use others on Firestick,
With a VPN, you can change where apps believe you are located. So for instance with Netflix you can set your VPN so it shows you are in London. In doing so you will get some different content on netflix that is not being shown in the US.
I use IPVanish. VPNs are definitely a must investment along with the firestick.
 

Kellsbells

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Is there any reason for a VPN if you're not using something like Kodi? I tried to figure out Kodi, but it seemed very confusing to me, and from things I was reading it required constantly updating because it would just stop working. Seemed like too much work and trouble for me. There's too much content for me already, without needing to access the stuff currently in theaters.
 

DallasEast

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Is there any reason for a VPN if you're not using something like Kodi? I tried to figure out Kodi, but it seemed very confusing to me, and from things I was reading it required constantly updating because it would just stop working. Seemed like too much work and trouble for me. There's too much content for me already, without needing to access the stuff currently in theaters.
In my opinion, a user does not require a VPN if, they are subscribing to every streaming provider having the shows and movies they want to see, and restrict their viewing choices to domestic programming only. Plus, ditch Kodi. It is a really cranky interface needing too much update maintenance. I would suggest trying out Cinema HD instead. You will need a VPN if you use something like KODI or Cinema HD though.
 

Jammer

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We have one tv that isn't a smart tv, and use the Fire Stick in that. We also bring it on vacation with us so we can watch Netflix on the tv in the hotel room. We also like to play the JackBox games on it as a family. The only issue is that sometimes we fill it up and have to remove some apps in order to add a new one.
That's a great idea about bringing Firestick on travel. I've got a couple of older Firesticks I could use for that.
 

Kellsbells

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In my opinion, a user does not require a VPN if, they are subscribing to every streaming provider having the shows and movies they want to see, and restrict their viewing choices to domestic programming only. Plus, ditch Kodi. It is a really cranky interface needing too much update maintenance. I would suggest trying out Cinema HD instead. You will need a VPN if you use something like KODI or Cinema HD though.
Thanks, I'll check out Cinema HD.
 

BrAinPaiNt

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Is there any reason for a VPN if you're not using something like Kodi? I tried to figure out Kodi, but it seemed very confusing to me, and from things I was reading it required constantly updating because it would just stop working. Seemed like too much work and trouble for me. There's too much content for me already, without needing to access the stuff currently in theaters.
You can use it to access more of your Netflix, since you mentioned Stranger things.

Netflix will have some shows and movies in different countries that are not shown in other countries.

For instance if you were to go on vacation to somewhere like London and you have your firestick...if you access the netflix to watch shows you might find that some of those do not show up for you as they are not offered overseas. With a VPN you could fix it show it shows you are in the US in order to watch that show.

But if that does not interest you it is no biggie.
 

Dunks3001

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underrated part I don't see mentioned much about the Firestick is the remote. Remote is very tactile and clicky. Roku's and Google's remote buttons are too soft for my liking
 

BrAinPaiNt

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underrated part I don't see mentioned much about the Firestick is the remote. Remote is very tactile and clicky. Roku's and Google's remote buttons are too soft for my liking
Really? I actually like the roku remote better. But to each their own.

I also tend to use both remote APPS on my phone for Roku or Firestick,
 

Kellsbells

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Really? I actually like the roku remote better. But to each their own.

I also tend to use both remote APPS on my phone for Roku or Firestick,
I’m always using the phone app for the Fire Stick, because the remote is so small and constantly lost in the couch cushions.
 

triplets_93

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Will be looking later in the year for some cord cutting options and am curious about the Firestick. It turns a regular TV into a Smart TV or something along those lines i presume? If someone already has a Smart TV, how is this advantageous?
I cut the cord back in 2016.
I've been using Roku since 2012. I like the Roku interface, and the Roku remote. It's little things like that, that separate Roku from Firestick and the Apple box.

In 2018, I upgraded to an LG 4K Smart TV. There is some overlap, with Roku, in that the Smart TV allows you to download apps, for things like YouTube, Pluto TV, and other streaming platforms, that are also available through Roku.

But as I stated before, I really like the Roku remote design and functionality for navigation. So, I use my Roku mainly for YouTube (the Free YouTube -- I do not subscribe to YouTube TV service...)

I watch a LOT on YouTube. Music, Documentaries, Current News and Live Breaking News, etc. And YouTube streams in 4K as well.

I have a Roku TV in my office. It integrates the OTA (Over-the Air) channels with the streaming channels I have selected from Pluto TV and other portals.
By integration, I mean that when I go to the Channel Guide, I see what's playing now, for all of those channels, OTA AND streaming channels, in one place.

An important link in all of this is a wi-fi router that can deliver high speeds. I upgraded to a 5G router last year. It has made a real difference when I'm streaming 4K HDR movies from VUDU or Movies Anywhere. My current $K Roku works with 5G (NOT to be confused with 5G cell phones---that's a different thing...).
 

BrAinPaiNt

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I cut the cord back in 2016.
I've been using Roku since 2012. I like the Roku interface, and the Roku remote. It's little things like that, that separate Roku from Firestick and the Apple box.

In 2018, I upgraded to an LG 4K Smart TV. There is some overlap, with Roku, in that the Smart TV allows you to download apps, for things like YouTube, Pluto TV, and other streaming platforms, that are also available through Roku.

But as I stated before, I really like the Roku remote design and functionality for navigation. So, I use my Roku mainly for YouTube (the Free YouTube -- I do not subscribe to YouTube TV service...)

I watch a LOT on YouTube. Music, Documentaries, Current News and Live Breaking News, etc. And YouTube streams in 4K as well.

I have a Roku TV in my office. It integrates the OTA (Over-the Air) channels with the streaming channels I have selected from Pluto TV and other portals.
By integration, I mean that when I go to the Channel Guide, I see what's playing now, for all of those channels, OTA AND streaming channels, in one place.

An important link in all of this is a wi-fi router that can deliver high speeds. I upgraded to a 5G router last year. It has made a real difference when I'm streaming 4K HDR movies from VUDU or Movies Anywhere. My current $K Roku works with 5G (NOT to be confused with 5G cell phones---that's a different thing...).
Good review and that is why overall I prefer Roku but still use firestick just for the vpn and apps not supported on Roku.

Also there is a difference between ad free Youtube and Youtube TV.
I say this for those that may not know and get confused when they see the cost of Youtube TV.

Add free Youtube aka Youtube Premium. Is a subscritpiton service you can pay for with youtube that removes the ads from the youtube videos and also gives you some perks with google music where you can download music.
At one time Youtube premium also was starting to show original content shows but they seem to have quit that. Cobra kai was actually the big show they started with before dropping it and Netflix picking it up.
The premium plan is between $12 and $23 a month and I think it is cheaper if you have a student discount,

YouTube TV is basically an online cable option where they have channels like AMC and so on. It is a good deal more for that service. However it does have some perks like having a virtual DVR.


Also since you mentioned pluto tv and having that list of channels you can incorporate through the roku...here are other free apps with channels like that you can add that will add to the number of channels in the listing on the roku.

A number of those free channel apps and channels on the roku list are throw away channels but I like in the Roku setting you can set it up so you have favorite channels or even go so far as setting it up so only the channels you want show up on the list so you don't have to scroll through all of the ones you do not like.


I wish firestick has a better layout and options like Roku. Also as someone mentioned the firestick has a very small amount of storage on it so you are basically limited to how many apps you can have on it and sometimes also have to go through and clear the cache on individual apps to create more room on it. I do not have to worry about that issue with the roku.
 
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