How to setup the Amazon Fire TV Stick

Amazon Fire TV Stick (3rd Gen)

Fire TV Stick is a minimalistic HDMI Plugin streaming player that can easily transform any existing Flat screen TV into a Smart one. Even if you already have a Smart TV such as an LG or Samsung, you can still use it along with the Fire TV Stick which is constantly updated and supports several streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Paramount+. They also come with a lot of features your existing Smart TV might not have. Fire TV Sticks are really cheap starting as low as $30 for the Fire TV Stick Lite (3rd Gen) which supports 1080 Full HD, Fire TV Stick 4K at $50 and Fire TV Stick 4K Max at $54.

So if you’ve just got a new Fire TV Stick, the setup process is fairly straight-forward. In the box, you’ll get the Fire TV Stick itself, a remote control powered by Alexa Voice Smart assistant, a pair of AAA batteries, MicroUSB cable, a wall plug and a quick guide manual. The type of remote varies depending on the Fire TV model you bought. For instance, the Fire TV Stick Lite(3rd Gen) remote control doesn’t not have power and volume TV controls unlike the rest.

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Before you setup your new Fire TV Stick, you should;

  • Have an Amazon account. If you don’t create one from amazon.com. Fire TV Stick is owned by Amazon and is primarily aimed at selling you Amazon content, specifically Prime video, Amazon Music, Amazon Kids and amazon.com products. Anyone around the world can create an amazon account for free. However, some content is only available in certain regions.
  • Have a TV with an HDMI Port. The Fire TV Stick needs a display which is either a monitor or TV to show content. You’re probably using your TV to stream content. Your TV doesn’t need to be Smart. The only requirement is that it should have an HDMI port which almost all TVs today have at least one.
  • A power source which will power the Fire TV Stick. The Stick comes with a USB cable and wall plug in the box, so you can use those. So you can power it using your wall socket which should be close to the TV. However, you can also use one of your TV’s USB ports to power the device. You might get a warning that the USB port does not supply enough power for your Fire TV Stick to properly operate. Ignore that.
  • Fast internet connection via WiFi. The Fire TV connects to the internet to stream content from popular streaming services wirelessly. So you should have an Internet connected WiFi router, a MiFi or hotspot from your tablet or Smartphone. 5Mbps internet speeds are recommended for streaming 1080p Full HD content and at least 25Mbps for 4K content. You can also connect the Fire TV to the internet via wired ethernet network, however, this will require an adapter sold separately.
  • An account with a streaming service provider. This is not a requirement, but it’ll make using the Fire TV Stick worthwhile. Amazon owns its own streaming services; IMDB TV is free but Ad-sponsored and Prime Video which is subscription based. These come pre-installed on the Fire TV. Besides Amazon’s properties, you also can get Netflix, Disney+, Paramount+, HBO Max, Hulu etc. All of them require a paid subscription plan. However, you can also stream from Free Ad-sponsored Apps such as Pluto TV, Tubi, Peacock, Crackle, Plex, Youtube. If you want Live TV, you can stream from paid options such as Philo, Starz, Youtube TV and Prime Video TV Channels.
  • You could additionally have your iPhone or Android Smartphone around. This can be used as an alternative to the included remote during the setup process. You’ll have to download the Fire TV App from the respective App stores which includes a virtual remote and Qwerty keyboard. Using the Fire TV app is much easier. It makes entering text much easier than the onscreen Fire TV keyboard.You can also use it to add WiFi settings and your Amazon account to the Fire TV Stick.

If you have the above requirement, you are now ready to set up the Fire TV Stick. Follow the following simple steps;

  • Insert your Fire TV Stick into one of your TV’s HDMI ports.
  • Plug it into the Wall power using the included plug or USB port of your TV to power it.
  • Select HDMI source from your TV’s remote where Fire TV Stick is plugged in.
  • Fire TV starts searching for the remote. Press the home button to set up for 10 seconds.
  • Press the play/pause button on the remote to start the setup process.
  • Select your language of preference from the menu.
  • You can either set up with the Fire TV App on your smartphone or with the remote.

Using the remote means you’ll have to use the onscreen virtual keyboard to enter your Amazon account login information and WiFi passwords. I find this tedious and time consuming to do. So I recommend you use the Fire TV App instead.

  • If you choose the App route, download the Fire TV app from Apple App store or Google Play store. 
  • Select Setup new device
  • Login to your Amazon account or create a new one. 
  • Under what type of device are you setting up, select Fire TV. App starts looking for WiFi networks.
  • Choose your home WiFi network you wish to connect the Fire TV Stick to. 
  •  App starts to register the Fire TV. If successful tap on continue.

On the TV, Fire TV Stick starts downloading the latest software updates. You’ll see a message that your Fire TV stick will be registered to your account. Select continue. If you have pre-owned a Fire TV Stick before, you’ll be asked if you would like to restore your Fire TV with your current apps, privacy settings and parental control settings.

Next Fire TV will start configuring your remote for volume controls. You’ll Be prompted to sign up for some Amazon services such as Prime video, Amazon kids+. If you’re a prime member, you already have access to some of these services, otherwise, you can simply skip or sign up for free trials. After that, select your profile to start watching content.

Here’s a quick run through the Fire TV Stick Interface;

  • The main menu lets you easily find new content, play live TV and access some of your favorite Apps.
  • The Find feature lets you search for Movies, TV shows, Apps and free content.
  • Profile features enable Fire TV personalize recommendations, watch lists, viewing history for each individual. You can also set up kids profiles specifically for the young ones.
  • You can select Settings to setup Live TV channels, update your Fire TV Stick, Check WiFi signal strength, Install 3rd-party Apps, Manage storage, close background Apps, manage Apps and much more.

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Happy streaming.

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