Amazon Fire TV Stick Review: Is It Worth It?

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My Amazon Fire TV Stick review covers my experience with the device. If you want to cut the cord, the Amazon Fire Stick can save you big money.

Cord-cutting changed the TV landscape over a decade ago. No longer do you need to rely on cable to watch your favorite shows. Companies like Netflix or Hulu let you stream content to your computer or TV and save significant money each month.

What if your TV doesn’t have Wi-Fi? To stream content you need a streaming stick like the Amazon Fire TV Stick or Roku. In this review we’ll discuss the dongle from Amazon.

What is the Amazon Fire TV Stick?


The Amazon Fire Stick is a plug and play dongle device that lets you to stream shows on your TV. Through its intuitive remote, the Fire TV Stick lets you access Amazon’s media store. There you can find TV shows, music, movies, and games.

The device is a small dongle about the size of a HDMI stick. When you plug the device into your TV you can stream content in 1080p HD quality. The streaming stick works very similar to the Amazon Fire TV (you can read our review of that here), but it’s not a set top device.

When you buy the stick you also receive the Alexa Voice Remote. For an affordable, one-time cost, you can immediately start streaming most of the top services in the market.

How it Works


The Amazon Fire Stick plugs directly into the HDMI port of your smart TV. After you install it you can stream content from Amazon, or any other compatible service like Sling TV or Hulu Live.

The streaming stick is portable. You can use it with multiple TVs in your home, or you can take it with you on vacation.

What Comes With the Fire Stick?


The streaming stick isn’t a big device, but it does come with several things that help you get up and running with the device. As you can see from the picture, it comes in a small box from Amazon and contains the following items:

  • Fire TV Stick
  • Voice-activated remote
  • USB Cable
  • Power Adapter
  • HDMI Cable
  • Batteries
  • Quick start guide

Amazon Fire TV Stick                   Amazon Fire TV Stick

It takes maybe five minutes to unpack the box, plug it into your TV, and set it up. Amazon provides a short video that helps walk you through setting up the device. The video is more than sufficient to assist you, even if you’re a technical novice.

Once connected, you can start watching a show or movie.

The image below shows how to start using the Fire TV Stick.

Amazon Fire TV stick

As you can see, it’s simple to connect and start using.

Features of the Streaming Stick


Portability is a significant factor today. Watching our favorite television shows and movies is no different. The Fire TV Stick makes that simple. Think of the device as a plug and play dongle.

You plug it into any compatible TV or device and you can immediately start watching the same content you watch at home.

You don’t need a Prime membership to use the Amazon Fire Stick. However, if you do have a Prime account you can access your account content on your TV.

You also receive access to all Amazon Originals as a Prime member. You can sign up here for a free 30-day trial to Amazon Prime to see if the service is for you.

Try Prime


The Fire TV Stick is modestly sized with an HDMI connection and Amazon logo. Thanks to Bluetooth you don’t need to directly aim the remote at the device for it to respond.

The Amazon Fire Stick has the following additional features:

  • 1 GB of memory
  • 8 GB of internal storage
  • Optional voice support through Alexa devices
  • Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi
  • Dedicated VideoCore4 GPU
  • Dongle that connects to your HDMI TV via USB port
  • Bluetooth remote
  • Easy to navigate interface
  • Requires WiFi to operate
  • Streaming stick includes an app that turns your smartphone into a remote, including voice search capability
  • The ability to cast a video from mobile device apps (such as Netflix, Hulu, etc.) to your TV
  • The ability to send music to your Bluetooth headphones

The Amazon Prime app is the only app that is loaded on the Fire Stick, but it’s convenient to add others. You can add other apps through the App store, including Netflix and Hulu.

Amazon Fire Stick Channels List


If you want to cut the cord on cable, replacing your favorite channels is significant. The Amazon Fire Stick channels list does not disappoint.

channel 1channel 2channel 3
NetflixCrackleHBO Max
Watch ESPNWatch HGTVCBS AllAccess
Watch Food NetworkBBC NewsHulu Live
Disney JuniorMLB TV PremiumShowtime
iHeart RadioSpotifyHistory Channel
NBA Game TimePBS KidsBloomberg TV
Huff Post LiveAmazon Prime videos


It’s important to note that HBO Max does cost $15 per month, though they do offer a free 30-day trial. Amazon also offers Showtime and Starz as other add-on features for $8.99 per month if you like those channels.

If you want to know more about the Amazon Fire Stick channels list, or have a question about it, contact Amazon support at 888-280-4331 or via live chat in your Amazon account.

The Fire Stick will not replace all your content needs, but it does go a long way. The best option for a cable-like experience is to choose one of the best alternatives to cable TV – all of which you can connect to with the Fire TV Stick.

Pros and Cons


For the price, it’s tough to beat the Amazon Fire Stick. However, no device is perfect. Here are some things to consider.

✅ Cost❌ One click ordering.
✅ Easy to install and use❌ Alexa is under-utilized.
✅ Fast platform❌ Voice remote doesn't allow skipping episodes or skipping backwards.
✅ Lots of content

✅ Responsive remote that runs on bluetooth technology. Easy to use even when not lined up with the TV.

✅ Great wireless coverage. Router does not need to be near the TV for Fire Stick to work great.
✅ X-ray feature lets you easily find more information about your favorite shows and actors.
✅ 8 GB of storage


If you want an affordable way to cut the cord on cable and stream content, the Fire TV Stick is well worth the value.

My Amazon Fire TV Stick review covers my experience with the device. If you want to cut the cord, the Amazon Fire Stick can save you big money.

Fire TV Stick FAQs


Here are some commonly asked questions about the Amazon Fire Stick.

What internet speed do I need to use the Fire TV Stick?

Per Amazon, you need a speed of at least 3 Megabits per second for SD content. If you want HD content, you need at least 5 Mbps.

Do I need a Fire Stick to access streaming platforms?

That depends on your TV. Some smart televisions let you access Sling TV, Hulu, and others directly from their platform. Others require a dongle like the Fire Stick.

Check with the manufacturer of your TV to see what’s needed.

Do I need multiple streaming sticks?

That depends on the needs of your family. It is plug and play so you can get by with one. We have two, one for each TV we own. Plus, this lets us take one with us with when we travel.

Does the Fire TV Stick offer closed captions?

Yes, the Fire Stick provides closed captioning.

Can I watch YouTube on the device?

Google and Amazon had a spat in late 2017, and Google threatened to remove YouTube viewing capabilities. Thankfully, the spat was short-lived.

Here’s what you need to do to watch YouTube on the Fire TV Stick:

  • Click the search box in the Fire TV Stick platform and type “Firefox”
  • Select Firefox for Fire TV
  • Click “Get”

This downloads the Firefox browser, which allows you to watch YouTube all you wish.

How many devices can I stream on Amazon simultaneously?

You can have as many Fire TV Sticks as you wish, but Amazon only allows you to stream content simultaneously on two devices.

Can I watch all cable channels, or pay-per-view events?

The short answer is no. There are services available that let you jailbreak a Fire TV Stick and receive unlimited content. Many argue that is stealing content, and it’s not something we’ve attempted to do personally.

Can I access everything on the Amazon Fire Stick channels list?

Yes, each dongle comes with access to all of the same Fire TV Stick channels. a handful may be pay options (like HBO Max), but many of the others are free to use.

Is there a monthly fee?

No, there is no monthly fee for the Fire TV Stick. You pay a one-time charge to buy the dongle and nothing else.

Can you watch normal TV on the device?

Yes, you can watch normal TV with the Fire Stick. You can either access channels through a variety of streaming providers, or watch content directly from one of the loaded apps.

Can you get local channels with an Amazon Fire Stick?

No, unfortunately you’re unable to access local channels on the device. We use the Mohu Leaf, but there are many other good antennas on the market you can buy for an affordable one-time cost.

Here’s a list of the best digital antennas on Amazon – all let you access local channels.

Can you buy the Fire TV Stick at Walmart?

Unfortunately, you can’t buy the Fire Stick at Walmart. They do sell Roku devices, but that’s it.

Where can I buy a streaming stick near me?

If you want to know ‘where can I buy a Fire Stick near me?’ and frustrated that Walmart is not an option, don’t fret. You can buy the device at various retail stores, including:

  • Best Buy
  • Fred Meyer
  • Fry’s
  • Gamestop
  • Meijer
  • Nebraska Furniture Mart
  • Shopko
  • Staples
  • Target

Of course, you can also buy the device directly on Amazon if you wish.

What are the best apps for shows and movies on Amazon?

You can customize your Fire Stick by adding apps to watch content. You don’t truly need many of them as the dongle is already robust.

There are many available Fire Stick apps for shows and movies, just make sure not to stream copyrighted content as it could cause you legal problems.

Can you record shows on the device?

The Fire Stick does not have a DVR to record content. To record shows, you will need the Fire TV Recast and that works with the Fire TV or Echo Show to record shows.

Keep in mind, this only records over-the-air shows from major networks, and not shows on a streaming provider. You can read our Fire TV Recast review to learn how the DVR works.



There is a lot to like about the Fire TV Stick. It’s compact, and easy to use. Even if you’re a novice to technology it’s simple to install and start using within minutes.

The amount of original content on Amazon does lack when compared to Netflix or Hulu. If you’re purchasing the device solely for originals you may be disappointed regardless of Amazon’s growth in the original content space.

If original content is not that important and you simply want a device that’s compatible with most of the popular services, you’re hard pressed to find a better product. Cable is expensive, but the dongle and many other services can help you save tons of money without giving up what you want to watch.


Do you still have cable? What cord cutting options have you tried and come to like? How much do you spend for your cable or other cord cutting options per month?


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John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.

Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.

Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.


  • Bryan says:

    Con: They do tend to be a bit more sluggish than their regular FireTV, but that isn’t to much of an issue. You get used to it

    New Pro: I like that the latest update allows an easier time connecting to hotel WiFi platforms that require you to go to a special web page. This makes them great for when you go on vacation!

    • John Schmoll says:

      Good to know Bryan. We’ve not had much issue with sluggishness, but interesting to know the set top box is a bit faster.

      I know, I really like they added that as well. We don’t watch much TV on vacation – but a great option to have.

      • Johnnie Jones says:

        Hi. It says it supports YouTube but does it supports YouTube TV, two different apps. And if it doesn’t does it allow you to put apps on it that you want?

        • John Schmoll says:

          Good question. I’m not certain to be honest. Since Youtube TV is its own streaming service I’d imagine not but I’ve not tried it.

          • Melissa says:

            If I have a smart tv that lists all the extra apps, Netflix, hulu, live TV, etc…what is the purpose of the fire stick at that point? wouldn’t I just need to have an account setup for Netflix, Hulu, etc?

            • John Schmoll says:

              In that case it’s just the app the particular TV manufacturer has made for them. You have no portability with it, not to mention you may not like the interface of the given app – with the Fire Stick you’re accessing the direct platform plus portability.

          • Mike Winkle says:

            Can you get the BYU channel?

            • John Schmoll says:

              The Fire TV Stick does not offer the BYU channel. Looking at the streaming providers, it seems as if it’s only available on major cable providers.

        • Edward H says:

          I watch “YouTube” on my Fire Stick almost daily. You just have to search the subjects like on the computer (music, diy’s, or watching some fool fall thru the ice). If it’s on “YouTube” you can see it on the Fire Stick.

      • Krista says:

        hi John
        is there a way to organize English Soccer with the fire stick (premier league, european leagues etc)

  • Fervent Finance says:

    I’ve had AppleTV for quite some time now which I enjoy. If I didn’t this definitely seems like great replacement, for a cheap price. Who needs cable anymore anyways?

    • John Schmoll says:

      I’ve heard relatively good things about the Apple TV. I believe they just added the HBO app, which is great to see.

    • Phil Davis says:

      No CNN…No CNBC…No MSNBC…no Turner Classic moves and much more is NOT included.

      • Phil says:

        update….8.15.2017…was working fine last night, then I thought I would connect it to the HD tv in the Kitchen……will no longer give me a start screen…reboots over and over and over …this product lasts about six months…then you throw it out.

        • John Schmoll says:

          Sorry to hear that Phil. We’ve had our Fire Stick for going on two years now and have never had an issue with them. Hopefully it was just a bad unit.

          • Pat says:

            My husband made a mistake when he bought the firestick – he bought 3 – now we have them hooked up to 3 TV’s and are allowed to access everything with Amazon Prime using the same email and password – we have had this set up for about 4 yrs – no problem with the firesticks but occasionally with our internet that we get through Spectrum…. hardly ever watch anything else even though we still have cable….

            • John Schmoll says:

              Hmm, I’d think that is an issue with the ISP and not the Fire Stick. We have two Fire Sticks and haven’t had issues with our Internet – only when we’re trying to view content from too many devices and then Amazon will boot us.

          • Mimi says:

            Mine just quit working AFTER two years. Seems impossible to replace it without Alexa. Do you know if Alexa can be disabled on the new fire sticks? Don’t want her in my house!

            • John Schmoll says:

              That’s a good question Mimi, I’m not certain unfortunately. You don’t need to have Alexa for the Fire TV Stick to work so you might just be fine ordering another one.

            • Trevor says:

              To use the voice remote you have to press a microphone button on the remote – so it’s not listening the whole time like Alexa.

        • Ginni says:

          This works great with all of our HDTVs and our Smart TVs. You must have gotten a bad unit. I am sorry to hear that you had such a problem with yours.

        • Kirk says:

          That can happen if you plug it into a hot port.Just like the old video game cartridges. HDMI ports have power on them and you can blow the stick, tv port or both plugging things into them with the tv power on.
          You may get away with it a few times but eventually something will fry.

      • Phyllis says:

        Is it possible to get UFC fights?

      • Amy says:

        Oh no, I need by TCM and NatGeo…. this is definitely something to consider if I can live without.

      • Maria Lewis says:

        Hey Phil and John!
        I am a “roommate” now and don’t want to add a cable box bill to my utilities and have been researching the fire stick purchase, however, I cannot be without CNN and MSNBC. As Phil stated. In researching You Tube TV and/or Sling TV they both add a $40/month cost so what’s the point of the fire stick then?

        • John Schmoll says:

          The Fire Stick gets you access to a variety of apps. It’s also portable so if you travel you can take it with you to access a variety of apps, Netflix, etc. You might also want to look at DirecTV Now or Hulu Live for those channels.

      • sunny mitchell says:

        I Want to watch YTUBE & CNN. Does ANY streaming service provide these two channels or will I be forced to attach the cord again?

  • Kim@Eyesonthedollar says:

    I like the portability aspect. Not that we go on trips to watch TV, but it is sometimes nice to watch a movie in a hotel room without paying $17.99 though the hotel medium. Vacations are often the only time I get to watch an entire movie in one setting!

    • John Schmoll says:

      I like portability aspect as well. We really don’t see many movies, but like to on vacation so that’s a nice feature to have.

  • Kayla @ Femme Frugality says:

    Right now I have a “smart” Blu-ray player in my living room and one in my bedroom too that I use to stream Netflix on those two TVs and that is what I mainly use. Unfortunately, I can’t use them to access Hulu, which I also subscribe to. I like that this option is able to be used with lots of different streaming options. That’s great! I usually have to use my laptop to watch the shows I want on Hulu.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sounds like you have a good setup going on for you Kayla!

      • Keith B. Soifer says:

        Would like to break from the Big “C”, but must have TCM n Tennis Channel. Can a stick work, Amazon, Roku, or otherwise? Will gladly pay additional for TCM n Tennis Channel. Tx, Keith

        • John Schmoll says:


          Unfortunately, neither will work to get either of those channels. You’d want to take a look at either DirecTV Now or Sling TV to get those channels to cut the cord and save money.

          • Noah Petty says:

            I saw on the chart you provided above that Sling TV was included in the Fire Stick, could I access TCM through Sling once we have the Fire Stick, and if so would we have to pay anything additional like the Amazon Prime?

            • John Schmoll says:

              If it’s a channel offered by Sling then, yes, you would be able to access it and no Amazon Prime would be required.

        • Elaine Marks says:

          Set TV, check it on YouTube, gets almost every channel compared to full blown cable (Spectrum). I’m checking into it, tired of paying high prices with Spectrum

          • Bernadette Dixon says:

            What is Set TV, because I too, like you are tired of paying Spectrum high prices.

            • Susan Sparkman says:

              I’m thinking about getting a Fire Stick. I’m really confused on how it works, what all do you get, what is Jail Break, what all is needed, does it work on all TV’s, cost. The list goes on. I need HELP!!! Is there a number I can call, to talk to someone all these questions am having. I have Spectrum now, but it has gotten so expensive I can’t afford it any longer. It jumped from 120.00 to 180.00 dollars. That is outrageous. Head spinning trying to figure out want to do.

            • John Schmoll says:

              Hi Susan, sorry for the confusion – it’s really not that difficult, nor do you do need to be very technically inclined to use the Fire Stick or most other streaming options. The Jail Broken version essentially means you’re stealing content, which is why I don’t really speak about it here in the post. That said, sorry to hear your cable bill has gone up so much. You can check out this post as I explain in-depth what to do to cut the cord and give some of the top streaming options available.

  • Kalie says:

    We don’t have cable, and found that a less than $5 HDMI cable connecting our laptop to the computer does the job of a fire stick. It is slightly less convenient because it is a cord, but can be left plugged into the TV like the fire stick.

    • John Schmoll says:

      We’ve done that as well Kalie, especially for shows we miss for some reason and want to watch straight from the given channel’s website. The only problem we’re finding is some are starting to not allow it for free.

  • Donna says:

    I have no problem cutting the cord to cable tv however I also get my internet access through my cable company Time Warner package “deal”. My problem is maintaining good internet access after the cord is cut. Internet is my go for everything for selling stuff on Craig’s List and how too video’s to learn new thing’s for making extra cash. I have learned so much on the internet. I refuse to use Verizon as my ISP but need access somehow. Anyone have any ideas about that?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Great question Donna! You’d want to talk with Time Warner to see how that would impact your pricing for internet service. They’re not dependent on each other, you can have service without the cable, though it’s likely it’ll jack up what you’re paying for the internet service. It’s worth a call at the very least.

      • Kelly P says:

        Just cancelled cable package with TWC. Extreme Internet (50Mps) standalone is around $84 per month. Expensive but far cheaper than the $223 a month I was paying for package that I rarely watched. I own 3 Fire Sticks that are sync’d to one fully loaded prime account. The connection to my Kindle is also a plus. Love it!

      • Suzanna Gibbons says:

        We don’t have cable but we do have internet and wifi….less then $30.00
        Right now we just to free TV …you know…digital….with the fire stick do you pay for all the things like HBO?

        • John Schmoll says:

          Good question Suzanna. For something like HBO, yes you’d have to pay. They run a subscription based service so you’d find that with any cord-cutting option. A few of the channels/apps are free, then the rest depend on if your ISP allows access or possibly a subscription based service like HBO Now.

        • Jason Bell says:

          I absolutely hate it.I cant get any live local channels or live espn.

          • John Schmoll says:

            It doesn’t represent itself as offering that Jason. That being said, it’s very simple to get live locals and there are many other options to get ESPN.

            • Posa says:

              How do you get live local channels? Can you also get access to college football games? I desperately want to cut the cord, but the hubby will never go for it if he can’t watch his College & NFL football.

            • John Schmoll says:

              It’s relatively easy to get locals, you just need an antenna – I list the one we use in the post and is super simple to set up. For college & NFL games, check out this post on how to watch NFL games without cable.

        • Lizzy says:

          Suzanna, where on earth and from who can you get wifi for less than $30 pray tell? Thank you.

          • Bunny Ryan says:

            We too have wifi from Charter/Spectrum for $30 month. In Fort Worth Tx.

            • Linda says:

              Just my Spectrum internet at North Myrtle Beach is 70 plus and I need some cheaper options. ATT is $30 per month at our Raleigh home. They don’t offer that in Myrtle Beach…Linda

    • Mcprodjtazz says:

      I live In upstate NY. I only have internet thru them. 80$ for 100mb per sec. Haven’t had actual cable in about 6 years because u can see things thru firstick or thru channels direct site. Save money and still see all my fav shows and use internet for free free phone service as well. Cut that bill in half

  • Jim De Leonardis says:

    I have 6 cable boxes from cablevision in my office for each room. I have triple play which gives me internet, phone and TV. Can the fire stick in each room replace my cable boxes or give me negotiation options with cablevision?
    I have quite a few in my house as well.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Good question Jim. Not knowing what all you use your cable to watch, I don’t know if it’d replace it per se. Personally speaking, we use the Fire Stick to access a fair number of things. They have apps available to download (many are free) that allows you to watch different shows plus access to the channels I listed above. We get many (which isn’t that much) of the network shows from the Internet and have HBO Now through the Fire Stick. The only thing we’ve not fully replaced is sports. The nice thing about the Fire Stick is it’s portable so you can move it from TV to TV. Hope that helps!

      • Stephie says:

        My contract with Direct TV is about to expire. Just to get the bare bones is $66 a month. I keep it only to watch HGTV and Univision. Would I be able to watch them with firestick? Also, miss not having TLC and Bravo. Just can’t do the expense right now.

        • John Schmoll says:

          I’d check into Sling TV or DirecTV Now (you won’t be able to get them all on the Fire Stick) as both should be able to get you at least the first two channels, if not all 4. They’re $25 & $35/month, respectively, and neither require a contract. That $66/month will go up before you know it and there’s no sense to pay that much if it’s just for bare bones.

        • Tamara Gillam says:

          Have you looked at SlingTV?
          Their basic package is really good.
          Right now I am under contract without dish. My base package is $34.99 and I add regional sports for $10/month. The monthly lease fees on the dvr and second receiver are what I don’t like! $22/month!

  • Sally Matamoros says:

    What about ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, FX, USE, ION WTVZ, ANC, SPIKE TV, TNT, HISTORY CHAN, ANIMAL CHAN, and HGTV. These are the main channels we watch. Our Smart TV have Netflix. Will I be able to view any of these. I now have cox for internet and cable.

    • David Goins says:

      What about ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, FX, USE, ION WTVZ, ANC, SPIKE TV, TNT, HISTORY CHAN, ANIMAL CHAN, and HGTV. These are the main channels we watch. Our Smart TV have Netflix. Will I be able to view any of these.

      • John Schmoll says:

        You’ll need a satellite to get the locals David. For those other channels, you’d want to look at something like Sling TV or DirecTV Now. I’m not certain if they carry them all, but should get you many of them. I’ve put links to my reviews of them below.

        • Thomas says:

          How and where do you install an antenna? Do you have this explained in some detail in a separate post? Will the experience vary depending on where you live (we live in The Woodlands, a suburb of Houston TX) and finally, is it even legal? It seems too good to be true that you can by pass paying cable bills to watch all these channels using a one time payment for an antenna? Or am I missing something? Thanks in advance.

          • John Schmoll says:

            That’s a good question Thomas – I don’t, unfortunately, as it can vary on the type of antenna you use. I can say the one we use, the Mohu Leaf, that it took us MAYBE five minutes to set it up and I’m not technically inclined at all.

          • Melanie King says:

            I have chrome cast but cannot use my iphone as a remote. have to use my son’s android phone as a remote. so I’m switching to fire stick today. I was told I can get all local channels by subscribing through Hulu. Is that correct? If so, then I’m much better off than what I’m paying for Comcast cable. Is there ANYTHING I’m getting with cable that I cannot get with fire stick?

            • John Schmoll says:

              Yes, you can get shows from local networks on Hulu – but it’s important to not that they are delayed a day and not all shows may be on Hulu. You’d need an antenna to get access to all local channels. The Fire Stick will not replace all shows you get from cable, you’d want a streaming option like DirecTV Now or Sling TV to get most cable channels.

      • Tamara Gillam says:

        We are out in a rural area and use a Clearstream digital antenna. It works really well. We have a 50 mile range antenna, picks up every local channel in KCMO. For the first couple of months we had it, it was hanging on the front porch post because it was winter! Also, you can use the existing satellite/cable coax to hook up the antenna.

  • John Schmoll says:

    Good questions Sally. You won’t be able to get the main networks on the Fire Stick, or most other devices like this for that matter. In most cases a simple satellite will get you all the network channels. I discuss how we do that here –

    The Fire Stick does allow you to get the History Channel. Most of those other channels either have apps you can download through the Fire Stick and, if not, you can access them online in most cases. Hope that helps. πŸ™‚

  • Catherine Watkins says:

    I am really interested in the first stick? HOw do We watch local channels and ones like 106 of we go basic on dish tv?

  • stephanie matchus says:

    Thank you for this info John! I have been way overspending and trying to figure out the best of the best and keeping just those. I currently pay for the full suite of channels with xfinity (my husband LOVES history channels), netflix, amazon prime, spotify, and sirius. I have been trying to figure out how to get this way down.. what are your top choices? I am thinking about keeping Netflix, getting an Amazon Fire stick and spotify for music…thoughts?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Not a problem at all Stephanie, happy to help. We were in the same boat, spending over $100/month on DirecTV – which I talk about here –

      I’d stay with Netflix and possibly add the Fire Stick as it’s well worth the one-time cost. We do both and get virtually most of the same content we were prior and are saving $80/month. The Fire Stick gets you access to the History Channel so that’d be good for your husband. For Spotify, we have the family plan which is $15/month. We recently added that as we both work from home so it’s worth the expense. Hope that helps, let me know if there are any more specific questions I can answer. πŸ™‚

      • Johnny davis says:

        Question can you order paypreview fights. I am at best buy right the SALES guy do not know

      • Diane Drinka says:

        We pay more for our cable than we do our electric bill, we’ve even got rid of everything except basic cable, plus we have netflix, but my hubby likes to watch the morning news wjz channel 13 news with Marty Bass. Omg and he loves big bang theory . We also love oour adult swim on carttoon network. Would we need anything special for those channels?

    • Helen says:

      We got the Amazon Fire TV today and set up as easy. Downloaded Kodi and have access to all our regular channels and will be calling Xfinity tomorrow!

  • Chris says:

    John, how does it work with the HDMI cable? Is there some sort of adapter to the USB end of the Fire Stick?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Good question Chris. The stick has a HDMI connector on it that goes directly into your TV’s HDMI port so no adapter is needed.

      • BL says:

        What about a tv that does not have HDMI.
        Is there an adaptor available?

        • John Schmoll says:

          Good question BL, I had to look that up. It looks like if you search for “HDMI to Composite AV Converter for Amazon Fire Streaming Stick” on Amazon that should get you what you need.

  • Doris Jones says:

    I am buying the fire stick and cutting the cord on Dish. Your answers have given me all the info I need.

  • Kathy Morris says:

    Thank you, John!
    Your answers/advice/knowledge with Amazon Fire Stick are very helpful to those of us who just “don’t get it!”
    Again, THANK YOU!!

    • John Schmoll says:

      Glad to be a resource Kathy! I’m not a terribly tech savvy person, so I know if I can use it relatively simply others can. πŸ™‚

  • Rhonda says:


    What about accessing networks such as Bravo and Lifetime? We just ordered the Fire Stick with voice remote today, and are looking into antennas for access to local channels (local news, etc)……so we are that much closer to “cutting the cord”….excited yet nervous…

    • John Schmoll says:

      Congrats on cutting the cord Rhonda, you’ll love the savings! I’m not very familiar with the options on those channels. I’d check to see what content they offer on their websites as well as on YouTube. You may be able to get a fair bit of the content that way.

  • Andrea says:

    Hi John, if I buy a firestick for each TV. Can they be used at the same time??

    • John Schmoll says:

      Great question Andrea! Amazon allows you to stream from your account from two separate spots at once. So, in theory, you are able to. The only thing to be mindful of is if your Internet connection is fast enough to allow for both without any lagging.

  • Steve says:

    What about ESPN and the Golf channel, will I be able to access either?

    • John Schmoll says:

      You can’t access either with the Fire Stick unfortunately Steve. You can access both with Sling, but the Golf Channel is a $10 add-on.

  • Charli says:

    OK so , if I get the firestick and add hulu plus (if that’s how it works) would I get football and mostly my normal stuff ( big bang theory , 2 broke girls ) stuff like that , or would I need an antenna?? Don’t want to sound ignorant but really I have no clue. And what about my children’s tv in their rooms, they watch TV.

    • John Schmoll says:

      I believe that would take care of most of it. I’m not that familiar with Hulu, but I believe they carry most network shows. For stuff like football, on local channels, you’d need an antenna. For antennas/fire stick they only work on one tv so you’d need multiples in your case.

  • Berni F says:

    Have you tried a Sling subscription? I think I’m going to go with the fire stick + very basic sling. That way hubby has his sports and considering I already have Prime (for many other reasons), I’ll still save a bunch over my $120/mo cable bill. Thanks for your review.

    • John Schmoll says:

      I have Berni. You can see my review of Sling here –

      Sadly, Sling leaves a lot to be desired. We tried it about 6-8 months ago and just got a 7 day free trial again this week and it doesn’t seem that they’ve cleared up their issues. It has significant buffering issues and can lag quite a bit. I’ve read that’s a known issue, but hopefully you won’t run into that.

  • Kim says:

    I am thinking about buying a Fire Stick, and downgrading to basic cable so we can still watch local news and live TV. My husband has heard from friends that the cable service can scramble your service and it can take up to a week to get it straightened out. I find that hard to believe, have you heard any stories like that?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Nope, I’ve never heard anything like that. I think you should be good to go. πŸ™‚

    • Sharon says:

      If you purchase a HDTV antenna you can get local channels and that would include news. I just bought my first and its the leaf. Cancelling my cable as we speak.

  • cathi says:

    How about amc? Can I watch amc with firestick?

  • Alicia says:

    Me and my husband finally cut ties with DirecTV and I must say it’s a weight lifted. I was considering getting the fire stick or a roku device specifically for being able to access PBS kids video for the little one. Does the fire stick allow you to watch content on PBS kids without signing in with a cable TV provider?

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s awesome y’all cut the cord Alicia! Yep, you should be able to watch PBS Kids without a problem on the Fire Stick. I don’t know about Roku, but you’re good to go with the Fire Stick.

  • jon says:

    Can you run two firesticks on two different televisions in two separate rooms on one amazon prime account? One room for the kids and another for adults? If not, this would be a deal breaker for me.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Great question Jon! We just discovered last week actually that when we tried to access YouTube via the Fire Stick on 2 separate TVs, at the same time, on the one account that one got booted. I don’t know if that means that you can’t have 2 accessing Amazon content, or something like Netflix, through the Fire Stick at the same time but it did pose a problem with YouTube.

  • mary says:

    How much does it cost for an amazon prime account do I need the prime account for the fire stick

    • John Schmoll says:

      It costs $99 for Prime, per year. No, you don’t need Prime to use the Fire Stick. You can still access things like Netflix, Hulu & Amazon videos without Prime.

  • Abby says:

    How do you access sports channels on the fire stick? I am thinking about cutting the cord with Dish for sure, but my husband loves his sports; ESPN and the games.
    Are you able to watch shows live? Meaning a show comes on Thursday night, can I watch it on Thursdy or do I need to wait until Fridy night?B

  • Jean says:

    How do I record a movie or say a soap opera with the fire stick?

    • John Schmoll says:

      The Fire Stick does not offer a DVR feature unfortunately. Assuming it’s on one of the networks, you’d need a satellite to get the local channel and a DVR to record it. Hulu may also be an option as they carry most of the networks.

  • Charlotte says:

    How can you get into the apps like hallmark channel without a cable provider? I have an antenna and the fire stick & would love to watch “watch ESPN” and “hallmark movie channel” but it asks for a cable provider and I don’t have one. Any suggestions?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Unfortunately many of those do require a cable subscription – which basically defeats the point of the app. πŸ™ I have heard that, in some cases, you can get past it with the log in info for your internet service provider – it’s worth a try.

  • Kathy says:

    I’d love to try the Fire Stick. Can I get Investigation Discovery TV and True TV? Is there a total listing somewhere of what you can get as far as stations go?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Those channels aren’t available on the Fire Stick unfortunately Kathy. The channel list above covers the large majority of channels they offer.

      • Jean says:

        What’s the use of getting the fire stick then by the time we get all the stuff that’s on the fire stick it’s going to cost as much is cable anyway

        • John Schmoll says:

          That’s actually not the case Jean. We’ve had the Fire Stick for over a year, without cable, and save nearly $90 per month. The point of the Fire Stick is it allows you to access a ton of content. We get most of our content this way. When you add in a antenna to get local channels you can get most everything.

  • Jean says:

    And you can’t even get your regular TV stations or record without a DVR I know her record. I think I might have to stay with my television unfortunately ?????

    • John Schmoll says:

      If you look at basically every option out there, that’s going to be the case with all of them. We may see something offer those things, but it’s not here yet.

  • Laurie Jones says:

    What about recording episodes when your away ? I love my DVR . And what about Bravo…E and local channels ?

    • John Schmoll says:

      No service like this offers a DVR unfortunately – same with local channels. You’d need an antenna for local channels.

  • Karl Wallin says:

    I recently moved to Ridgefield, CT, my only cable provider is Comcast and they do not carry the YES NETWORK, also I am not allowed a satellite dish.

    What would be the best way for me to obtain the YES NETWORK before the 2017 Yankees season begins?

    Thanks – Karl

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sorry to hear that Karl. Unfortunately, I don’t know the best way to get the YES Network – I’ve never had a service that offers it.

  • kris Foley says:

    i’m worried about the firestick being illegal, is this a valid concern?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Nope, not illegal at all. It’s all content that creators have licensed to be made available on Amazon so they’re being paid and very legal.

      • Kristina Foley says:

        what if it’s something called “jailbreak” or “rooted” ? I’m not tech savvy but if it’s “jailbroken” and i watch a movie currently in the theatre , then that must be illegal, right?

        • John Schmoll says:

          Good question, but that’s something completely different. If you’re using the Fire Stick for the intended purposes and not trying to steal anything then you’re just fine. πŸ™‚ They even say that on their site, so you have nothing to worry about.

  • Jack Knoll says:

    John, I definitely need to cut the cord (cable). I have 2 fire sticks (1 for each TV). An older one that the remote froze on and a new one with Alexia. I spoke to Amazon about the remote but they couldn’t unfreeze it. So I bought a new one. Then I found out about the remote app which is free and works very well. Anyway we now have Time Warner with wifi, HBO and SHOW at $187 a month. We also have Netflix at $9.95 a month. If I cancel TWC, do I need wifi to connect with the fire stick? We also use the record feature on the TWC box extensively. What do you recommend? Thanks in advance, Jack.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sounds like you’re to a great start Jack and, yes, you do need to cut the cord – it’s definitely worth the savings. πŸ™‚ To answer your question, yes, you would still need wifi as it’s streaming across the Internet. For DVR, there is unfortunately not many services that offer that right now so you’d have to buy one outright. A good one to look at is the Tivo Bolt, I talk about it in this post:

  • Tasha says:

    Can you watch things like vh1 oxygen and kid shows on the fire sticks?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Those channels aren’t on their offerings unfortunately. You can find a list of those channels near the beginning of the post. πŸ™‚

  • Sharon Murphy says:

    Can fire stick be connected to my telephone to connect to Netflix

  • Barry says:

    Have to keep my College football and Bowl games but I really want to cut cable! I wish Amazon would step up with sports.

    I am a Prime member but need internet to purchase items, as I do a lot on Amazon.

  • Jose says:

    I am setting up my 2 Smart TV’s, with the Mohu Leaf 50 antenna. I also have the Amazon Prime membership and i recently got Directv Now with the Apple TV. But i want to change and use the Amazon Fire TV box because it allows me acess to over 7,000 apps. to download. And also sideload apps onto the box to use for tv streaming. I am paying $50 for Fios internet 50/50. And for the Directv Now $35 monthly trial. I am waiting it out with Directv Now to fix their bugs and add missing local sports channels like MSG and SNY. Also CBS Network. John, am i on the right track to lowering my cable bill and maybe cutting it altogether.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sounds like you’re off to a great start – just make sure you don’t give up savings to buying lower priced products that add up to the same initial cost.

  • Chuck and Lori says:

    Thank you so much for the info regarding cutting the cord…we have been considering making a change for quite some time, but have had no idea where to start! So….we like to watch network TV, HGTV, History Channel, Fox and CNN. It sounds like we would just need a Fire stick and a digital antenna..? Is there a monthly cost for anything included with the Fire stick like Hulu, Netflicks, etc? Also, it sounds like this setup would include Wi-Fi. What is the monthly cost for that? We currently pay $200 per month for cable/internet! I apologize for all of the questions, but we are old and don’t currently use anything but traditional cable. Thanks again for the great info!

    • John Schmoll says:

      You’d need something like Sling TV or DirecTV Now to access some of those channels.

      Yes, there is extra cost for Hulu/Netflix as those are separate services. No worries, there’s definitely opportunity for big savings.

  • Mark says:

    I have tv with a cable card option , which I am not useing. Can a card help in cutting cost?

  • Donald says:

    Really great information here! I am so wanting to dump DiSH – they are forever dropping content due to contract disputes, now CBS is out along with CW, I’ve ready DiSH has lost over 121 channels and is responsible for 1/3 of all contract disputes, I want to dump them and the bill. I am locked into a contract but I think since they no longer provide what I pay for I could get out on a breach of contract loophole – not sure.

    I am looking at Amazon, already a Prime member and use the Fire Stick think and also looking at Sling, which has nearly everything I want in programming. I have Netflix as well and can get local off a leaf antenna inside.

    I do rely heavily on the DVR feature from DiSH and will lose the access to my external hard drive of movies connected to the DVR, can’t figure out a way around their encryption.

    Are there monthly fees associated with the FireStick? The Sling package is $25, awesome value.

    Are there guides to browse on FireStick and Sling? Finally, is there a PVR solution to losing the DVR – does Tivo make something to integrate all these sources to mimic DVR capability?

    I’m getting nailed for $72/month on their skinny pack as I must have Fox news ($10) and I pay for the locals ($10) and the DVR. They are a shady bunch and cutting the cord is essential, but also maintaining the level of programming and functionality is also a matter of some concern.

    Any tips greatly appreciated to dump DiSH and keep content. I want to work with a budget of no more than $40 – $50/month – I’ll handle the one off equipment buys just fine.

    Thanks much – sorry for so many questions.

  • Mike Murphy says:

    Very curious about this product. Are there fees to theses apps? Like ESPN?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Nope, no fees – aside from the $39 to buy the Fire Stick.

      • Custo says:

        Yes there are fees. The firestick itself is a one time purchase price. If you want to actually watch something you’ll have to pay monthly subscription fees. Channel pear is totally free but only allows 5 channels at a time unless you subscribe. Half of Channel pears stations never work. Only way to get anything free off the firestick is installing kodi.

        • John Schmoll says:

          That’s actually not correct Custo, the Fire Stick does give you access to a handful of things for free. Beyond that, others are dependent on whether or not your ISP has an agreement with the particular provider – like Watch ESPN for example. Kodi, on the other hand, allows you to steal content which I would not recommend.

  • tiffany harris says:

    does the firestick provide live streaming content or is everything pre recorded shows?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Good question Tiffany. It’s largely stuff from apps from the respective providers – so not really like just turning on the TV and watch something live. That said, it can help get access to that through services like DirecTV Now or Sling TV.

      • tiffany harris says:

        ok so question would you love live tv or pre recorded shows.

        • John Schmoll says:

          It really doesn’t make much difference to us to be honest. We run our own business and have young kids so we rarely get to watch something as it’s live on TV. As long as we can get access to the few shows we do like that’s all that really matters.

  • tiffany harris says:

    so how do someone contact you directly? I would like to discuss something with you.

  • tiffany harris says:

    so basically with the firestick you have to opt into apps for live streaming correct which means you will be paying for those apps and it will eventually start adding up.

    • John Schmoll says:

      No, not at all. Most of them are free. The Fire Stick just provides an outlet to get them all, whereas you’d have to go to them respectively. There are a few that do have a charge, like HBO or Showtime, but that’s the case regardless of how you get them.

  • Sheila Stepanovic says:

    I have been working on the whole firestick thing for awhile. With 8 tv’s in the house, I’ve firesticked 7 of them & dropped $120 a month in fees. I have one cable box left, but would really like to “cut the cord” completely & go only to internet service. I already have hd antenna’s for local channels & hulu. Here’s my confusion. Some apps ask for your service provider & then you have to activate it with a code they give you. The provider they are asking for, is it cable or internet? If I cut cable, will these free apps still work? Example is TBS. One app did not list Comcast as an option, so I put A T & T, & it still worked, so making this more confusing.

    • John Schmoll says:

      In most cases it’s the cable provider unfortunately. Some will allow you by with the log in info for your Internet provider, but most are the cable provider. It varies channel by channel unfortunately.

  • Kari says:

    I just set up my Amazon fire stick this evening and added all the tv networks I typically watch to the APPS page. My intent is get rid of cable eventually but what I’m already struggling with is how do know what to watch on any given evening. I’m so used to flipping through the cable providers TV guide to see what’s on that I’m afraid I’m not going to know what’s playing on any given evening. How do I overcome my usual channel guide surfing?

    • John Schmoll says:

      I know the feeling, but it’s very freeing to be quite honest. It took some getting used to but I love not having to waste that time. We sit down and know what we want to watch, then turn it on so we save all that lost time.

  • Chris Rose says:

    So I have a Roku tv which I guess is also called a smart tv. I haven’t cut the chord to cable because I want to get live tv. I’ve been looking at Sling for $25/mo. Is this Fire Stick something folks get when they don’t have a smart tv?

  • Krystal says:

    Sorry, but even after reading all of these responses I’m still a little confused. At points it’s mentioned that the apps on the fire stick are free to use, but then it also says many require a cable login (making them not free). What percentage of the apps would you say are free to actually watch content on? If we truly cut the cord, will we not be able to watch ESPN, A&E, etc?

    • John Schmoll says:

      No worries Krystal, that’s a fair question. It’s hard to say as it’s dependent on the ISP you have. Some have agreements with more channels, allowing you to log in with your ISP credentials – so it’s hard to give a clear percentage basis of what to expect as it can vary from location to location.

  • Heidi Galway says:

    I am guessing these cable companies are based in USA. I am in England using Sky cable. Is there any chance you may know if I can get Watch, Drama and Alibi on the Fire stick plus music video channels.
    Many thanks.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Thanks for stopping by Heidi. Unfortunately, I don’t know what the situation would be to watch shows like that in the UK.

  • Maurie Ock says:

    I have read all the comments here but still don’t know what you can watch for free without subscribing to more apps that you have to pay for. I see your list but are most of those named just those we can access with fire stick…but have to pay to join them or use them? Do you have a list of what is 100% free to watch with fire stick??

    • John Schmoll says:

      Hi Maurie,

      I actually touched on that topic with Krystal above, just a few days ago. Unfortunately, it depends on the ISP you have so I really can’t say. Some of the channels require you to have cable and log in with your cable credentials. Some allow access with the login credentials from your ISP – thus allowing you access without needing to pay for cable. Ultimately, you’re not paying for something more (unless you have something like HBO) but getting access through something you’re already paying for – your Internet provider or a cable provider.

  • Randi McKee says:

    We are on the verge of purchasing the fire stick to cut our cable off and your site was most helpful.
    My co worker purchased a “jailbroke” stick already loaded with several apps to watch local Chanels, sports and networks not available already on the stick. How do you feel about this type of purchase? I’ve read to steer away from these.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Glad to be of help Randi, you’ll love the savings! Great question. I know those are available – it adds a software that allows you access to shows, movies, etc that you’d normally be required to pay for. I personally wouldn’t do it as it’s not worth the risk of getting caught and I wouldn’t feel right effectively stealing something that’d normally would cost me. We watch so little as it is that it’s not really worth it.

  • Skip says:

    Playstation Vue is also a good way to stream live tv, and you can get FOX local live, the other 2 ABC and NBS are on demand CBS as always doesn’t play well with none cable companies

  • Bonny Baca says:

    Hello John, I am getting a lot of knowledge reading through everyone’s comments and questions and your answers! I am also considering getting rid of Dish. I pay for one of the lower pkgs, but am still paying ALOT for home shopping networks, sports, advertising that one gets tired of hearing over, over and over again and a few local channels. I get my internet service through my phone company (DSL) and have 1.5 Mbps (which Fire stick said I would need minimum of) I ordered a Fire stick that will be available 4/15/17 and am looking forward to seeing how it works and ditching Dish!! I already have Netflix, Amazon Prime, and will look into Showtime for the boxing that my husband likes to watch so I am pretty much ready to go! I will miss FoxNews tho. I checked into the antenna you were talking about for my local channels that I really like to watch and, of course gives me “local news”…won’t work for me; any local stations are way over 50 miles from me ( my local stations come out of Albuquerque, NM which is located approx. 200 miles from me). In fact, where I live, the only thing within 50 miles of me are other ranches! I might consider increasing my internet to 4Mbps, which will increase my phone bill by a little, but a far cry from Dish!! And maybe another Fire stick for TV #2!?. Thanks for all the good info. I’ll let you know how it works so you can pass on the info if you have anyone else that is located “out in the middle of nowhere” :>)

    • John Schmoll says:

      Glad to be of help Bonny! Sounds like you’re going to have some good savings here soon. πŸ™‚ I’d personally recommend moving up in speed as that’ll provide better streaming for you. And, yes, a second Fire Stick would be needed if you want to use it on your other TV. Technically, you can move it between the two, but might be more hassle than it’s worth for you.

  • Paul Denehy says:

    Hi John – I watch a lot of CNN. If I cut the cord and get the FireStick, will that station be available? THx!

  • Gary Moore says:

    Any access to NBC, CBS or Fox networks?


    • John Schmoll says:

      Sorry Gary, it doesn’t provide access to locals/networks. I provide some options within the post to make up for that.

  • Kelly says:

    I don’t have a TV but I use my computer and a large monitor to stream Netflix etc. Does the fire Stick work in my computer?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Good question Kelly. Per Amazon’s site, it likely won’t in most cases as the HDMI on most laptops is for output. I’ve admittedly not tried it, so not 100% certain. That being said, depending on what you want to watch it might be already available online on the site of the particular channel.

  • Michael says:

    Just installed a Jailbroken Fire TV stick last week. LOVE IT !!! Movies (even in the theaters .. although those most recent do not perform so well or not streamed) .. TV Shows (I always watch) .. ready to dump my FIOS TV and probably phone (which I have the Triple Play). Just went with Triple Play for the cost-savings of other features. Also have Netflix online, which I am thinking of dumping too. Again .. had this for less than a week .. just curious of the consequences in dumping everything in depending on the Firestick?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Glad to hear about the savings Michael. The thing I’d be concerned about is getting a copyright infringement notice. I know Jailbroken Fire Sticks are popular, but from what I’ve read you can get yourself in trouble if you don’t set it up correctly. The other concern would be if Amazon has an outage – you’d likely be without anything for the duration. Just a guess, but thinking that might be a possible risk.

  • Debbie says:

    Hi, this is Debbie I have a fire stick. If I get rid of my Comcast package deal. I will have no Internet, how will I run my TVs with the fire stick. All my coworkers keep telling me I need to keep at least the Internet service, is this true.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Hi Debbie, yes you do need to have Internet to use the Fire Stick, or any other streaming service. You’d want to ask Comcast what’s needed to unbundle and only have Internet service.

  • Donna Cunningham says:

    Hi we live in a very large farm mansion and have 4 TV’s in use almost all the time plus cell phones and tablets DirecTV is costing over 250 to 400 a month. If I get 4 fire TV sticks can we run all 4 TV’s at the same time. And will I have to buy a new router for my wifi? Plus how far is the range on the fire TV stick? My room is approximately 150 ft from my router.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Not certain if you’ll need a new router or not, or the range unfortunately. One thing to keep in mind is that Amazon only allows two concurrent streaming sessions, so you won’t be able to watch something on all 4 TVs at the same time.

  • Tony says:

    Can I get pay per views on firestick? Like mma or boxing?

    • John Schmoll says:

      No, the fire stick doesn’t allow you to get PPVs unfortunately. You’d need to go through the specific provider for that.

  • Harlan Woodson says:

    Hi john I’ve got a 60″ Vizio smart tv would it be alright to use the firestick just dropped direct going to just cable we were paying alot for the direct TV it was definitely cutting in our budget? Thanks

    • John Schmoll says:

      I’m not certain I understand the question Harlan, but I believe you’re asking if you can use the Fire Stick in your Vizio. Assuming that is your question, yes you should be able to and access a fair bit of content.

  • Renee says:

    Thank you for all of this information. I will admit I am not the most techy person out there, but willing to learn. We have smart tv’s and can get local stations by changing the input. If I get rid of uverse , I know I will still need internet service for th firestick. Will those local stations be gone, too, or can I still access them without the antenna you talk about? Also, how do we know what ISP service we have and what we can access on firestick? Is the fire stick and fire tv the same thing? If not, which is better? And, is accessing the firestick like accessing on demand, so I really wouldn’t need a dvr, as I could access what i want anytime? Sorry for the questions, but trying to sort it out.
    Thank you!

    • John Schmoll says:

      Not a problem at all Renee and good questions. In all likelihood you will need an antenna to get locals, but most good ones are in the $30-50ish range. I wouldn’t know who you have for a ISP provider – but you would need to check with whomever it is to see if a login is required to get access to cable channels you get via streaming. You can access things at any time, for the most part, but it won’t entirely replace what you get through cable so you will want to keep that in mind. In terms of the differences between the Fire Stick & Fire TV, check out the below post as I cover that in detail.

  • Debra Haddix says:

    Hi, my name is Internet connection is very slow would I be able to use the fire stick?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Hi Debra, according to Amazon you’d need a speed of at least 1.5 Megabits/second, if not closer to 4 or 5 per second to get content via the Fire Stick.

  • Cece says:

    I bought the fire stick a month thinking it would work like a converter box along with the movie options. I haven’t even used it because you have to go throw so many step to do anything and then you have to pay for it. I am honestly frustrated with it. I am not a techy person, am I doing something wrong?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sorry to hear about your frustrations Cece. It honestly isn’t like a converter box with movie options. They don’t promote it that way, but it can get you access to a lot of content. It does honestly sound like you’re doing something wrong as it should take you less than five minutes to connect it to your TV & get it working. I’m VERY much so not a tech person and found it simple to set up – just follow the short video and you should be good to go. πŸ™‚

  • Sunnie says:

    Hi, John, I love the idea of having internet-only plus the fire stick. My question pertains to the amount of data that I would be using. My ISP allows 1TB/month, how much do you use on average per month?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Good question Sunnie. You should come nowhere near that. We both work from home and are almost always on some sort of device. The closest we’ve ever come to in any given month was about 1/3 of that limit – we have the same limit as well.

  • Jade says:

    Hello, I am thinking about getting a a Fire Stick. Sports channels play a big part with my family. Do you know if we will have access to all sports everywhere? Mainly we watch Fox Sports Midwest and watch our local channels.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Hi Jade, No you would not get that with the Fire Stick. You’d need a live streaming service like Sling TV or DirecTV Now to get sports channels. For locals you’d need a satellite.

  • Preston G Baker says:

    We want to cut the cord very much, we are paying 149 per month with Spectrum.We are still learning about the streaming alternatives. Fire stick sounds good along with Hulu and netflix. But here is my probably dumb question, if we purchase our own router (D-Link wireless AC1900) do we still need to subscribe to an internet service like Spectrum or Xfinity?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Not a dumb question at all Preston, yes you will still need an Internet Service Provider – so you won’t get rid of all the cost, but at least half.

  • Dana Barrett says:

    Wanting to cut the cord and have read a lot of the comments. What is the advantage of having an amazon Firestick and Sling TV. Is the Firestick required in order to use Sling TV? We don’t need Roku or Netflix as we aren’t big movie watchers. We like our local channels, Sportsman, Outdoor, HGTV, Food Network, DIY, NatGeo.
    We plan on purchasing an antenna for our local channels.
    So, in your opinion, which is the best option for cutting the cord and the most economical?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Good questions Dana. The Fire Stick gets you access to a lot of Amazon content, not to mention a fair number of apps. Sling TV is a streaming service for channels, basically a cable replacement. Remember though, that there is a lot of content on Roku and Netflix that aren’t movies but original content or broadcast episodes. Given what you listed as priority, I’d look at either Sling TV or DirecTV Now.

  • Stacy F says:

    So what is the cheapest way to get all the NFL season games and pre-season games? We have Amazon Prime and Netflix, no cable. We do have Performance Pro Internet (75Mbps/5Mbps) at $74.45/ mo. Need to make a change soon!! 5 people in our home constantly on internet with PS4, Netflix,YouTube, Facebook, email, etc. Also, does my internet need to be that fast?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Good question Stacy – I actually have a post coming up on it in the next week or so. The cheapest would be either Sling TV or PlayStation Vue – to get access to everything, including RedZone. Also, remember, since you’re a Prime member, Amazon is streaming 10 Thursday night games this year on the Amazon app.

  • Terri says:

    I will be moving into a new development which does not currently have cable and will not have cable for a couple months. I have been wanting to go to the fire stick. This may be a good opportunity. I do have a question though I am an avid football watcher and I like to watch my RedZone and other games that are on during the week. Would this be an issue watching these games? I will be moving in during the beginning of the football season.

    • John Schmoll says:

      The Fire Stick won’t get you RedZone unfortunately. However, if you have Amazon Prime, they’re streaming 10 Thursday night games this season on the Amazon app. That said, your best bet would be either Sling TV or PlayStation Vue to get access to the needed channels and RedZone.

  • Debby says:

    I know nothing, so you’ll know how dumb my questions are. Ok, here goes. If I buy the fire stick for $39.99 + tax, load kodi, what channels would I receive ? I mean, will I get stuff like bravo, lifetime, tlc, history, nat geo, a&e, etc ? Do I have to get Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime for the fire stick to get these channels I’m writing about. I do have old fashion rabbit ears on my tv now.

    • John Schmoll says:

      No dumb questions. πŸ™‚ That said, in all honesty, I don’t use kodi so I’m not certain what comes with that – sorry to not be of more help.

  • Germando Jordan says:

    This is just the type of analysis I was looking for. Thank you!

  • Cheryl H. says:

    This is all new to me, and confusing. We currently have 4 TVs, 4 DVRs, CenturyLink Prism.. which we love, but rates keeping going up. Currently paying $165 month cable/Wi-Fi. I am looking at either Amazon Fire Stick or Roku, with 1 DVR (to tape live NASCAR Race). According to Best Buy, I will need an indoor antenna for each TV, and an outdoor antenna if we bring a set outside.

    Will we need anything else?

    Will we be able to have 3-4 TVs going simultaneously off of Wi-Fi?

    What would be best for NBCSports and FoxSports?

    We also watch the major networks, History, HGTV, DIY, A&E, HLN Food Network, ESPN,
    CW, CMT, (optional TruTV, Disney Jr., Nickelodeon)

    With this many TVs, is it feasible and practical to “cut the cord”?

    Thanks for your advice, and for your review of the Fire Stick! Great info!

    • John Schmoll says:

      No problem, happy to help. I know it may feel confusing, but it really isn’t that difficult – even if you’re tech challenged like me. πŸ™‚

      Yes, you will need an antenna per TV to get local channels. Most of the good ones run anywhere from $20ish-$50ish. We use the Mohu Leaf and love it and super simple to set up.

      For what you’re wanting, I’d look at either Sling or DirecTV Now. Either will get you most, if not all, of the channels you want. Sling allows one streaming device at a time, or three devices for their higher tiers and DirecTV Now allows two regardless of service level. I will also point out that Sling TV has a cloud-based DVR offering in beta so you might qualify for that since you want to record.

      To answer your question, yes it is most definitely possible to cut the cord given what you’re looking for. I will be honest, you will likely need to make a few sacrifices but it’s also important to realize those sacrifices could save you $100 per month, if not more. Speaking as someone who made those sacrifices, you’ll soon realize the savings is far better and you really won’t miss what you sacrificed. πŸ™‚

  • Cheryl H. says:

    Thank you very much for all the valuable input on my situation and this blog. It is wonderful that you are taking the time to help so many others. Have a nice day!

  • Lori says:

    We are looking to cut the cord, and go to streaming. We watch all local channels, as well as lifetime, ESPN, HGTV, oxygen, TNT, TBS, etc. and we currently have a DVR on three TVs. There are many iptv services out there, and we want to explore options other than the ones mentioned here. What is the best way for us to be able to record our favorite shows on all of these channels on any of the 3 Tv’s?

  • Carlos says:

    I’ve read so many reviews on the Fire Stick and I STILL don’t understand what it gives you over what any Smart TV already has? Pretty much every app mentioned on the stick is already available via Samsung apps. What am I missing here? The first thing always mentioned is that it ”comes with Netflix”…but isn’t this still a separate paid subscription? It’s on every Smart TV I own already. I just don’t get it, but I might be missing something huge here and no know it.

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s a good question Carlos. Not everyone has Samsung, so they may have a TV that doesn’t offer all those apps. The big thing for me is the portability of the Fire Stick. If you travel at all and take your Fire Stick you can use it on most, if not all, TVs allowing you access to any apps you have installed on it. Additionally, it gives you access to anything on Amazon relatively simply.

      • Carlos says:

        Thank you John…the portability actually does make sense to me, but Amazon is another one I always hear mentioned, and both my Samsung (various models), and LGs already come with. My TVs are not cutting edge but pretty much have access to everything I hear mentioned by the Fire Stick ..espn, hbo, showtime, netflix, amazon, etc. Not trying to malign it. I’d like to cut the comcast cord as well…just could not understand how the Fire Stick was helping in any way. It sounds like SLING could help, but I haven’t run those numbers, although eyeballing it..looks like it’s cheaper. The portability of the Stick i can understand. Thank you for taking the time.

  • sandy says:

    I am so confused when it comes to the fire stick.My cable bill is 150.00 monthly not including internet with Verizon and I am fed up.I recently visited a friends house who has the fire stick and she has all the local tv channels along with all of the basic cable channels and all the premium channels.That is what makes me want to get the fire stick if I can get the same features she has,but looking at the questions all of that is not offered.How is she receiving all of this and how can I get the same viewing channels as her?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Hey Sandy, your friend has all those channels because they’ve likely downloaded software to it that allows them to effectively steal that content. If you want to get access to different channels and cut the cord, you’d want to look at DirecTV Now or Sling TV.

  • John Pickering says:

    Hello. John, my tv has only one hdmi port ones cart and one co ax port. Can I use to fire stick on hdmi and TiVo box on start?

    • John Schmoll says:

      I’m unfortunately not certain about that John. I’ve never used a Tivo box, but you can use the Fire Stick on hdmi.

  • Steve Walker says:

    Hi John, I have one major concern about the fire stick, I am deaf and rely on closed captioning. Does fire stick support CC?

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s a great question Steve. I looked into it and, per Amazon, it does support subtitles/CC. It looks like it’s a setting you can turn on or off relatively simply.

  • Robert Parsley says:

    I hear there is a new Fire Stick coming out this month. True?
    So…you buy the stick, are there channels free or do you subscribe to each one separately?

    • John Schmoll says:

      You would be correct Robert. Amazon appears to have a new Fire TV Stick and Fire TV coming out. It depends on the channel/app. Some are free and some require cable or Internet logins.

  • sara says:

    no PBS, Smithsonian, Nat Geo etc?

    • John Schmoll says:

      PBS is considered a local so all you need is an antenna to get that. The others are cable, so you’d need a streaming provider to get those.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Thanx for all your info. i too would like to cut the cord for my bundle services for 200 a month. Just so i dont mess up, is this correct. from my big “C” i only need them to provide internet. If i purchase a Fire Stick with voice for 39.99, i plug it into the back of the TV ports and wall outlet. If i would like to view ABC CBS FOX etc i would purchase a subscription from Hulu for 39.99 mo, i would also like movies from Netflix for another subscription of 9.99 mo, for my husband sports i think Sling for another 30.00 mo subscription. Am i missing anything?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Of course, happy to help! Yes, that’s technically correct Elizabeth although Hulu will get you network content a day late. If you want live network, a digital antenna is your best bet. For getting access to sports channels, and other cable channels, yes you’d want to go with either Sling TV or DirecTV Now.

  • James Dennnie says:

    We have had our firestick for about 6 months and we are getting error messages and “no content” messages as well as “BOB” no seems to be unavailbale completely. I really need a GO TO place to help me maneuver and learn this firestick. I can not get Hulu or other sites to work. I have a new APP that has popped up and I do not know how to remove it. Can you help

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sorry to hear that James. I’m not certain how to help with that as I’ve never heard/seen that. Have you contacted Amazon by chance to see if they can provide any help or direction?

    • Kirk says:

      Hey James. I realize this is December and I’m replying to an October post.

      If you haven’t figured it out yet, do a factory reset on your Firestick. You will lose anything you added and will most likely need to start from scratch the same as the day you first began using it.

      On the plus side, it should fix whatever is wrong and beats purchasing a new one.

  • Peter says:

    Great article and just in case I overlooked it I simply wanted to know how can you retrieve notification you already opened viewed? I opened the initial one which offers you some channel app selections but decided I wanted to come back to it later, so I backed out of it. Now when i try to go into notifications it doesn’t show it at all. Is there a way to recover it or did I lose out on the opportunity to add the channels?

    • John Schmoll says:

      I’m not entirely certain I understand your question Peter. I do know that the Fire TV Stick does list your most recently used apps when you launch it. We typically just go from there to get into whatever program it is we want to watch.

  • Richard Adams says:

    I see you can get CBS and NBC, but where is the FREE ABC app?

  • Angie says:

    What are your thoughts on HULU Live? From what I can tell, you should be able to watch LiveTV, including local and sports channels available in your area through the firestick with this service, no antenna required. Also record to cloud space. Anything you are aware of that I’m missing?

    • John Schmoll says:

      I’ve not personally tried Hulu Live, but from what I’ve seen/read it’s another great option. You’re correct and not really missing anything. They do offer a free trial so definitely worth checking out, at least for that. πŸ™‚

  • Jesse says:

    I’m interested in buying the Fire Stick, would like to know if there are apps for classic/obscure movies and TV shows as well as ’60s/’70s/’80s music performance clips?

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s a great question Jesse. Unfortunately, I’m not sure on that. I’ve never looked for something like that myself personally. Sorry to not be of more help.

  • Keith says:

    Everything you’ve written makes the Firestick look very appealing. I have just one (perhaps dumbass) question: Do the services available via a Firestick provide Closed Captions, and will I be able to get and display Closed Captions on my TV using the Firestick?

  • Susan Snyder says:

    WHAT is the minimum required speed for Fire Stick? Also, is Fox News available on Fire Stick?

    • John Schmoll says:

      The minimum speed to get HD streaming with the Fire Stick is 5 Mbps. It’s 3 Mbps if it’s going to be SD streaming. No, it does not carry Fox News. You’d want something like DirecTV Now for that.


    Do I need cable television or internet with Fire Stick?

  • Gary says:

    Our current 8-9 year old TV (not “smart” or wifi enabled) is beginning to act up so we will probably be shopping for a new one soon. If the new TV is a smart TV with wifi do you still need a Fire Stick or similar device to do what you are doing?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Great question Gary. Yes, you would still need something like the Fire Stick, Roku, etc. Those allow you to access whatever content you want to watch. The WiFi just enables it to work. πŸ™‚

      • Gary says:

        One more question, please. My current TV does not have native wi-fi but it is capable of connecting to wi-fi with the use of a wireless LAN adapter.

        Does the Fire TV or the Fire TV stick require native, built-in wi-fi capability or would they work using an add-on dongle like that? If they would work, would the Fire still plug into an HDMI port or would it need to plug into the LAN adapter?

        Thanks for putting up with a no-nothing.

        • Gary says:

          Addendum: I cannot find an online manual and asking questions on Amazon is useless. Every answer to my question consists of “you need wi-fi and it plugs into the HDMI slot”. No one picks up on the LAN adapter part of my question. Trying to find a way to ask the mfg. (Amazon, I presume) is futile – – I can find no way to contact them about a particular product.

  • Taylor Tejada says:

    Good afternoon! is there any app that i can watch live tv on the amazon fire stick tv. besides direct tv now or sling? withouth a tv provider just an internet provider?

  • Shellie says:

    What about Pure Flix? Does it work with that?

  • Wendy says:

    I have just purchased two fire sticks for my home that has 3 tv’s and I’m wondering if I really need two. I know nothing about these sticks so your posts are so helpful.
    Is there much involved to switching the stick to different tv’s? Do the apps you have downloaded show up automatically on each tv once you have them on the fire stick? If I brought my fire stick to a place (such as a hotel) with a different internet provider do I just need to log on to their wifi and the stick works the same as it would at home?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Happy to help Wendy! πŸ™‚ There’s nothing at all to switching them – they’re a plug and play basically so it’s simple as inserting it into another TV. They download to the cloud so it goes with the stick. Yes, you can take them and use somewhere else like a hotel – my wife and I do that frequently, though the one thing to keep in mind is that it may not work as well if the place you’re staying has slower speed. Really, it just comes down to convenience and what you prefer. We have two so we don’t have to move it back and forth. But, if we only had one it really wouldn’t be that much of an issue…we’re just lazy. πŸ™‚

  • Frank Mann says:

    I just connected my fire stick and went thru the routine to set it up.

    Just scrolling thru the system, and am curious as to how I watch daily local news and live tv shows such as abc, nbc, cbs, etc ?


    • John Schmoll says:

      Glad to hear it Frank!

      The Fire Stick does not provide access to local channels, much like most other streaming options. You’ll need a digital antenna for locals. I’ve highlighted the one I use in the post and it works great for us and there are many other good ones out there to buy.

  • Dave says:

    This sounds more like an advertisement for Amazon than an objective review. Nowhere in the “blog” as far as I can tell do you mention that most of the TV services require additional charges for services. The Firestick is nothing more than an “antennae” for the TV. You talk about “list of the channels available” but gloss over the fact that they are only available with additional purchase. This is intentionally vague and misleading for anyone who is trying to learn how Firestick actually works. I suspect that the author was paid or trying to be paid for this “review”.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Ha, I wish they paid me for this review! I understand your point Dave, but a lot of it depends on whether or not your Internet provider will allow you access to many of the channels. Some will and some won’t and there’s no way for me to tell what ones allow access as it depends on each specific provider. My wife and I have two, plus an Amazon Fire TV and love them so why would I choose to lie – even after listing the things about it I don’t like?

  • Phil says:

    I have some very bad news for you and others…the best part of firestick is dead
    on Jan one….youtube is not going to be available…most of the free apps on firestick are pure crap which leaves paying Amazon for movies..

    • Allie says:

      Is YouTube the best thing about the FireStick? Is that the only thing disappearing from FireStick after January 1st? What other changes are coming up? I haven’t bought one yet, but I’m strongly considering it.

      • John Schmoll says:

        It actually appears that Youtube will be staying on the Fire Stick after all. Amazon announced they’ll be selling the Chromecast, so it appears YoutTube will be staying put.

  • Scion says:

    Hi, I’m looking into this to purchase for my grandma, i have a few questions, and will admit i didn’t read through ALL of the comments above.

    We live in the country, and an antenna doesn’t exactly work for us, but we do have internet, am i correct in believing this will allow you to get TV channels via the Air (Given the signal might extend out towards us), or could we access them via the ISP?
    Also, as she loves the Hallmark channel, is there anyway for me to find out if upon purchase i would be able to get her that channel through the Fire Stick?

    Is there a way i can see the channels and features it offers before i make a purchase?


    • John Schmoll says:

      Yes, it will get you access to some channels – they’re listed near the top of the post. It’s important to remember a few things – this won’t provide access to locals. Largely, only an antenna will provide that. Also, of the channels listed some are pay and others are free. Beyond the premiums, like HBO Now, it largely depends on the ISP if you can access them for free or not. Unfortunately, the Hallmark Channel is not included in that list of channels they provide. For something like that, and other similar cable channels, you’d want to look at something like DirecTV Now or Sling TV as significantly cheaper options vs. traditional cable.

  • DEB RYAN says:

    I really enjoy the NYC news and the TodayShow. Does NBC work on FIRESTICK?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Unfortunately, you can’t get locals with the Fire TV Stick, or with many streaming options for that matter. To get locals you’ll need to get a digital antenna, which typically cost anywhere from $20-$50.

  • Ladybug says:

    Fire Tv Stick acutally seems pretty good. I’ve been doing alot of reseacrh trying to find the best one to go with and this might be it.

  • Rosa says:

    With a fire stick, so I still need to pay the monthly fee for Netflix Hulu etc or do these channels become free

  • NANCI says:

    Just got a firestick! Read somewhere that it can b used on 2 devices????is that true? What’s free? Already have Netflix app cauz I’m a customer of Netflix! Can I get it on my other tv without buying another firestick or moving the device

    • John Schmoll says:

      You read correctly Nanci. πŸ™‚ You can move the device to whatever TV you wish and get access to the same apps. We often travel with ours so we can get the content we like.

  • Amanda says:


    We have Optimum as our TV/Internet provider. I noticed recently we can get a lot more from channels like ABC, NBC etc if you have a cable provider log in on the Fire stick. If we cancel our cable subscription and just keep internet do you know if the Optimum ID we have will still get us access to these channels and live TV options?

  • Cori says:

    We just purchased a fire stick and we are having difficulty getting the channels to work. We can access Amazon music and Amazon photos, but not Amazon videos. What are we doing wrong??? Thanks so much!

    • John Schmoll says:

      You can either access it from the main screen it takes you to when you access the Fire Stick. It also has a search function once you launch. You can type what you’re looking for there and it brings up the associated Amazon video.

  • AMANDA says:

    Can I use my Optimum ID as an internet only customer to log into networks like ABC, NBC etc?

    Thank you

  • Vickie Ray says:

    Is the Amazon Prime the same prime that you pay for to have the next day shipping? You pay once a year about 115.00.
    Thank you,

    • John Schmoll says:

      Yes it is Vickie. It’s $99/year and they throw in the free two-day shipping for that cost…plus all its other benefits.

  • Sarah says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for the helpful post. I am looking into getting the fire stick to solve my current tv situation. I like watching the Cleveland Indians and other MLB teams, so my family has an MLB TV membership. This works great for my parents who are out of state. However, since I’m in Ohio, I’m in the “blackout zone” and cannot watch the live games. Any suggestions? Could I watch the games through the fire stick? I was looking into Sling TV (blue package) as well.



    • John Schmoll says:

      Not a problem Sarah, happy to help. You wouldn’t be able to watch games through the actual Fire Stick, unless you have a subscription to MLB TV Premium. You might be able to get them through Sling TV as they offer ESPN3 for more extensive viewing options. Fubo TV *might* be another option as they have a lot of different sports channels. Both platforms offer a free trial, so it doesn’t hurt to try them out for that trial period.

  • BJK says:

    Hi can you watch Eurosport via fire stick ?

  • Marty Schiffenbauer says:

    If you install a fire stick and are an Amazon Prime member are all programs on the Amazon channels free? For example Britbox or Acorn?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Good question Marty. I’ve not personally tried all of the channels so I can’t speak to all of them. With something like HBO Now, I know you’d still need to pay the subscription fee.

  • katie says:

    What is a good internet package to have for smooth wathching?…25Mbbs, 45Mbps?


    • John Schmoll says:

      Good question Katie. Not knowing everything you’d be using concurrently it’s tough to say exactly. Amazon does recommend a speed of at least 5 Mbps for HD video streaming. We have just over 40 Mbps and it never have an issue.

  • James Brown says:

    Hey John, just wondering can you get the USA channel and TRU TV on fire stick???

  • Vickie Thomley says:

    I too am ready to cut the cable. I just retired and trying to cut some expense and cable is definitely one of them. I have two questions:
    1. Do you have to have a subscription to Amazon prime to get all the different channels, movies, etc. to use the Fire Stick?
    2. What internet speed would work well?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Congrats on the retirement Vickie!
      No, you don’t NEED to have Prime but it does open up a lot more for you in terms of options – especially if you like the movie/show selection as a part of Prime.
      You’d want at least 5 Mbps to get HD streaming.

  • Melvin Green says:

    Can I get LMN and independent channels and my local stations too

    • John Schmoll says:

      Unfortunately not Melvin. You’ll need to do a few different things to get those. I’d check out this post for what’s needed.

      • Jerry says:

        I have had Fire stick for a few weeks now and am learning a great deal. The remote for my TV no longer controls the volume and I can’t switch back to the TV. Any suggestions?

        • John Schmoll says:

          Hmm, haven’t heard about that before. I don’t have any ideas, unfortunately, other than maybe reaching out to the manufacturer of the TV to see what help they might be able to provide.

  • Katie says:

    I hate to be dense but I guess I am! 3 TVs with cable boxes & a bunch of useless channels. Mom wants her Hallmark, Lifetime, HGTV channels which I see I can get with Sling. Boys mostly game but occasionally watch TV, mainly movies, too old for Disney, etc. I like local stations, some HGTV. So, if I get a Firestick for each TV and subscribe to Sling does it look like I can make everyone happy? Especially me that pays the bill!!!

    • John Schmoll says:

      No, not at all. πŸ™‚ For the most part, yes, that’d cover you. The thing to keep in mind is Sling only allows for you to stream on one device at a time. You can get three devices at a time, but that is on higher priced tiers. You may wan to consider DirecTV Now as they allow for two streaming devices at the same time on all tiers.

  • Stephanie Bassman says:

    Trying to get regular CBS shows. ABC, FOX, and NBC shows are available. IS there a way without having to pay for AllAccess to watch CBS Shows with my Firestick?

    • John Schmoll says:

      To my knowledge there isn’t Stephanie. I do know that you can access some CBS shows from their website, 24 hours after airdate. We watch The Amazing Race that way (just connect our laptop to our TV) but not certain how many of their shows they offer this way.

  • Pamela Estepp says:

    Ok…I am a total electronics idiot. After reading stuff on both here and Amazon I a still a bit confused.

    I currently have internet and tv service thru Suddenlink. I want to drop the tv service. I currently also have Amazon Prime AcornTV and Netflix. If I drop Suddenlinks tv service what will I be able to pick up with the Amazon Fire Stick…

    • John Schmoll says:

      The Fire Stick will allow you to access the apps/channels listed at the beginning of the post. I will add that it won’t replace all the channels you get with cable . For that you’d want a streaming service like DirecTV Now or Sling TV. They’re both a fraction of the cost of standard cable, with no contract.

  • denise hughes says:

    Which of the apps you list as being available with the stick are actually free? With amazon subscript, I have the apps for cracle, hulu, hbo, showtime, iheart radio and a subscript is required to watch.

    Apologies, crackle is free. Appears to be a movie channel. Movies contain commercials.

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s hard to say Denise since the login component of a number of them are dependent on the particular ISP you use. As you said, some are paid but the others can be hard to say.

  • Joie says:

    My son and I don’t currently have cable or wifi. We’ve been watching dvd’s. I’m leaning towards the fire stick. How does it compare to fire tv? And what wifi service would you recommend? Thank you for all the information :).

    • John Schmoll says:

      They’re basically the same Joie – they have a lot of the same capabilities though some differences – I highlight them in this post.

      In terms of WiFi service, it’s hard to say as many Internet Service Providers are regional so what may be good for me may not be in your area.

  • John Blakeney says:

    Great article, however, there is one part that can be confusing to non-tech people like myself. You say “Here is a list of the channels available through the Fire TV Stick:” Question: Are those FREE with the stick, or do they require purchase (I know that some are paid, like Hulu, but what about the others?


    • John Schmoll says:

      Good question John. I address that in the post, but yes, some are paid like Hulu or HBO Now. For many of the others it depends on your Internet Service Provider as to whether or not your login for them will get you free access to a fair bit of the others. If you’re looking for something to act as a close to full replacement of cable, you’d want to look at a streaming, no-contract service like DirecTV Now or Sling TV.

      I’m not a tech person at all, and even with that it’s pretty simple to handle. πŸ™‚

  • DaHanna says:

    I have Spectrum Cable, basic tv and internet. Can the Fire Stick be used to access the internet and then access a channel’s website to watch their content, i.e. tvland and Own? Channels I can watch on my computer, but would rather see on the bigger tv screen.

    • John Schmoll says:

      I apologize, but I’m not certain of that. We don’t have Spectrum in our area and have no experience using their services.

  • Craig Morton says:

    I have great internet, but I want to drop Direct TV, with Amazon fire stick is it possible to stream OAN?

  • Dee says:

    HI John,

    I’m new to streaming and just discovered Fire Stick. I have an older Toshiba CRT TV and have been using an RCA antenna instead of cable.

    *Will Fire Stick work with my CRT TV & antenna? **Will changing ISP’s -after- installing Fire Stick be a problem, or should I wait to install Fire Stick after I have the new (Spectrum) Internet? (I’m not getting Spectrum cable).

    I want to get PBS ~ and a lot of the old TV programs (Murder She Wrote, Matlock, Diagnosis Murder, Bananza, etc.) ~ as well as other programs and some movies. ***The idea is no extra cost beyond the Fire Stick.*** Any input is much appreciated!

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s a great question Dee. You can use a Fire TV Stick on a CRT TV, but you will require a converter to do so. What you’ll need is a HDMI to composite converter, which you should be able to find on Amazon or somewhere like Best Buy. You will not be able to use the Fire Stick without this as it requires a HDMI or USB port to work.

      The Fire TV Stick will not allow you to get local channels like PBS, but you should be able to get that with an antenna. DirecTV Now and Sling TV are options to get movies and other content, but they’re streaming options so you’d need a newer TV for them.

  • Malinda Storms says:

    Hi John! I was wondering if it’s possible to record from the Fire Stick (or the like) to a DVR
    Also, what about a household with multiple TV’s, do we have to get a Fire Stick or the like for each one? Thank You for your time!


    • John Schmoll says:

      Good question Malinda. I know you can with a Fire TV, but not certain on the Fire TV Stick, with the Tablo OTA DVR.

      You don’t necessarily have to. If you don’t mind moving the stick you can get by with just one. However, if you’d rather not or will have times where both TVs will be in use you’d want multiple Fire sticks.

  • Paul Finlay says:

    Will the fire stick work in Canada, other countries ???

    • John Schmoll says:

      Thats a great question Paul! Yes, the Amazon Fire TV Stick will work in Canada as well as some other countries – per the Amazon site. It looks like you need to go to “Manage your content and devices” then Settings, then Country Settings to find the available countries. They do say that available content will vary from country to country, but it can be used.

  • Geethakamal Nallan says:

    Hi John, Thank you for the good information. I have a dumb question. If I buy fire stick, do I still need to have a subscription and a monthly bill to HBO if I want to watch my favs Bill Maher/John Oliver? Thank you.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Not a dumb question at all. πŸ™‚ Yes, with HBO being a paid service you’d still need to have it. It’s HBO Now, we have it ourselves, and runs about $15 per month after the free trial.

  • Denise says:

    If I have a PS4 wouldn’t That a long with YouTube TV work as well as a fire stick since I also have Amazon Prime?

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s a good question Denise. I’m not certain on the ability to watch Amazon Prime content on YouTube TV. YouTube TV does give access to live networks and some cable offerings, just not certain how it works with Amazon Prime.

  • Joe says:

    If I have 2 tvs do I need 2 dongles so my wife and I can watch at the same time? And if so do i need a seperate HBO, netflix, showtime etc. subscription for each?

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s a great question Joe. Yes, you would need two Fire Sticks to watch on two separate TVs at the same time. You should be fine with the one Netflix subscription. I believe you’ll be fine with just the one on others, but I’ve admittedly never tried to stream HBO Now on more than one device.

  • Pieter Salverda says:

    WOW! First of all, this is possibly the greatest website I have ever seen. SO much great information and simple/clear answers for the questions so many of us have. We have been having this discussion in our home and the one question we have is about watching local tv. My daughter is kind of a sports junky and we love watching nfl football (Seahawks) on NBC and FOX. Is it possible to do so with the Fire Stick?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Well thanks for the kind words Pieter. πŸ™‚ The Amazon Fire TV Stick will not let you get local channels. It largely offers those apps and content mentioned at the beginning of the post.

      That said, getting locals is fairly simple. Here’s our guide on how to watch local TV without cable. Since you like the Seahawks, you might also want to check out this post on how to watch NFL games without cable.

      By the way, I’m a K-State alum and y’all have one of my favorite players – Tyler Lockett! πŸ™‚

  • CMD says:

    So, when will fire stick offer the spectrum tv app ?

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s a good question, I’m not certain unfortunately. You might want to reach out to Spectrum as they might know.

  • Barbara says:

    What internet speed is recommended for optimal performance?

    • John Schmoll says:

      The minimum internet speed for the Amazon Fire Stick is at least 3 Mbps SD streaming and 5 Mbps for HD.

  • Jane Cosme says:

    Is hallmark available thru fire tv?

  • Linda Dartt says:

    I’m trying to get DTV out of my life. I have a Vizio smart TV, but it came with a bunch of apps and has no ability to go to a web address independent of those apps/doesn’t support browsing. Will I need a different TV?

  • Dom Grup says:

    All I want to know is if I’ll be able to get Fox News Channel & Fox Business Channel….What do ya say?.

  • Mike Bottomley says:

    I am trying to use the Photos app, I have a Amazon Drive with a slideshow which I want to display on the TV but I can’t understand how to get the Fire Stick to pick up my drive. Any help appreciated!

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s not something I’ve tried to do Mike so I’m not any help unfortunately. Anyone else have any ideas?

  • Sue Horwath says:

    There are a lot of comments to go thru so I’ll probably ask you a repeated question….I still have to pay monthly to maintain my Netflix in order to watch it thru the stick correct?

  • Toni says:

    I live in an extremely remote location. Can’t even have a phone without satellite and NO cell service. A tv antenna of any sort, will get me exactly zilch. What can this fire stick do for me??

    • John Schmoll says:

      Good question Toni. If you have internet service and a Smart TV a Fire Stick will allow you to get access to those apps listed at the top of the article plus many others. It’s also portable so you can use it when you travel.

  • Judy Barnette says:

    i cut the cord 2 yrs. ago. I use Kodi, Stremio, and set tv, the only one that costs $20/mo. Set Tv gives access to ALL sports channels, as well as ANY channel you can name, LIVE. Also VOD and more. Stremio, I use to watch shows that were on the night before. It is very easy to navigate. Kodi was the first service I investigated, and I keep it updated. You canpull up ANY movie or TV show EVER made. I recommend NOT watching a new movie, as your ISP will get after you for copyright laws! πŸ˜‰ I also use a cheap antenna for local channels (I get about 17) free, and wireless HDMI to transfer all my shows from laptop to TV. So, all together, I’m paying only $30/mo. to watch anything I want, whenever I want. All services I use, I have downloaded onto my laptop. No need for ANY “device” or paid service, except the $20 for, which I use during Football and basketball seasons!

    • John Schmoll says:

      Glad to hear you’ve cut the cord and enjoy some savings Judy. I understand the draw of something like Kodi. We don’t recommend Kodi for the Amazon Fire TV Stick or any other service as it can be viewed as stealing content. To each their own, of course. πŸ™‚

  • Christine says:

    I have Fire Stick with my Amazon Prime membership. Want to get parents Fire Stick for their house. Can both house share the Prime and how do we get them connected on Prime. Also the Fire Stick can be used without Alexa? They do not want that.

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s a great question Christine. You can have multiple Fire TV Sticks on one account. The issue comes in with streaming video content at the same time. That depends on the channel/ app you’re watching.

  • Ian says:

    I have a small resort in the mountains and cable tv cant reach it. We can, however, get an lte signal. I’m planning on getting amazon fire tv for the rentable rooms do you think its legal? I’ve been trying to find any language in their terms and conditions that might correct me but i habent found any, unlike netflix that specifically says you cant use their app for public display. Please i need to know before i do any unecessary purchases. Thank you.

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s a great question Ian, I’m not certain unfortunately. I did some searching and wasn’t able to locate anything. I don’t think it’d be a problem since the Fire Stick is a portable device, but you never know.

  • Niki says:

    Hi John! Thank you so much for breaking this down so simply and easy to understand. I’m contemplating getting a firestick and an antenna to cut costs, what speed of Internet works the best? I don’t want to pay more for speed if I don’t nee it. Its just me and I usually have the TV on in the background as I’m working on my Mac. Thanks so much!

    • John Schmoll says:

      Not a problem at all Niki. You need at least 3 Mbps for SD content and at least 5 Mbps for HD content with the Amazon Fire TV Stick.

  • Glen Pratt says:

    Hello we are wanting to get away from New Wave cable and find something that will fit our needs. We want to watch lots of Movies, even those that just been released; plus out local channels we like to watch…Now im told that the FIRE T.V. STICK will give us the movies we want to watch, but was also told to get the Mohu leaf 50 to get our local tv shows.–Now my question is Just how much will this fire stick cost and how much will the mohu leaf 50 cost? Please send me an answer back with details about all were looking for?

    • John Schmoll says:

      All good questions Glen. The Fire TV Stick will get you access to a few channels and some apps but you’ll really want a streaming provider to replace most of what you’re looking for. This post should answer all of your questions. That said, the Fire TV Stick typically costs $40 and the Mohu depends on which one you buy but should be no more than $60-70.

  • Will Davis says:

    Will I be able to watch MLB with Firestick, or will I have to pay a 3rd party like Amazon prime or
    some other service?

  • Adelle Blackman says:

    I currently have frontier and they are ripping off each month with a bill that is NOT what I signed up for. My daughter bought me a fire stick, but I don’t know how to use it yet. The list they give is not at all what I want to see. Here are the ONLY networks I watch… FOX, OAN, A&E and HGTV. I want to be able to get those and fire stick does not have any of them but A&E. Also I want a land line and internet that I currently have. I don;t know what is best to do, but I am not going back to Spectrum as they do not carry OAN & I love it. I MUST have a landline, internet & those networks, so someone please tell me what I need to do.

  • Jackie Barry says:

    We have Amazon Prime and subscribe to Britbox and Acorn. Are they available with the Fire Stick?
    Our Direct TV promotion is up in October and as “the older” generation, we need easy please. Is it really that easy to use?

  • Joan James says:

    Hi John:
    We currently have Charter/Spectrum at $182/mo. It’s the worst cable service ever. We are considering letting cable go, but not quite ready. My partner has to have his Portland NBA Blazer games. We live about 100 miles from Portland in a small coastal town in a heavily wooded area, so we may or may not be able to get the NBA games by antenna? We also just got Amazon Prime and are trying to decide between a Roku or a Fire box. The main problem here is hooking up to NBCNW to get the Blazer games (without paying a $200/season fee). We currently get them with Charter, but if we let Charter go…any suggestions? Direct Now won’t work for this.

  • Hillary says:

    Dose the fire stick come with the channel abc like dose it have general hospital n teen mom og n total bellas

  • Julissa Reyes says:

    I really like my firestick just 1 issue, not able to get the APP UnivisionNow and telemundoNow is nothing like it. Do you know if its under a different name?

  • Sandra Lyons says:

    I am debating on whether to purchase the Amazon Fire TV stick and have read your article. I had Comcast’s basic plan so it doesn’t offer much. Most of the shows I watch are on ABC, NBC and CBS. I read your list of channels and only see CBS. My daughter just purchased this and from what she can see if you want to watch shows on ABC or NBC you have to pay monthly fees.

    I am trying to get rid of cable to save those monthly fees as I am on a limited fixed income. If I understand you listing those two channels are not part of the free ones.

  • victoria says:

    I lost my fire stick remote. can I use a universal remote or an app on my android instead?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Great question Victoria. After doing a little bit of research on what to do if you lose your Fire TV stick remote, there is an app Amazon offers on both Android and iOS devices. It allows you to pair it to your device and use the app for your remote.

  • Pam Lubben says:

    I’m looking at getting a second firestick because the one I have is connected in a way that it’s not easily accessible to remove and switch to another TV. Is it possible to have two firesticks on the same account?

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s a great question Pam. You can have as many Fire TV sticks as you want. Amazon allows you to stream to three devices at once, so that’s all that really matters.

  • EricG says:

    So I’m hearing more and more about people “cutting the cord” which I, of thousands of people, want to do because of paying high prices for triple play bundles that are supposed to “save money”, and I like many others play the switch provider every 2 years game. I’m sick of it and want out! I’m reading more and more about Amazon FireStick, Amazon TV, Roku and the other options, how to get my movie channels (HBO, Starz, Cinemax, Showtime, TMC) as well as specific tv channels my family watches. I just switched over to another provider for the time being, but on 1 tv I am going to purchase the Amazon Firestick and play around with it, to see everything I can get for it. If this works out and this is the way to go, I am very much looking forward to cutting the cord and saving money!!

    • John Schmoll says:

      There are definitely a lot of options out there to get what you want to watch without paying $110+ per month. Check out this post as it gives you everything you need to know to cut the cord and what streaming providers are best for your needs.

  • Angela Cook says:

    I have amazon prime and a firestick. I’m trying to understand this firestick. When I click on something and it says “download you own it”. Am I buying something or is it free? I’m afraid of buying channels when I thought they were free.

    • John Schmoll says:

      That depends on the app you’re clicking on. If you refer to the list in the post, they’re all included. If you’re clicking on something else then it’s not included. Most of the apps are free, aside from premium channels like HBO or something like that.

  • Chuck Stack says:

    Because of a $40 increase in my cable bill I thought I’d give firestick a try of course I did research and the one thing I want (MSNBC)will cost me $40 a month . Tell me against the benefits of cutting the cable

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sorry to hear about the increase Chuck. I’d ask what it’s increasing to. If it’s anywhere near the average monthly cable bill of $110 per month, then cutting the cord is a no-brainer. You can use a streaming service like Hulu Live, pay $40 per month, and get MSNBC plus 60ish other channel and save the difference.

  • Dniksta says:

    For months now I was able to download apps on my Firestick such as NBC, VH1 and OWN just to name a few and watch Live tv with no problem. I ONLY have Spectrum as my internet provider and now I am getting this message: “Access to this program is not included in your Spectrum tv subscription” which is preventing me from watching those apps. now.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, that would be a Spectrum issue and not a Fire Stick issue as it’s always dependent on the ISP you have.

  • Geri Prada says:

    I am having trouble with set up of Firestick 4K…press the home button and get a red/orange blinking light and then nothing…

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sorry to hear that Geri. I’m not certain what the problem might be. Have you reached out to Amazon to ask for help? They might be able to give better assistance.

  • jerry kopplin says:

    can i get discovery, history, golf, fox, cnn

  • Sally Stewart says:

    As much as streaming is made to sound like an easy replacement for cable, I have been very frustrated with access to sports games. I just paid a subscription to PGA for the Waste Managment Golf tournament and the streaming was cut off before today’s end!!!! I had already tried Sling Orange-Blue which is suppose to work and then learned via chat that the game was not covererd! How does one find out HOW to get a game in a ‘non-covered’ area of northern California?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sorry to hear about your frustration Sally. Streaming is an easy replacement for cable. I’m not a tech genius by any means and we’ve been cable free for 3+ years.

  • Beatriz Zepeda says:

    Does fire stick have
    bein sports in spanish?
    fox deportes?
    univision deportes network?

  • Gary friedman says:

    Is the E channel available?

  • Lori Kimbrell says:

    Until the past week we have had no problems watching Hallmark with our Fire Stick using Xfinity as our cable/internet provider. Why can I not watch Hallmark Live now??

    Please help

  • Tawnia says:

    I am currently paying 62.00/mo for ATT internet, and 116.00/mo for Dish. My local channels I use an antenna for. I checked out the cost of switching to Comcast double bundle and it would save me about 30.00/mo from what I am paying now. I’d get 50mbps internet and 200+ Preferred pkg. I do watch alot of TV, record shows for when I am not going to be home to watch later. I have one DVR and a joey. How do I, or can I, cut down cost and still see ALL of the same channels ?

  • PAUL BLOOM says:

    Very helpful.
    I am keeping one subscription to Optimum (Long story). Can I get the optimum service on my Firestick, like i can get it on my computer ? At least I will be able to emiminate the $10 per month charge for the STB

    • John Schmoll says:

      Happy to be of help. If I understand you’re question correctly, you’re asking if you can use the dongle to get internet service. If that’s the question, then, no, that’s not possible. It’s simply a Wi-fi enabled device, not a router.

  • Prefer Private says:

    I recently moved and brought my outdoor antenna with me. Moved to a rental house that has multiple cable boxes attached to the side of the house. I know it would be process of elimination, but how can I hook up my antenna simply and quickly w/o knowing where to connect? Is that the only way to connect antenna to inside 2 tv’s??? I had someone set it all up at my other house but that was many yrs ago and I no longer live in that area to get person(s) I personally know to help…thanks in advance

  • Kathy Brockway says:

    If you have the Amazon fire stick and it has Netflix on it do you still have to pay the monthly fee for Netflix

  • Bill says:

    John – A point of clarification for those folks asking about specific channels. I assume that if you subscribe to Hulu Live, you get all the channels that come with Hulu Live.

    I currently have an Apple TV 4K and am able to get most of my local channels through Hulu Live, just not CW, which is fine.

    My question is, can you access Hulu’s Cloud DVR with the fire stick? I can with AppleTV, but I can’t with the Hulu app that’s provided on my DVD player. If you can, this would be a great low-cost option for those tv’s I don’t use very often. Thanks!

    • John Schmoll says:

      Yep, we only list the channels that Hulu Live offers and don’t NOT list any. πŸ™‚ To my knowledge, no that would not be possible. You’d actually need Hulu Live installed on your smart TV, but I could be wrong.

  • Wyndell Faustin says:

    I purchased the fire stick 4K and live in Barbados, I have a prime account and most of the apps (cbs all access etc ) is unavailable.

    One of the main reasons I got the fire stick is because I hardly watch the others. How can I rectify this issue.
    Thanks in advance

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sorry to hear of that Wyndell. We’re not certain why that’s the case. Your best bet is to directly reach out to Amazon for assistance.

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