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Fire TV Stick 4K streaming device with Alexa Voice Remote | Dolby Vision | 2018 release good idea???

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
31,424
4,050
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So, today I get the idea to watch The Pawnbroker, a Sidney Lumet (Rod Steiger starring) 1964 movie. I saw it when it came out with GF (we liked it), I think I rewatched it maybe 15 years ago. So, my library only had the evideo, and that didn't work, so I figured see if it's on Prime Video (I'm on Prime since beginning 2021, but know little about Prime Video, am wearing out the home delivery, which is cool.).

So, I turn on my TCL 43" 4K Roku TV, go to Prime Video and can't figure out how to search for a movie. I do the same on this laptop and find it and it's free for now. I start watching it and stop it, figure there must be a way to watch it on the TV instead. I call Amazon. I'm shown how to find it, which is kinda how Steven Hawking probably wrote letters. Nudge your cursor to one letter at a time, P A W N B. I ask if there's some way to just continue watching what I was watching on my computer and the guy says no. For that I'd need a Firestick. He sends me an email with the link.

I see several Firestick offerings. It's confusing. I saw stuff for a 2020 and 2021 release but they maybe aren't 4K. After talking with 3 different reps I'm told that the 4K is best (even though it's 2018 released). Well, I poke around and read some reviews, I'm not really sure but I ordered one and there was a $10 coupon or something for Prime and it was $29.99 + tax.

I'm wondering. I don't currently subscribe to any paid service except Prime. I have rooftop antennas for my live TV. I figure the Firestick will (if the rep was right) at least allow me to search for a movie using the computer and then watch it on my TV without having to do the hunt and peck thing to access it.

Will I get anything more out of this Firestick? I'd hoped it would have a headphone jack, but that appears to not be the case. I'm getting my audio from an RCA jack cord going to the headphone out jack of the TV and then to my receiver (which doesn't support SPDIF). Yeah, the Firestick supports volume and TV on/off control but the TV's remote does that too.

Edit: BTW, I do have gigabit fiber internet, and it's close to gigabit speed. The TV is connected by wifi to my router and the speeds are pretty good.
 

Muadib

Lifer
May 30, 2000
16,895
454
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Sadly, I don't think you will get anything more from the Fire stick. It's for streaming, and that's something you don't appear to do. You would have been better off with the latest roku remote. You would have to see if it supports your tv, but if it does it ticks all of your boxes.

 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
31,424
4,050
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Sadly, I don't think you will get anything more from the Fire stick. It's for streaming, and that's something you don't appear to do. You would have been better off with the latest roku remote. You would have to see if it supports your tv, but if it does it ticks all of your boxes.

The Amazon rep said that to continue watching on my TV what I started watching on Amazon Prime on my computer it would require more steps using a Roku streaming device than the Fire Stick. That's why I figured go with the Fire Stick. Is this incorrect information?

BTW, my TV is a Roku TV. It's not using a stick, it's using the built in Roku connectivity, and I do have a Roku account.

Edit: I figure at some point I will subscribe to Netflix HD, which last I checked was maybe $18/mo, possibly plus taxes. I saw today where someone reviewing this Fire Stick said with it + a $40 Hulu subscription you have everything you get from a $100 Direct TV subscription.

Edit2: Thing is, there's already a Hulu button on my Roku TV's remote! Has a Netflix button too. I just don't know.
 
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Muadib

Lifer
May 30, 2000
16,895
454
126
The Amazon rep said that to continue watching on my TV what I started watching on Amazon Prime on my computer it would require more steps using a Roku streaming device than the Fire Stick. That's why I figured go with the Fire Stick. Is this incorrect information?

BTW, my TV is a Roku TV. It's not using a stick, it's using the built in Roku connectivity, and I do have a Roku account.

Edit: I figure at some point I will subscribe to Netflix HD, which last I checked was maybe $18/mo, possibly plus taxes. I saw today where someone reviewing this Fire Stick said with it + a $40 Hulu subscription you have everything you get from a $100 Direct TV subscription.

Edit2: Thing is, there's already a Hulu button on my Roku TV's remote! Has a Netflix button too. I just don't know.
I never watch Prime Video on my pc, so I don't know if what he said is true. I have done it with Netflix & Hulu though, so I would be shocked if you couldn't do it with Prime.

Yes, I know you have a roku tv, but I'm not sure if their new remote will work with it.
I have Directv, and what that reviewer said isn't true. Directv has many more channels than Hulu if you pay for them. The reason I still have Directv is because Hulu is missing channels my wife likes. I'm wearing her down though.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
31,424
4,050
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I never watch Prime Video on my pc, so I don't know if what he said is true. I have done it with Netflix & Hulu though, so I would be shocked if you couldn't do it with Prime.

Yes, I know you have a roku tv, but I'm not sure if their new remote will work with it.
What do you mean by this? Do what with Prime?

My I figure narrow issue here is that I can start watching a Prime video on computer and when I go to Prime on my TV it doesn't know what I was watching. Well, maybe it does, but it won't reveal it. By that I mean this: I have to make it find my movie the same as if I'd never started it. When I do find it like that it shows this, quizzically:

Resume
Start over

That suggests that it knows where I was when watching it on TV. Now, the rep said if I have the Fire Stick I won't have to search for the title, it will know I was watching it and present it as an option to resume it, and I suppose start over too. If that's not the case, I'm returning it, of course.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
31,424
4,050
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What I discovered poking around on my laptop (and the CSR's at Amazon failed to show me) is that you can go to your Prime Video and instead of just playing something that intrigues you you can add it to your watchlist just hovering your cursor over it and clicking the +. Once you've done that it's available on your Roku TV, at least it is on mine. I may return the 4K Fire Stick unless I can see a significant advantage in having it. Maybe I'll call them and chat up the CSR's in an effort to figure that out.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
85,631
9,702
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Return the Fire stick. Amazon hardware are generally speaking, inferior. Even Prime Video is a mess. That continue watching function is sorely missing for example. That should be like first or second row for crying out loud.
 

WelshBloke

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
28,262
5,311
126
Do you not have a microphone on the remote?
I have (I think) a first gen fire TV and you just press a button on the remote and say the name of the show you are searching for.
 

Muadib

Lifer
May 30, 2000
16,895
454
126
What do you mean by this? Do what with Prime?

My I figure narrow issue here is that I can start watching a Prime video on computer and when I go to Prime on my TV it doesn't know what I was watching. Well, maybe it does, but it won't reveal it. By that I mean this: I have to make it find my movie the same as if I'd never started it. When I do find it like that it shows this, quizzically:

Resume
Start over

That suggests that it knows where I was when watching it on TV. Now, the rep said if I have the Fire Stick I won't have to search for the title, it will know I was watching it and present it as an option to resume it, and I suppose start over too. If that's not the case, I'm returning it, of course.
What I meant was watching Prime video on my laptop, and then continue it on my fire tv. I never did that on Prime, but I would be shocked if it didn't work, as it works on Netflix & Hulu.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
31,424
4,050
126
What I meant was watching Prime video on my laptop, and then continue it on my fire tv. I never did that on Prime, but I would be shocked if it didn't work, as it works on Netflix & Hulu.
I haven't tested it but the GUI supports it, so... maybe! But this is without the Fire Stick (which is supposed to arrive today). I'm thinking maybe I won't really benefit from the Fire Stick and if so I should save myself the trouble of acquiring yet another time sink! :D
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
31,424
4,050
126
Do you not have a microphone on the remote?
I have (I think) a first gen fire TV and you just press a button on the remote and say the name of the show you are searching for.
The Fire Stick 4K (2018 Release) features voice activation, Alexa (I have yet to meet Alexa, personally, I've never used any voice actuation system and am endlessly annoyed at any telephone automation system that requires me to talk to a robot... I'm sure my voice conveys this, whether it's registered or not!!!). So, I infer that the remote has a microphone built in. I was mistakenly under the impression that the remote has a headphone jack. Well, I think it has bluetooth support so maybe I can work out headphone support using one of my android phones. Where I watch movies I have my receiver (which gets audio from the TV via RCA cable) by my side, so I can and do use headphones from that 1/2 the time when watching a movie, but I'd rather not use the receiver, just to save watts.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
31,424
4,050
126
Return the Fire stick. Amazon hardware are generally speaking, inferior. Even Prime Video is a mess. That continue watching function is sorely missing for example. That should be like first or second row for crying out loud.
It appears to support continue. I've yet to test it, however. And this is without the Fire Stick, just using the Prime Video streaming function of the Roku TV.

I did yesterday (with this computer) go through all the Free For Me offerings in the documentaries category of Prime Video. I seem to like way way more of that than the movie offerings, most of which I've never heard of (and I'm not willing to chance something I know nothing about). I put around 20 documentary type features on my Watch List, and they will be accessible on my computers or Roku TVs. I actually have 3 of these TCL 4K 43" TV/Monitors. I like them but for one very terrible thing: There's no number pad on the remote and I haven't yet figured out any way to access a TV station other than to either go up/down through them all or through the list of favorites. I figure I'm going to try to find a workaround for that, an external turner if necessary.
 
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sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
85,631
9,702
126
It appears to support continue. I've yet to test it, however. And this is without the Fire Stick, just using the Prime Video streaming function of the Roku TV.

I did (with this computer) go through all the Free For Me offerings in the documentaries category of Prime Video. I seem to like way way more of that than the movie offerings, most of which I've never heard of (and I'm not willing to chance something I know nothing about). I put around 20 documentary type features on my Watch List, and they will be accessible on my computers or Roku TVs. I actually have 3 of these TCL 4K 43" TV/Monitors. I like them but for one very terrible thing: There's no number pad on the remote and I haven't yet figured out any way to access a TV station other than to either go up/down through them all or through the list of favorites. I figure I'm going to try to find a workaround for that, an external turner if necessary.
Maybe try app? Most tv apps have numpad
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
31,424
4,050
126
From your phone.
I just kind of doubt that the TV will accommodate that. What I tried yesterday was using my Logitech Harmony 650 Remote Control, which has a number pad. I choose the Watch TV function, enter, e.g. 11, press OK and it doesn't go to 11.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
31,424
4,050
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The Roku mobile app is a free application for iOS® and Android™ devices that turns your mobile device into a control center for your Roku streaming player or your Roku TV™. The Remote feature of the mobile app allows you to control your Roku device with your mobile device.Mar 1, 2021

I actually bought 3 cheap LG android phones solely with the intention of using the Roku mobile app to control my 3 TCL 43" 4K TVs with them. I ultimately gave up on the app, it didn't do much for me and I use the TV's remotes instead. They did NOT provide direct access to a particular TV station. IOW, it was just what the remote gives you. One reason I wanted the app was for headphone support, but I think I had latency issues, which is a show stopper.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
85,631
9,702
126
The Roku mobile app is a free application for iOS® and Android™ devices that turns your mobile device into a control center for your Roku streaming player or your Roku TV™. The Remote feature of the mobile app allows you to control your Roku device with your mobile device.Mar 1, 2021

I actually bought 3 cheap LG android phones solely with the intention of using the Roku mobile app to control my 3 TCL 43" 4K TVs with them. I ultimately gave up on the app, it didn't do much for me and I use the TV's remotes instead. They did NOT provide direct access to a particular TV station. IOW, it was just what the remote gives you. One reason I wanted the app was for headphone support, but I think I had latency issues, which is a show stopper.
did you try the voice control from the tv remote? I think it is supposed to have that.

Try entering 11-1 on the harmony, maybe the tv likes the sub channel spelled out as well.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
31,424
4,050
126
I just posted this to the Questions function at Amazon for this Fire Stick, hopefully I'll get some informed responses:

Would a fire stick 4k (2018 release) be a worthwhile addition to a tcl roku 4k 43" tv/monitor using gigabit wifi & ant? i don't yet do paid streaming.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
31,424
4,050
126
did you try the voice control from the tv remote? I think it is supposed to have that.

Try entering 11-1 on the harmony, maybe the tv likes the sub channel spelled out as well.
I'm pretty sure the TV remote (i.e. TCL's) doesn't have voice control. Yeah, I had the idea that sub channel control might be supported using the Harmony, I'll try that. Guess I'd need to print out a chart of subchannels so I know what to enter...
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
85,631
9,702
126
I'm pretty sure the TV remote (i.e. TCL's) doesn't have voice control. Yeah, I had the idea that sub channel control might be supported using the Harmony, I'll try that. Guess I'd need to print out a chart of subchannels so I know what to enter...
first you need to scan the channels :p
 

Muadib

Lifer
May 30, 2000
16,895
454
126
I haven't tested it but the GUI supports it, so... maybe! But this is without the Fire Stick (which is supposed to arrive today). I'm thinking maybe I won't really benefit from the Fire Stick and if so I should save myself the trouble of acquiring yet another time sink! :D
I agree that you should return the Fire Stick. You are firmly in the Roku world.
 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
31,424
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I'm not noticing headphone latency using the Roku app on my android phone now. They seemed to have upgraded the app, maybe they fixed that? It seems to be OK.

Went to watch a movie I was watching yesterday, did not offer to play from where I was, had to start over and FF to my place. But then turning off the TV, putting on again, once I'd found the movie it let me resume... but I hadn't closed the app or shut off the phone, so maybe it won't do that if I do. Problem is to resume the movie I have to find it, i.e. go to Prime Video, scroll all the way over to My Stuff, scroll down to documentaries and scroll through the entire list because I added that movie almost last. Maybe there's a more direct way, maybe not. Like you say @sdifox, Prime Video isn't the most user friendly GUI.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
85,631
9,702
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Scan the channels using the Harmony uRemote? The TV has already scanned the channels, well, not recently.
If yoh already scanned the channel with the tv tuner, you just need to know which channel is what. Roku should have epg as well, I think it is either left or right arrow to bring it up.
 

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