Gone are the days when we used to struggle with our laptops, cable, and other portable devices to enjoy our favorite TV shows and movies. Amazon Fire TV has given its users a lot of comfort by helping them stream straight to their TV.
If you use an Amazon Fire TV device, there are many excellent functions it has that you’re likely unaware of. As such, here are the best features that will help make your watching experience with Amazon Fire TV better.
1. Use Alexa Hands-Free
Amazon has come up with a complete hands-free Alexa control with Fire TV. You don’t need to press the voice button on the remote to find content and open an app in the Fire TV interface. Instead, you just need another Alexa-enabled device like an Echo speaker.
Apart from searching for, playing, and stopping content on your Fire TV, you can also control other Alexa-enabled devices. For example, you can see your video door camera or enable smart lights on your TV. As long as your television is compatible, you can even turn it on and off using just your voice. Just say “Alexa, turn on/off my TV”.
2. Bring Up Diagnostics Information
Amazon Fire TV has a hidden diagnostics panel. You get access to a lot of information that is critical for advanced settings. For example, you can know more about frame rate, video codecs, CPU load, memory usage, display resolution, current internet streaming speed, and other diagnostic data.
To go to the diagnostic menu:
- Press and hold the Fire TV remote Center button for a second.
- Keep holding it, then press and hold the Down button.
- Wait three seconds and release both buttons.
- Finally, press the Menu button .
A pop-up menu will appear. Toggle the System X-Ray and Advanced Options to On. Now, you can check and troubleshoot problems with your Fire TV. You can understand which apps you use the most, check your video resolution quality, and adjust video streaming settings.
3. Connect Using Ethernet
When you are in the middle of a gripping movie or trying to relax with a Netflix binge, the last thing you need is buffering. Worse still, a complete loss of Wi-Fi connection. You can try adding the HDMI extender to the Fire TV Stick or moving your Fire TV device for better wireless signal reception. Or, you could connect your Fire TV to the Internet using an Ethernet cable.
If you have a television with Fire TV built-in, it may have an Ethernet port on the back. If not, you will need to buy a Fire TV Ethernet adapter from Amazon. Connect your Ethernet cable to the TV or the adapter, and start your Fire TV.
Go into Settings > Network and you should now see the option to configure a wired Ethernet connection. Follow the simple instructions to start using it, and buffering should become a thing of the past.
4. Control the Fire TV From Your Phone
If you have misplaced your Fire TV remote, or it’s not working, you can still control your Fire TV through your phone. The app offers the same buttons and functions as the remote.
Follow the simple steps below to control Fire TV through your phone:
- Download the Fire TV app on your phone from the Play store.
- Sign in and enter the email and password of your Amazon account.
- Select the desired Fire TV device to be controlled.
- You will receive a connection request code on the TV screen. Enter this code in the app of your phone.
- A connection is established between the phone and TV. You can now use your phone as a remote control.
5. Restart Your Device Using the Remote
At times, you may need to restart your Fire TV. If your Fire TV Stick freezes, you don’t have to turn off your TV. You can simply restart it using the remote control.
Here is how you can do it:
- Hold down the Select and Play/Pause keys on the remote at the same time for a few seconds.
- The Fire TV Stick will start to reboot.
- You will see a message that the device is shutting down.
- After a short time, you will see the Fire TV logo loading.
6. Protect Your Privacy
Fire TV devices are required to be connected to the internet, which raises privacy concerns. When you use a device, what you watch, how much time you spend on the device, your location, most active apps, and other such information can be tracked.
So, it is advisable to follow these steps to change the Privacy Settings and Data Monitoring on your Fire TV Stick:
- Go to Settings.
- Open Preferences and select Privacy Settings.
- Turn Device Usage Data and Collect App Usage Data both Off.
- Return to the previous screen and set Data Monitoring to Off.
7. Customize the Home Screen
It’s easier than ever to navigate your Fire TV, go to your profile, and navigate voice-first with Alexa. You can find what you are looking for more quickly and navigate to key destinations like Home, Find, Live, My Stuff, Profiles, and so on hassle-free.
In addition, you can pin and rearrange the order of apps to access your favorites easily.
To use this feature, go to an app on the navigation bar at the top of the home screen. Then, press the menu button to Move, Move to front, or Hide it. You can also uninstall apps from this menu.
You can create up to six user profiles on your Fire TV. Profiles ensure each gets personalized recommendations and can set their own preferences.
8. Have Camera Video Footage Sent to Fire TV
Amazon Fire TV can also directly display live video feeds from home security cameras. This feature works with Alexa devices like the Amazon Echo and Dot.
Follow the steps below to connect your camera to your Fire TV:
- First, link the Fire TV and a compatible device in the Alexa app on your smartphone
- Open the Alexa app on your phone.
- Select Smart Home > Devices.
- Search Smart Home Camera.
- Select Enable Skill. You will be required to sign in to your Alexa account.
- Once the skill is enabled, click Devices to discover your camera.
- Select Discover and enable Alexa to find your security camera.
- Once all set, you can stream the live feed on supported Fire TV devices.
9. Connect a Bluetooth Mouse, Keyboard, or Headphones
Fire TV devices allow for Bluetooth connections. This becomes useful if you want to connect a mouse or keyboard to Fire TV. For example, if you want better control of apps that aren’t optimized for use with the remote. Or you could connect your Bluetooth headphones to your Fire TV, and avoid waking up the whole house during a late-night movie marathon.
To connect a Bluetooth device, such as a mouse or headphones, follow the steps below:
- Make sure your Bluetooth device is in pai
- ring mode.
- Open the Fire TV Settings.
- Choose Remotes and Bluetooth Devices.
- Select Other Bluetooth Devices > Add Bluetooth Devices, and wait for yours to be detected.
- Click on your device in the list to pair it with Fire TV.
10. Create a Watch List
Fire TV does a good job of recommending content for you to watch. This could be suggesting TV shows based on your past viewing, or highlighting the latest additions from your installed apps. But you can also curate your own list of things you want to watch. This is, unsurprisingly, called your Watch List.
Adding content to your personal watch list is easy. Navigate around the Fire TV interface until you see something you want to save for later. Highlight the TV show or movie and press the Menu button on your remote, and select Add to Watch List. You can also add things to your watch list from the details screen for the movie/TV show.
In the most recent update of the Fire TV interface, the watch list has been made more prominent. You can now see your watch list items by selecting My Stuff in the main navigation bar. My Stuff is the bookmark icon, next to Live, Search and Home.
If you don’t yet see the latest Fire TV interface on your device, go to Settings > My Fire TV > About > Check for Updates.