We talked about the new Amazon Fire TV (Read: What is Amazon Fire TV) last week. Amazon sprung this one on us, and I have to say – I am super excited to share with you about this device. It is capital S-W-E-E-T. If you are a fan of Google Chromecast or Apple TV – the Amazon Fire TV will blow you away.
We have both a Samsung and LG smart TV that we are able to do a lot on. Our TV in the playroom is an older flat screen with nothing smart about it – until now. We will be using the Amazon Fire TV upstairs, I’ll explain later why.
On Demand Content
So I had the Amazon Fire TV overnighted to us (thank you PRIME), as well as another HDMI cable and the Amazon Fire TV game controller. I wanted to test everything out to see what this new device really could do and if it is worth recommending. We have an Amazon Fire HD that just recently died after a few years of use. I was impressed with it, I had no idea what type of quality an Amazon product would be. I enjoyed how everything Amazon was tied into the device, and am happy to see the Fire TV the same way… your account is tied into it.
Installing the Fire TV took, oh maybe 2 minutes. I installed the battery into the device, game controller and bluetooth remote control. The most difficult part was moving the TV on the wall far enough away from the wall to put in the HDMI cable. Once all that was done, I changed the source on the TV and shazam, I had Fire TV!
Updating the system took around 5 or so minutes, it auto-updates whenever needed.
The interface is a thing of beauty. It’s super easy to navigate without having to think. The colors are wonderfully chosen, as well as the design – it all just makes sense.
Your Amazon Fire TV will come with your account already setup on it (similar to that of the Amazon Kindle).
Gaming on the device is done thru the Fire game controller. It’s $39.99 to purchase, and after seeing how many times my toddler threw it across the room this weekend – I can see us purchasing another in the future.
We purchased Minecraft Pocket edition, and played Badlands – an iPad favorite of the kids. Currently there are around a dozen or so games available to FireTV, but more are coming soon.
When I asked my son, the 8 year old gamer what he thought of the games, he said he loved playing them on the big screen with a remote more than on an iPad. SO I guess that would be a win!
Searching is super easy and intuitive. We tried out the voice command feature on the bluetooth remote control and it worked great. My husband programs IVR systems (voice recognition), so he is always testing features as such out to the fullest extent.
Amazon Fire TV vs Google Chromecast vs Apple TV
I really like the Chromecast and Apple TV feature where I can “cast” my computer screen to the TV. Amazon Fire TV doesn’t currently offer FLICKR as an app either. These 2 features are the ONLY features I can say that I miss. The easy, clean designed interface puts Amazon Fire TV as my favorite set-top device to date.
Just this morning, our 4-year-old surfed thru Fire TV, found the show he wanted to watch and then asked me to push our code in so he could watch. In the few short days that we have had the device, it’s been used regularly and I know once we put it in the game room (currently in the family room), the kids will make it part of their regular TV watching process.