Fan TV is a new app for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick that lets you search for, and browse lists of, movies and TV shows available through only the streaming services you care about. After selecting from Fan TV’s large list of streaming providers, you’re able to browse through curated and popular lists of content available. The app detects which streaming apps you have installed and integrates perfectly with the Fire TV by allowing you start playing content immediately when you select a movie or TV show within Fan TV.
A Fan.tv account, which can’t be created through the app itself, is required to use the app. Once you login, you select from a list of supported services, which includes Amazon Video, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, Showtime, HBO, and many more.
The main menu is sparse with only four options: Movies, Shows, Search, and Settings. Movies and Shows are where you’ll spend most of your time browsing through lists to find available content. Search is self explanatory, but it’s worth mentioning the app uses it’s own on-screen keyboard which I feel is inferior to the Fire TV’s default on-screen keyboard and is a chore to use. The settings section is where you can further fine tune your selected services, so you’ll want to pop in there before digging further into the app. You can also adjust your settings and service selection through the Fan.tv website.
Once in the Movies or Shows section, you’ll find curated lists as well as lists of popular and newly added content. Lists, like “Prime Movies” and “New to Rent”, will be tailored to the services you’ve selected, meaning you won’t see a list of rentable movies if you’ve only selected subscription services.
In addition to curated lists, you can also browse by content genres. The app also encourages you to add items to a watch list and mark movies and shows as seen. With smartphone and tablet apps for all major platforms, one can easily find and add content on the go and bring up your person list on the Fire TV when you get home.
Selecting a single movie or TV show will display a list of the streaming services, along with relevant prices, that the item is available from. Selecting any of the subscription options from the list will immediately launch the appropriate app and begin playing the content. Selecting a rental or purchase option will open the default payment dialogue for that service. The task of playing content is as seamless and smooth as the Fire TV’s own interface, making for a very pleasant experience.
Fan TV does a great job of helping you find movies and TV shows from the services you care about, while hiding everything else that may get in your way. With the recent addition of the Fire TV’s “Your Videos” section, Amazon is doing a better job of customizing the Fire TV’s content selection to each individual customer, but they still have a way to go. The control of being able to explicitly select which services I want to include and exclude within Fan TV is a refreshing option I wish Amazon would adopt. If Fan TV added an “Apps” section that allowed you to quickly launch other apps, one could strongly consider using it as their primary interface for the Fire TV. The ability to see Amazon Prime and Netflix content mixed into one interface, which the Fire TV still can’t provide due to Netflix’s anti-Amazon ways, is reason enough for me to keep Fan TV installed and in my most recently used app list.