Fire Stick Replacement

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  • Fire Stick Replacement
  • jimster01
    Member

    Our trusty first generation Fire Stick seems to have given up the ghost, I’m reluctant to get a second generation voice activated Fire Stick due to it costing an extra tenner and I’m not lazy.

    So what’s hot in the streaming device world at the moment?

    Ta

    Premier Icon sam_underhill
    Subscriber

    It’s less about the hardware and more about which devices support which streaming services.

    Work out what streaming services you use / want to use and buy appropriately. Personally I use a firestick and a chromecast, that covers most bases for me.  If amazon and google buried the hatchet and I could cast prime content to a chromecast then that one device would do everything.

    I know the firestick can play iplayer and youtube etc, but finding content is way easier on a phone, so chromecast is much easier.  They are both fairly inexpensive hence having both.

    jimster01
    Member

    Anyone use a Roku? That looks a likely candidate atm

    Premier Icon simon_g
    Subscriber

    Got a Roku Express a couple of weeks ago and it’s great – tiny little box, supports everything I use, nice simple remote (easy to set up on a universal remote if you use one), pretty snappy performance.

    Only 1080p but they do a 4k one for a bit more money if you need it.

    It also kind of replaced a Fire stick – I’d stopped using it since proper youtube support went away and I’d got fed up of using the PS4 which supported everything but needed a controller to operate.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Firestick and Chromecast here, nothing wrong with voice and certainly not the lazy option, way better than spelling things in an 80’s arcade style

    Premier Icon Kamakazie
    Subscriber

    Roku hardware is great, with near universal support for services.

    Some apps are a bit older layout wise but having got one for family members I’ll replace our FireTV with one when it breaks.

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    Apple TV then you can run Zwift :).

    Other than that I like the simplicity of ChromeCast

    Premier Icon Caher
    Subscriber

    Got Amazon fire tv as I found the stick flakey and I wanted to future proof in case I got a uhd tv.

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
    Subscriber

    Other than that I like the simplicity of ChromeCast

    i too always have best results streaming to chromecast, but there is one thing that does bug me about it and i dont know the answer, maybe someone could help?

    every now and then, instead of ‘cast to’ whatever, the only option is ‘screen mirroring’ instead.  so rather than open up an iplayer app, it actually mirrors the laptop with all the tabs up top etc.  again this wouldnt be a problem if you just selected full screen, but…… screen mirroring is far more laggy and keeps stalling/stuttering and is unwatchable.

    any ideas?

    sharkbait
    Member

    I thought you only got screen mirroring if the app didn’t support casting.

    Might be wrong though (and yes, mirroring is crap)

    quietcat
    Member

    Buy another Firestick, the Firestick II.  It’s increased performance, I think it uses a Dual Core processor instead of a single core now.

    I’ve a chromcast and it’s rubbish, only useful for YouTube really.  No netflix

    Firestick has BBC/ITV/Netflix/Firefox/Spotify and hundreds of other apps. I don’t have terrestrial TV any other way and the firestick does the job…

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    I’d got fed up of using the PS4 which supported everything but needed a controller to operate.

    Can’t you get some sort of media remote for it?  I have one for the Xbox.

    mikey74
    Member

    Chromecast Ultra: I’ve been very impressed with mine.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    I’ve a chromcast and it’s rubbish, only useful for YouTube really.  No netflix

    Firestick has BBC/ITV/Netflix/Firefox/Spotify and hundreds of other apps.

    I think you have missed how the chromecast works there, the apps are on your phone or tablet and the chromecast handles getting them on the TV.

    unovolo
    Member

    The latest New-New Firestick now does 4K and seems to have supplanted both the old fire stick and fire tv.

    There are alternative You tube apps available if you dont mind sideloading stuff.

    Another alternative would be the Xiaomi MiTV box which is a android TV box, the remotes not dissimilar to the fire tvone with built in voice search and you can pretty much install any apps you want on them.

    I still have a MK1 Firestick but its linked to my echo dot, so can just ask that to play me something on the Fire TV, negates using a phone like with the chromecast, however I think that only works with the native Amazon Prime stuff, never tried it with BBC Iplayer for example.

    Not saying its superior but it gives you options,adds versatility.

    quietcat
    Member

    Ah I’m wrong.  It did have Netflix. It didn’t have Amazon Prime.  Or a few other things. I felt it was just easier browsing on the telly with the remote.

    Another negative for me is no native bluetooth with the Chromecast; the Firestick works with the bluetooth connection to my speaker setup.  It’s one of the reasons I bought the firestick.  It just works.

    Plus for what’s on Prime, the video player is excellent.  Wonder who’s acting in the scene?  Or the music playing at that moment?  The Prime video player is superb.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    All you need now is some content. (-:

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

      It’s one of the reasons I bought the firestick.  It just works.

    It’s probably the reason I have both, the Firestick doesn’t do BT sport or a few other things, the casting tabs from the laptop or phone is great too. covers 99% of stuff

    unovolo
    Member

    All you need now is some content

    I agree to a certain extent, there is plenty of stuff on Amazon but some of it is either truly sh!7e, ancient or incurs additional costs, which leads me to my other gripe with Amazon.

    For me it would be better if the extra paid for content(on top of the Prime subscription) was in a seperate section.

    Its annoying to find something worth watching then find its a extra couple of quid, thats where I think Netflix is superior in its execution.

    DT78
    Member

    when you say it gave up the ghost what’s wrong with it?  mine randomly factory reset itself a couple of days ago and the remote stopped working.  need to resynch it by holding down various buttons and then register the device.  after that it was back to normal

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    For me it would be better if the extra paid for content(on top of the Prime subscription) was in a seperate section.

    Ah, but then you wouldn’t look there 😉 It’s basic marketing really so hard to hold it against them too much. I do normally end up checking amazon and netflix for films these days to see who has it.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    I had a Prime trial (by accident) a little while ago.  I couldn’t find a single thing on there that a) I wanted to watch and b) didn’t cost extra, even really old stuff.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Well I’d suggest the Man in the High Castle for starters and Preacher, they have some good films too

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I  have a 1st gen one, it appeared to be dead the other day but after a few rounds of unplugging, replugging and various reset procedures it started working again.

    Re content, there’s quite a bit, I find.  Between that and Netflix it’s basically all we watch.  Off the top of my head, stuff we’ve watched without extra cost:

    Man in the High Castle

    Preacher

    Cloak and Dagger

    Agents of Shield

    Mr Robot

    The Tick

    Brain Dead (this is genius and somehow not popularised.. definitely have a look!)

    American Gods

    Premier Icon simon_g
    Subscriber

    (PS4)

    Can’t you get some sort of media remote for it?  I have one for the Xbox.

    My harmony remote can be a bluetooth remote for it, but it seems to always need “waking up” from a controller. So you have to find the controller, press the PS button, and get past the initial “who’s controller is this?” screen, then a third-party remote can take over.

    Not too bad for me to use, pain to explain for kids/wife/babysitters. Roku is much better for that.

    Premier Icon deadkenny
    Subscriber

    If amazon and google buried the hatchet and I could cast prime content to a chromecast then that one device would do everything.

    Not sure what’s changed, but I’m getting casting option now when playing videos on Android to cast to my Fire TV, whereas I didn’t before.

    That’s latest-ish Fire TV, Android 8.1 on a Nokia 8.

    Still won’t see my Samsung TV, but I can use BubbleUPnP app and that works. Think it’s using DLNA to stream to the TV.

    All my Windows devices however see the TV as uses Miracast which is Wi-Fi Alliance standard that Google decided to drop support for. Google and fans argue it’s a mirroring technology so is bad, but it’s basically just sending video content over Wi-Fi much like HDMI but wireless. Okay it’s not pulling data direct, but it’s affectively using your phone, tablet, PC as a proxy. Chromecast is the same, it’s a device that is the proxy to pull the data from the Internet, just it’s plugged into the TV. Then you have an app to control it on a phone. Either way it’s the same amount of data being piped around but one extra device to do the job.

    Miracast is reliable, in almost all devices except recent Android, and works. The real reason of course is Google can push Chromecast which means a pointless extra gadget on devices that can already do the job, either with Miracast or DLNA.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    i have a media remote for PS3 – it probably works with PS4 too.  Works very well.  I could pass it on to you simon_g if you like?  You just press the main button on the remote and it comes to life.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Okay it’s not pulling data direct, but it’s affectively using your phone, tablet, PC as a proxy. Chromecast is the same, it’s a device that is the proxy to pull the data from the Internet, just it’s plugged into the TV.

    Not really, Chromecast is streaming the content all on its own – your phone is doing nothing.  this means that it’s not draining your phone battery and you can even turn it off or go out or whatever and it does not affect the streaming.  Definitely a different solution and better IMO than Miracast (which is quite flakey IME even from Samsung phone to Samsung TV).

    Premier Icon deadkenny
    Subscriber

    Whether better or not, the point is it worked for me, until Google decided theirs was better and pulled the plug on Miracast. Offering both as a choice at least means those who don’t want to buy yet another dongle device can still have something working.

    But as I say, BubbleUPnP does the job through DLNA and no need for a dongle. Or I can now stream for Fire TV, which okay is a dongle but it does a lot more (and has replaced the ‘smart’ in my not so smart TV).

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Choice is good of course, but I can understand a company not wanting to maintain two sets of code that do broadly the same thing. And as you say, there’s plenty of third party options.

    I’m amazed that Waze still exists as a separate product. That must only be a matter of time.

    Bimbler
    Member

    Ooh I’ve been checking out FireStick alternatives as my gen 1 FireStick is glitching and crashing too.

    Thought process –

    Bin off Chromecast due to lack of remote

    New Firesticks certainly a bargain at £50 for 4k + HDR but I don’t want Alexa so that’s binned too.

    Leaving Roku and Apple TV.

    Roku seems to have everything – all the UK catchup services, Netflix, Now, Amazon, Google Play price £80

    Apple has most stuff, but not Google Play but does have all the usual Apple integration and ITunes. Price £180 (Argos are selling the 64gb device for the same price as the 32gb). Oh and Dolby Vision – slightly better HDR.  Powered by A10x chip, this isn’t going to slow down in a long time. Probably the best device really but you sure pay for it.

    So unless you’re really into Apple and iTunes then Roku wins?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    New Firesticks certainly a bargain at £50 for 4k + HDR but I don’t want Alexa so that’s binned too.

    Pretty sure you can turn it off, or simply avoid saying ‘Alexa’.

    Premier Icon timmys
    Subscriber

    AppleTV is high-priced but if you’re after 4K/Dolby Vision movies it’s pretty impressive how much is available to buy for under a tenner.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Oh and Dolby Vision – slightly better HDR.  Powered by A10x chip, this isn’t going to slow down in a long time. Probably the best device really but you sure pay for it.

    Given your mostly just streaming content through it what are you going to use the power for?

    Best bit about the TV devices is they keep the costs down by speccing the right hardware for the job.

    Chromecast if you have a phone or tablet you have a remote I think my tv one does pause etc.

    New Firesticks certainly a bargain at £50 for 4k + HDR but I don’t want Alexa so that’s binned too.

    Can be turned off, the one I got it ONLY works if you press the speak button on the remote and it’s the easiest way to find content

    Bimbler
    Member

    Oh and Dolby Vision – slightly better HDR.  Powered by A10x chip, this isn’t going to slow down in a long time. Probably the best device really but you sure pay for it.

    Given your mostly just streaming content through it what are you going to use the power for?

    Buttery smooth UI with no clunkadelic slow down.  + Running games – which I’ll probably never do

    Chromecast if you have a phone or tablet you have a remote I think my tv one does pause etc.

    Which is great until your phone’s memory management kills the service and you end up having to crash the stream and start again, which happened with all my android devices and the prime reason I binned the CCast for the Firestick.

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