Amazon Fire TV Stick Questions & Answers

fire-tv-stick-qa
Today’s announcement of the Amazon Fire TV Stick has stirred up quite a few unanswered questions. I’m going to gather the most popular ones and try to answer them here. I’ll be updating this post as needed throughout the day. If you’ve got a question related to the Fire TV Stick, tweet them at me with the hashtag #fireTVstickQA and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Can you install XBMC / Kodi (or other sideloaded apps) on the Fire TV Stick?
Most likely, Yes. There’s no way to know for sure until the device ships, but Amazon has been very open with allowing sideloaded apps. The Fire TV has always accepted sideloaded apps, so there’s no reason to think the Fire TV Stick will be any different. Additionally, a recent update to the Fire TV has added the option to enable app installs from unknown sources; further showing Amazon’s acceptance of non-Appstore apps. Finally, the primary way to sideload apps on the Fire TV is to do so over the network. So if the Fire TV Stick’s micro USB port is truly just capable of providing power, it will not hinder the ability to sideload apps.

Update

Now that the Fire TV Stick has been released, we know you can install XBMC / Kodi the same way you install it on the Fire TV.

Can you root the Fire TV Stick?
The Fire TV Stick will probably be just as rootable as the Fire TV. That said, new Fire TVs running the latest update are currently not rootable so the Fire TV Stick will likely not be rootable when it ships. However, I would expect that if a future rooting method is discovered for the Fire TV that it will also work on the Fire TV Stick.

Update

Now that the Fire TV Stick has been released, we know that you currently cannot root it.

Can the Fire TV Stick run all the Fire TV apps?
Amazon lists the Fire TV as having “300+” games, and the Fire TV Stick as having “200+” games. That right there tells you that there are Fire TV apps that don’t run on the Fire TV Stick. Since the Fire TV Stick has a weaker CPU and GPU, the deciding factor will be how computationally intense is the app. I suspect that most, if not all, non-games will run on both devices.

Can you use a mouse and/or keyboard with the Fire TV Stick?
The lack of a full USB port is a concern for mouse and keyboard support. The Fire TV supports a mouse, keyboard, and even USB hubs right out of the box. The Fire TV Stick may support the same using an adapter, but even if it doesn’t, people have had success using bluetooth mice and keyboards with the Fire TV, so I suspect the case will be the same with the Fire TV Stick. Additionally, using smartphones as remote mice and keyboards should work by sideloading server/client apps.

Can you use voice search on the Fire TV Stick?
Not with the included remote, but the Fire TV Stick is compatible with the Voice Remote which Amazon sells separately for $29.99. Additionally, Amazon will be releasing a Fire TV Remote App for Android and iOS which will be capable of functioning as a voice remote for the Fire TV Stick.

Will the Fire TV Stick work with Game Controllers?
Yes, but only ones with Bluetooth. The Amazon Fire Game Controller will work, as will other standard bluetooth controllers like the Playstation DualShock 4. Controllers like the Xbox 360 controller, which require a USB Receiver, will not work.

How powerful is the Fire TV Stick?
We don’t know much about the performance of the device. Based on the CPU Amazon decided to use, the performance should fall somewhere between a Samsung Galaxy S II and Samsung Galaxy S III.

Can the Fire TV Stick be powered by my TV’s HDMI port?
Yes, but Amazon advises that you should use the included power plug instead.

Can I use the Fire TV Stick non-voice remote with my Fire TV and vice versa?
Yes. If you already have a Fire TV, all remotes can work on all devices. This is especially great because it means you can play multiplayer games using one voice remote and one non-voice remote.

Can you cast web browser pages to your TV like you can with Chromecast?
There is no indication on the Fire TV Stick product page that you can “cast” or “mirror” a web browser page. However, Amazon did just add Miracast support to the Fire TV with the latest software update. Miracast allows you to mirror your entire PC, if it supports it, to the Fire TV. So since all indication is that the Fire TV Stick will be very similar in functionality to the Fire TV, I would expect that the Fire TV Stick will launch with miracast support. Remember though that miracast is not a browser plugin like Chromecast uses. Instead, your operating system needs to support it, and currently Windows 8.1 is the only operating system that supports miracast by default.

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76 comments
  1. kara says:

    And what about powering it from the tvs usb port like chromecast. anyone know?

    • Smiffy71 says:

      That will still work.

    • TucsonShopper says:

      The TV USB port may not provide enough juice (amps) for the AmazonTV Stick features lacking on the Chromecast (such as 5GHz Wi-Fi support). This is why the installation will repeatedly warn you that using the TV’s USB power may cause limitations to some of the features. Yes, none of the Amazon advertisements show the Stick needing power (not cool) and it cannot take power from the HDMI port as suggested above.

  2. Gavin Lewandowski says:

    Hi,

    I would suggest adding a section, if using a Fire TV behind a BT Homehub/BT Broadband – to disable Smart Setup in the routers setting, otherwise the Fire TV doesnt function correctly, Apps fail to run , or crash.

  3. Marek says:

    are you sure about always needing power from usb? none of the pics on amazon imply it. it would make a ton of surprised people when they receive the stick and unlike on the picture they have to run another cable.

  4. Holly says:

    Can you cast web browser pages to your TV like you can with Chromecast?

  5. Bruce Fraiser says:

    With Fire TV, Are you able to get major TV channels, like CBS, NBC, ABC and fox?
    Thanks for your time,
    Bruce Fraiser <

  6. Jack H. says:

    I presume we’ll have bluetooth headphone support unlike the Chromecast, correct?

  7. chris says:

    You are now connected to Ajith from Amazon.com
    Me:fire tv stick
    Ajith:Hello, my name is Ajith. I’ll certainly try to help regarding your concern.
    Could you please elaborate youe query?
    Me:does fire tv stick allow installation of applications from unknown sources.
    Ajith:No, with the Fire stick you can only install apps from Amazon APpstore.
    Appstore*
    Me:are u 100 percent sure.
    Ajith:Yes Chris.
    Me:does it allow adb debugging.
    Ajith:Are you referring to Data transfer?
    Me:adb shell commands
    Ajith:No, Fire stick does not allow.

    from this chat it doesn’t look like it will do unknown sources.

    • AFTVnews says:

      Now that we know the Fire TV Stick can sideload apps just fine, we’ve learned that customer service reps are not to be trusted as reliable sources of information.

  8. Mexikhan says:

    I just received the Fire Stick, I was able to side load SPMC, which I assume you can also side load XBMC.

    Also there is no voice search with the remove but there is an APP FIRE TV remote for android which you can use for voice search and keyboard input.

  9. Quinten says:

    I have confirmed it work with Amazon Fire TV Stick as I just got my delivered to my house and sideloaded with TVMC (Kodi).

    • brennan says:

      can u help me do the same i feel like i am following all the steps but still cant get fire tv to connect to my cpu to install xbmc

  10. brennan says:

    hello
    i am having a hard time installing xbmc on my fire tv stick
    i can get my amazon fire tv stick it to connect using adbfire but i have to use a different ip address that is showing on the about screen on my amazon fire tv stick so instead of 192.168.1.11 (which is the ipaddress on my fire tv stick) i used 192.168.1.1 and it connects. then when i try to install xbmc apk from desktop via abdfire the green status bar just loads and loads and loads. i left it going all night last night and i still did not get a successful this morning.

    when i enter this different ip address in the command prompt (via adt bundle- sdk- platform tools) it will connect but then when i type check devices it says offline so i cant install the xbmc apk

    ive also tried installing spmc and cannot get it to show up on my amazon fire tv stick even after syncing and looking for it on the cloud

  11. xrak says:

    The Fire TV Android app is not connecting to my Fire TV Stick (not finding the device). Got any tips to resolve that?
    BTW, I’m on original Firmware that comes with the stick, disabled update for now.

    • AFTVnews says:

      The remote app requires the first Fire TV Stick update, version 54.1.0.1_user_101016220, to work. I’ll have an overview of the update up soon that covers everything the update adds.

  12. Nick says:

    Which connection(s) can the Fire Stick use between the remote control…
    IR?
    Bluetooth?
    Wi-fi?

    • AFTVnews says:

      The Voice Remote and Non-Voice Remote both use bluetooth. The smartphone app uses wifi. You can buy a FLIRC to add IR capabilities to the Fire TV, but it doesn;t work for the FIre TV Stick.

  13. Mike says:

    Can more than 1 Fire TV and/or Fire TV Stick be used in the same house, or will they interfere with each other over the wifi. I’m considering putting them on tv’s in different rooms rather than getting one device and moving it from room to room. Also, would multiple users be able to view different content at the same time with the above set-up?
    Thank you.

  14. Xb can newb says:

    Which would be better (more powerful, less lag, etc);, while using xbmc.

    -fire tv box
    Or
    -fire tv stick?

    Any difference in performance.
    -any issues streaming wifi using fire stick? Any lag/latency?
    -or would it be better to use fire tv box? (Ethernet port available?)

    Thanks in advance!!!

    • AFTVnews says:

      The Fire TV box is definitely more powerful and therfore has less lag. I hope to have some direct comparison videos and articles up very soon.

  15. Phil says:

    Installation of the firestick halts as its trying to install updates. It tells me it cannot update and to unplug it for a few seconds, plug back in and give it a go. I’ve tried this at least 5 times. Any help?

  16. ray says:

    i have a Fire Stick and have side loaded XMBC sucessfully. What I messed up is installing the Cinema Box Skin (i’m thinking for desktop and laptop) and now I want to change it but the Stick’s remote is very limited and doesn’t allow me (only up, down, left, right) to go to the Cinema Box Skin’s “Settings” logo (after the Window) so I can’t do anything. I tried the remote android app and it doesn’t let me go down to that icon. Any help to allow me to go to the settings to uninstall this? I know worst case is to re-install XMBC again. thanks

  17. Judith Bender says:

    TV screen stays at Scanning for networks..How do I get out of this? This is most frustrating setting up Amazon Fire Stick?

  18. Eunice says:

    I am unable to connect my AFTV stick to my Wi-Fi. the TV stick is installed in the HDMI2 port on my TV set ( and plugged into the electrical outlet) My Wi-Fi connection appears on my TV but when I enter my password, it will not connect. I have had this password for years. What am I doing wrong?

  19. Manny Q says:

    Sideloaded KODI to Amazon Fire TV Stick. Works okay, but it crashes on IPTV or live streams. I am wondering if it is due to processing speed/memory. Does anyone have that same issue with theirs or with the Fire Tv box?

  20. Rick says:

    Ours set up in no time and worked a treat, we then switched back to ordinary tv which no longer worked! If we unplug the Fire stick it’s all fine so I’m guessing it is interference that is the problem. How is this possible?!

  21. richard says:

    can i connect the fire stick so that i get surround sound i have a bose home theater system?

  22. sammantha roten says:

    Has nbc released the app yet for fire tv?

  23. Steve says:

    Richard – Does your TV have a optical/co-axial digital output, if so you can use that to output the DD stream to your receiver as I do and it works great, also means you don’t have to keep changing inputs on your receiver for the other HDMI connected devices as they all sent the output through this. The only other way would be if you’ve got an HDMI receiver and then you’d just plug your Fire stick into one of the inputs on that.

  24. phs says:

    I’m using the Fire tv stick with kodi Helix. When I try and watch live Tv, it crashes after 6 minutes or so. Is there a setting I’m missing?
    Thank you

  25. Rick Naylor says:

    Can you use Fire TV Stick without a TV I only have a laptop with HDMI and still have an old cathode ray TV with coax and RCA input

    • AFTVnews says:

      No you can’t. Your laptop’s HDMI port is an HDMI OUT port. You can’t plug the Fire TV Stick into that port and view it on your laptop screen.

  26. Gina says:

    I can’t get my music to sync to my Fire Stick. I have tried pressing the sync content button from Settings and have also tried two restarts. When I go into my Music Library, I can see the purchased music there and even a playlist I created, but it’s not showing up on the Stick. I also forgot my wifi connection and reconnected.
    Any ideas?

  27. James says:

    can u program multiple fire sticks with the same IP address and can they work in different areas in town at the same time ?

  28. mac stone says:

    how many fire tv fire stick can you have in your home, and are there restictions on use

    • Dee Leavings says:

      Mac Stone, did you ever receive an answer to this question? THAT is my question today.

      • Trish Cullen says:

        My question also. I need multiple ones. How many are allowed on each account for one price?

  29. julieanne says:

    hi there, I recently purchased the firestick and installed kodi. unfortunately the streaming was quite slow so I was advised to go into fire settings and delete any unused apps and delete caches. I did this this but think ive deleted fire tv!!! I have switched it off by the mains but now when I switch it back on I cant get past the registration page. any ideas how I install this again?

  30. Edgar ST.Aimie says:

    I can’t get the fire tv stick started it keep asking me to put in password I don’t have any pass word on that
    IT’S SHOWING A SET OF NUMBERS don’t know which one to use

  31. Montez says:

    I have my fire stick plugged in my Xbox can I get it to pull up on my TV that way

  32. charmane says:

    is the AFTV portable? Can I buy one stick and use it on multiple devices? For example, I have 4 tvs and a table can I use the same stick for all 5 devices?

  33. Chris Murphy says:

    My main home has internet, Wi-Fi, HDTV, etc. But my rather remote vacation home only has HDTV (no internet ,Wi-Fi,or cloud access). I was wondering if I could record a few shows at home on the fire stick 8gb device and play them off the device at my vacation home?

  34. Adrian says:

    Hi do I need ikono for kodi? What is lama for? I deleted it and now my kodi is on german. Why?

  35. Steve says:

    having trouble getting kodi to load. When I move “curser” to “ARM” to highlight and click, the square that frames it is yellow. My friend has a blue square. His works mine don’t. When I click on the “ARM” it just shows a circle arrow for a second and then nothing. is there other ways to download the kodi app?

  36. Hi, i have two questions. When we try to put on the movie Daddy’s Home it plays the wrong movie.
    Second, for the new movie sisters it keeps saying no stream available.
    What’s the deal?

    • Its still playing the wrong movie. It’s weird because the movie is also called Daddy’s home, but it’s not the one that its supposed to be. Please can someone help

      • Susie says:

        Hi did you find the answer to this as I am also having the same problem its so annoying as I really want to watch it :)

  37. Michele says:

    Received Firetv stick as Christmas gift Son in law set up accounts for me and my husband. My husband has his on how do I get to my profile. Very annoyed

  38. marie empey says:

    Have fire stick and also bose home entertainment system. The two don’t seem to”talk” to each other. Anything we can do?

  39. al chase says:

    Can 1 firestick control more than 1 tv

  40. Mary says:

    My fire stick was working fine but now when I turn on my TV and go to HDMI3 which is where it is plugged into, my TV says no signal but my regular TV works fine so it’s not the cable. Any ideas what it could be? I already umplugged it and plugged it back in?

  41. Helen Bound says:

    My fire stick remote was broken so used App to connect and navigate. Now need to change WiFi details and I can’t change with app. Any ideas,don’t want to huyvremite just to change details

  42. I am trying to open my account to get my fire stick started but it keeps saying enter your full name as shown on the image so I have tried a few times that my name could be I have even put my name exactly. The way it is spelt on my bank card so can you explain what image are they asking me for

  43. Breanna says:

    I have a question about the hulu app on the firestick. I already have an account with hulu but when I try and get it on the firestick it is asking for a purchase. Why is that?

  44. Martin. Bristol says:

    Hi I’ve had it since Xmas I set up account but every time it tells me my name is wrong so not used it yet

  45. Darrell W. Johnson says:

    My son erased my ip address of mi fire stick how can i get bk.caz wont get on internet

  46. John says:

    If my television is only a monitor and has no speakers, will I be able to wire a Firestick to a soundbar component using an optical or AV cable?

  47. John says:

    My television is only a monitor which is wired to a sound bar. Is there any way I can somehow wire my Fire T.V.. to the sound bar so that I can have picture and sound?

  48. Andy says:

    my tv has only the older scart sockets if I get a scart to hdmi lead would the fire stick work?

  49. Fred says:

    Green Horizontal line is at the bottom of the tv when I’m watching a movie, I set it to 16:9 and it’s istill there. is there anyway to get rid of the line.