How to Ensure your Fire TV or Firestick is ACTUALLY displaying HDR or Dolby Vision video

Did you know that it’s possible for your TV to indicate that you’re watching HDR10 or Dolby Vision video but your Fire TV is actually streaming plain old standard dynamic range SDR content? This is due to how most streaming services ramp up and down the type of content that you’re receiving based on available bandwidth and connection speed. If you ever find yourself questioning whether what you’re watching is actually in HDR or Dolby Vision, here is how to tell on a Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube, or Fire TV Smart TV. Read more ›

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All the Tips, Secrets, and Hidden Menus of the Fire TV & Firestick Remote

The remote used by Fire TVs, Fire TV Sticks, Fire TV Cubes, and Fire TV Smart TVs has several secrets and hidden menus that are accessible by pressing and holding special button combinations. Some of these remote tips simply provide a quicker way to access certain aspects of the Fire TV interface, while others bring up hidden menus that are not accessible in any other way. Here is a full list of all such tips, secrets, and hidden menus related to the Fire TV remote. Read more ›

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Android TV 12 has officially launched and nobody cares

When a new version of Android launches, it’s usually a big deal, at least when it comes to phones. That’s not the case with Android TV as version 12 has now officially launched but it doesn’t matter to anyone but developers since the only device that it’s available on is the ADT-3 Developer Kit. Google’s own flagship Andoird TV device, the 2020 Chromecast, is still running Android TV 10 with no indication that it will be updated. Similarly, the newest Amazon Fire TVs are based on Android 9 and have also shown no indication of being updated. Read more ›

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Fire TVs gain a new Holiday Hub for Christmas movies

Amazon has added a new Holiday hub for Christmas movies to Fire TV devices. Look for a “Holiday” icon in your apps section to access the new movie hub which contains various lists of Holiday movies to browse and watch. The movies are arranged in rows that vary by category, like comedies and classics, and also vary by cost, such as “Free,” “Rent or Buy,” and “From Your Subscriptions.” Read more ›

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Best Buy lists the Fire TV Blaster as a “Clearance” item

Best Buy, along with many retailers, currently has most Fire TV devices on sale to match Amazon’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday discounts, which are scheduled to end at the end of this week. However, Amazon already ended its discount on the Fire TV Blaster, but, strangely, Best Buy has not. That’s because Best Buy has marked the Fire TV Blaster as a clearance item, which could mean that the product will soon be discontinued. Read more ›

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VP & GM of Fire TV, Sandeep Gupta, leaves Amazon after 10 years

Sandeep Gupta, the Vice President and General Manager of Fire TV, is leaving Amazon after 10 years to join Universal Audio as Chief Operating Officer. He has been critical in shaping Fire TVs into the great line of streaming devices they are today, from the very beginning. There were very few people that I met during my time on the Fire TV team at Amazon that I respected more than Sandeep and he will surely be missed. Read more ›

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Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals on Fire TVs will end on December 5th

Amazon kicked off its Black Friday deals on Fire TV devices early last week and will be keeping those deals alive through Cyber Monday and will not come to an end until at least the end of this week. This includes the Fire TV Stick Lite for $17.99, the Fire TV Stick for $19.99, the Fire TV Stick 4K for $24.99, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max for $34.99, the Fire TV Cube for $79.99, ad the Fire TV Recast for $129.99, which are all at their lowest prices ever. Many deals on Fire TV Smart TVs are also still live, but those will likely end after today and are not scheduled to last until December 5th, like the sale on stand-along Fire TV devices will. So, if you were too busy over the holiday weekend to buy anything or you find later on that you need another device, you still have until the end of the week to get in on these great prices.

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Apple TV app on Fire TV devices now supports Dolby Atmos audio

A recent update has brought support for Dolby Atmos surround sound audio to the Apple TV app on Fire TV devices. Reddit user TFLK reports the discovery and notes that the Japanese listing for the Fire TV Stick 4K Max now mentions Dolby Atmos supported on the Apple TV app. When the Apple TV app first launched on Fire TV devices in 2019, it did so without support for Dolby Atmos or Dolby Vision. Support for Dolby Vision was added about a year ago and now it’s finally being rounded out with support for Dolby Atmos. I don’t currently have an Apple TV account to verify the claim, so please help others by commenting below if Atmos works in the Apple TV app and on which Fire TV model.

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Fox, Fox Sports, ESPN, and Haystack News are now integrated into the Fire TV’s Live tab and Channel Guide

The Fire TV’s live TV interface, which consists of the “Live” tab and the built-in channel guide, has expanded once again with new services that have integrated their live channels. The Fox app has integrated its live local channels, various Fox Sports channels, Fox News, Fox Business, and Big Ten network. The ESPN app has integrated its live cable network channels, for those with a TV provider subscription, as well as its ESPN+ live streams. The Haystack News app has integrated dozens of live news channels. These new additions bring the number of integrated apps and services to 30, which you can find listed here. Read more ›

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Full list of all Services, Apps, Channels, & Devices integrated into Fire TV’s Live Experience & Program Guide [UPDATED]

The Amazon Fire TV’s Live Experience, which makes accessing live linear content easier through various interfaces including a Live Tab, traditional Program Guide, and Home screen rows, has continuously evolved over the years. It started with the first Fire TV Smart TVs as the way to access antenna channels through the TV’s built-in OTA tuner and then expanded to all Fire TV devices with the inclusion of Prime Video Channels, streaming services, and apps. Here’s the full list of streaming services, apps, channels, and devices that integrate into the Fire TV’s Live TV interfaces. This list is regularly updated as more services integrate channels. Read more ›

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List of Fire TVs, Fire TV Sticks, and Fire TV Smart TVs that support AV1 Video Decoding

AV1 is the latest video codec gaining rapid adoption by both streaming services and streaming devices. Its biggest advantage is not needing a licensing fee, unlike the HEVC video codec, which is its biggest competitor. It’s probably safe to assume that all Fire TV models released in the future, especially those with support for 4K, will support decoding AV1 video through dedicated hardware. As for existing Fire TV and Fire TV Smart TV models that already support AV1 video decoding, here’s the full list. Read more ›

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Netflix begins streaming video using AV1 codec to Fire TV devices

Netflix has announced that it will begin streaming video using the AV1 video codec to certain TV devices. The list of devices to get the newly supported video codec from Netlfix is short, but Netlfix tells The Verge that the list includes “select Amazon Fire TV devices with Fire OS 7.” The exact Fire TV models in Netflix’s trial, among those that can support the AV1 codec like the Fire TV Stick 4K Max, is unknown, but your device may be among them. Read more ›

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Amazon guarantees 4 years of Fire TV Security Updates and Ends Guaranteed Updates for 2014 1st-gen Fire TV & Fire TV Stick

Amazon has now officially declared its policy regarding Fire TV software updates to be a guarantee of at least 4 years of security updates after the device is last available for purchase. In doing so, it has set which year each Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Smart TV, and Fire TV Soundbar model may stop receiving updates. Unsurprisingly, having been released over 7 years ago, the 1st-gen Fire TV and 1st-gen Fire TV Stick are the first two models to no longer be guaranteed updates. Read more ›

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When each Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Cube model will Stop Receiving Software Updates

Amazon has published guidelines for how long it will continue to release security software updates for Fire TV devices, including Fire TVs, Firesticks, Fire TV Cubes, Fire TV Smart TVs, and Fire TV Soundbars. The policy is quite simple on the surface, in that Amazon will guarantee security updates for at least 4 years after the device is last available for purchase on Amazon.com. However, in reality, it’s not quite that simple to know when updates will stop. Here’s a list of when updates will stop and what that means. Read more ›

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You can now say “Play Something on Netflix” to your Fire TV

Amazon has announced that the voice command “Play Something on Netflix” is now available on Fire TV devices in the US and Canada. Saying the command, either to the remote microphone or hands-free to Alexa on a Fire TV Cube or Fire TV Omni Smart TV, should begin playing something that Netflix thinks you’ll enjoy, making it the quickest way to start watching anything on a Fire TV. This was one of the new upcoming Fire TV features that Amazon teased last month. I tried the voice command myself and, while Alexa seems to indicate it understood the command by responding “Getting something from Netflix,” all that happened is the Netflix app opened. So, it seems like the feature is still in the process of rolling out and may not be available to everyone just yet.

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Benchmarking which Fire TVs launch apps the fastest — A comparison of all Fire TV models with surprising results

Every time a new Fire TV model is released, I run it through benchmark utilities like Geekbench and GFXBench and post the results compared to all previous Fire TV models. Those tests serve as a good way to measure the raw performance of a device, but I always preface the results by saying that it’s not a good representation of how the devices will perform in actual daily use. A better indication of real-world performance is seeing how quickly each device executes the most common task of a streaming device, which is the launching of apps. I measured how fast every Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Cube model launches apps and the results were quite surprising. Read more ›

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Amazon is preloading Netflix in the background on Fire TVs so that it launches faster

I’ve spent a large part of today testing how fast every Fire TV model can launch apps for a performance benchmark article I plan to put up on Monday. Something I immediately noticed is that Netflix launches fast. Like, very fast. Actually, it launches too fast. From a fresh reboot of the device, most apps take several seconds to launch. Netflix, on the other hand, launches in 1 to 2 seconds every time. It shouldn’t be launching that fast when the device was just rebooted because there shouldn’t be any apps in memory (RAM). After a bunch of testing, I’ve determined that Amazon is preloading Netflix into memory on Fire TV devices before it is ever launched, making it load faster when/if you do decide to launch it. Amazon is not doing this for other apps, including Prime Video. Read more ›

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Fire TV has a new Audio and Video Diagnostics tool for testing 4K, HDR, & Dolby Vision/Atmos capabilities

Amazon has added a new Audio and Video Diagnostics tool to Fire TV devices. The utility will detect the capabilities of your TV, soundbar, and/or AV receiver and report whether your current Fire TV settings are best suited for your home theater equipment’s capabilities. Read more ›

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These are some of the new features coming to Fire TV devices later this year

It’s like Christmas for Fire TV fans because Amazon has unloaded a bunch of info on new Fire TV products and features. While the main focus has been on the new hardware, like the Fire TV Stick 4K Max and the Amazon-built Fire TV Omni Smart TVs, there are also quite a few new software features coming to both the new hardware and existing devices. Here’s a breakdown of the features coming soon to Fire TVs. Read more ›

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Fire TV finally indicates which Movies and TV Shows are free to you

Amazon’s Fire TV interface is constantly striving to help you find something interesting to watch, but one thing that has always been missing is an easy way to determine if the content being recommended is free to you or if a purchase/subscription is required. That has finally changed because Amazon has added new, very obvious, indicators across the Fire TV interface that let you know which movies and TV shows can be viewed immediately, without needing to pay, subscribe, or install anything. Better yet, these indicators are aware of which apps you have installed, which services you’re subscribed to, and adjust accordingly. Read more ›

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