“My Smart TV already comes with apps like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, etc., so why would I need a Fire TV Stick, or any other streaming device for that matter?”
Well, the truth is, even if your connected TV comes with video streaming, music, and gaming apps, it simply doesn’t measure up when compared to a video streaming device like the Fire TV Stick.
- Should You Add a Fire TV Stick to a Smart TV?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- In Conclusion
Should You Add a Fire TV Stick to a Smart TV?
While you might not need the Fire TV Stick if you have a Smart TV, compared to a standard Smart TV, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick offers: more content options, an easier-to-navigate and manage menu, a better remote, faster and smoother loading times, more frequent updates, and fewer useless or “throwaway” apps!
So, even if you already own a Smart TV, you might still want to consider purchasing a Fire TV Stick streaming device.
What is a Fire TV Stick?
A Fire TV Stick is a device that lets you access both free and paid TV shows and movies, all in one interface.
Think of it like a smartphone. It gives you access to all available TV and movie apps, and you can pick and choose the ones you want.
And it’s incredibly easy to set up and use.
As a result, most TV brands have tried to emulate the success of the Fire TV Stick, but the Fire TV Stick continues to outperform them in almost every area.
Fire TV Stick Comparison Chart
|Fire TV Stick Lite||Fire TV Stick||Fire TV Stick 4K||Fire TV Stick 4K Max||Fire TV Cube|
|Best for||cheap HD streaming||HD streaming + volume control||4K streaming||4K streaming + video overlay||4K streaming + video overlay + hands-free|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080 px (full HD)||1920 x 1080 px (full HD)||3840 x 2160 px (4K)||3840 x 2160 px (4K)||3840 x 2160 px (4K)|
|4K and HDR||no||no||yes||yes||yes|
|RAM||1 GB||1 GB||1.5 GB||2 GB||2 GB|
|Price||→ Check Price||→ Check Price||→ Check Price||→ Check Price||→ Check Price|
Evolution of the TV Landscape
There was a time when TV options were limited. With the advent of premium channels and unlimited internet offers, streaming took off.
Major players like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and more recently Disney Plus, emerged, significantly broadening the offerings for consumers.
In response to this revolution, TV manufacturers integrated streaming apps directly into their devices. However, these collaborations sometimes led to exclusivities, limiting access to certain apps.
Amazon’s Fire Stick, with its vast user base, has become a preferred platform for streaming apps, thus ensuring almost universal access to all content.
TV manufacturers long overlooked the importance of software. With the advent of Smart TVs, they had to adapt, but their interfaces often remain less intuitive than those of dedicated devices like the Fire Stick.
The Fire Stick was designed to optimize the user experience. Its interface is clean, customizable, and responsive. You can rearrange the menu and the order of apps, something not possible on most TVs.
A Better Remote
The Fire Stick’s remote is a model of simplicity and efficiency, unlike traditional remotes that are often bulky and come with over 50 buttons (when you only use about 10 at most).
Fire TV Stick remotes are simpler. Depending on the remote, there are usually fewer than 20 buttons.
In addition to basic features like controlling the TV’s volume and changing channels, it also has “quick launch” buttons for popular streaming services like Netflix and Disney+.
These allow you to launch these apps with just one button. Pretty neat.
Have you noticed that connected TVs have very slow menus? This is due to the hardware…
Most smart TVs are equipped with slow processors that struggle to keep up with the demands of streaming apps like Netflix.
It’s frustrating! I personally encountered this issue on my TV, which I bought for 1100 euros a few years ago.
Another reason is the unoptimized internal software. Streaming apps focus on developing their app to be compatible with platforms that reach the most consumers.
Currently, there are really four major players: Roku, Apple, Amazon, and Google.
So, if you’re not one of these four companies, it’s likely that the app developed for your product didn’t receive the same level of care and attention to detail.
That’s why it operates slowly, is unstable, and can even freeze up completely at times.
More Frequent Updates
The reason software updates impact the Fire TV Stick more than Smart TVs is:
- Mainstream streaming apps don’t devote a lot of resources to developing their app. Software is never “finished”; it’s always evolving. New features and fixes are implemented and released as regular updates. These updates and fixes are more frequent on the Fire TV Stick than on Smart TVs.
No Useless Apps
Smart TVs and boxes come with menus that have dozens or hundreds of apps by default. These useless pre-installed apps can’t be removed and slow down the system.
Streaming apps are included in the TV interface and are visible every day without ever being used.
However, with the Fire TV Stick, you have total control over your app menu. If you see an app you don’t use, just delete it. If you can’t find an app you’re subscribed to, just download it, then rearrange your menu to highlight it.
Again, these are simple concepts that the Fire TV Stick excels at, and that Smart TVs haven’t fully embraced yet.
A Fire TV Stick Isn’t Always Necessary
There are certain situations where you don’t need to buy a FireStick.
The first reason is if you have a connected TV or an internet subscription with TV service.
For instance, if you only watch over-the-air channels and don’t have a Netflix or Amazon subscription, don’t buy a FireStick.
And yes, a smart TV works without an internet connection (if you’re connected via an antenna).
Also, if you own a gaming console like Xbox or Playstation, they already integrate streaming services. Test before buying a Fire TV Stick.
Another reason not to buy a firestick is if your connected TV already includes an integrated firestick. (Like Insignia and Toshiba, for instance).
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you connect a Fire TV Stick to a connected TV?
Yes, you can use a Fire TV Stick on any Smart TV that has an HDMI port. The Fire TV Stick enhances the Smart TV experience. There are also generally more apps available on the Fire TV Stick.
Can you use a Fire TV Stick on an old TV?
Yes, the Fire TV Stick works on traditional TVs. Its main purpose is to turn your non-connected TV into a connected one! All you need is an HDMI port and a Wi-Fi internet connection.
Do you need a Fire TV stick for each TV?
Yes, with a few exceptions, you need a fire tv stick for each TV.
Do you need an Amazon Fire TV Stick if you already have a smart TV? Whether you already own a connected TV or not, you might consider buying a Fire TV Stick for:
- faster loading times
- more content
- a simplified interface
- a smaller remote with fewer buttons
- more frequent updates
- fewer useless apps
That said, if you only watch free over-the-air channels or if you have an Xbox or Playstation, you don’t really need a Fire TV Stick as these devices already have integrated streaming interfaces.