It’s that time of year again! New year, new you, Time to make positive changes in your life. One way to do that is by embracing the most of your devices.
This year is the year you become a master of the tech devices in your household, unlocking their full potential. Here’s a helpful guid to assist you for getting the most out of the all-new Amazon Fire TV.
Yes, many people (me included) have mindlessly defaulted to one singular streaming service for their entertainment needs, which is understandable seeing as it takes time and brainpower to decrypt where the most value is across all services. But you don’t know what you don’t know, and I’m here to infuse steroids into your home entertainment regimen by introducing you to Fire TV.
With Fire TV, the interface is as practical as it is attractive so you get easy access to thousands of channels, apps, and over 500,000 movies and TV episodes via Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and more. With newly expanded voice control in apps like Bravo, CBS All Access, Hulu, NBC, PlayStation Vue, and SHOWTIME, Alexa is bigger and better than ever. You can use your voice to search, control playback, switch channels, and basically play puppeteer within the many supported apps.
Fire TV also contains several can’t-miss features that can take your home entertainment experience to the next level. They include, but are not limited to, the following…
DON’T MOVE. ALLOW ALEXA TO SERVE YOU.
O.K here’s the sitch. You’ve got that special someone coming over in 10 minutes and you haven’t showered because you’ve spent the last hour looking at memes. We’ve all been there. So, what do you do? Allow Fire TV and Alexa to come to the rescue.
With the Alexa Voice Remote, you simply press the Talk button and allow the device to get you out a jam. Or three. You can ask Alexa to order you and your date a pizza from Domino’s, dim the lights to set the mood, and cue up that show This Is Us she likes..
You can also pause, fast-forward, rewind, play, go to the next episode, start over, all with your voice. You can even discover new shows, launch apps, and control your entertainment. These features will certainly come in handy if things between you and your date start to get hot and heavy. Unlikely.
And, oh yeah, you can also use the Alexa Voice Remote to call the lady a Lyft once she finds out you still collect Beanie Babies.
CONTROL YOUR AMAZON FIRE TV WITH YOUR ECHO DEVICE
Hypothetical situation: You’re in the kitchen cooking up your grandma’s world-famous penne pesto pasta while listening to Steely Dan’s Greatest Hits on your Echo. When you move to your living room to eat said pasta, you already know you’re going to watch Netflix on your Fire TV.
Without greasing up your remote control, you can use your Echo to control your Fire TV, thus making it easier to control your entertainment experience with your voice. All you have to do is say “Alexa, open Netflix.”
Just make sure your Fire TV and Echo are connected to the same Amazon account and the devices will pair automatically. Simply say “Alexa, play The Killing” or “Alexa, open Twitch.”
Hell, Alexa won’t even judge you if you speak with your mouth full. Grandma, on the other hand, not so much.
USE YOUR PHONE AS A REMOTE
I know I’m not ready to have a child because I can’t even keep track of my remote controls. My phone, on the other hand, that thing might as well be gorilla glued to my right hand.
Fire TV empathizes with people like me and offers the Amazon Fire TV Remote App, the official free phone app that lets you use your iPhone or Android as a replacement for the remote. The app does everything your remote does and even lets you use Alexa. Connect the phone to the same Wi-Fi network as your Fire TV and type in the four-digit code that appears on the screen. This allows you to use the voice feature or on-screen keyboard to perform searches.
You may never have to worry about losing a remote again. With this type of convenience, I’m never going to get my life together.
HOME SURVEILLANCE…FROM YOUR COUCH
Is that ring at your door the pizza guy or your latest Amazon Prime delivery?
With Fire TV, it’s no longer a mystery. All you need to do is say “Alexa, show me the front door camera,” and the view from your Internet connected camera like Arlo or Ring display on your TV. So, you can make sure your dog’s on his best behavior without lumbering up the stairs to confirm. Because let’s be honest, convenience aside, stairs are hard.
Companies like Ring, Arlo, August, EZViz, Vivint, Amcrest, Logitech, and IC Realtime have already created Alexa skills leveraging the monitoring capability.
WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE WITH PERSONALIZED PHOTO SLIDESHOWS
How often do you revisit those cherished memories of that semester abroad you took in college? Your photos from Spring Break in 2010? Chances are, these memories are seldom revisited and are fading every day. Fire TV will not let the old you become a thing of the past.
Prime Photos offers unlimited photo backup storage to Amazon Prime members, allowing you to access any photos you’d like to view using Fire TV. From there, you can determine what photos you want featured in a screensaver for your Fire TV when it’s on, but not playing.
You can also start a slideshow of images of your Prime Photos, which is way better than passing around your phone to a group. Just say “Alexa, start a slideshow with my Bachelor Party pictures”, then grab a case of beer, invite your buddies over, and throw on Green Day’s “Time Of Your Life” in the background.
That’s a pretty nice little Thursday night.
DON’T WAKE THE NEIGHBORS, CONNECT BLUETOOTH HEADPHONES
Absolutely perfect if your significant other hits the hay early and you want to have some me time before joining her. Fire TV allows you to connect your Bluetooth headphones so you can enjoy a solo movie session without catching attitude the next morning for watching Ex-Machina until 2 am with the volume jacked up. Hell hath no fury like a significant other scorned.
Connecting is super easy: make sure your headphones are set to ‘Pair’ and go to Settings–>Controllers–> Bluetooth Devices–>Other Bluetooth Devices on your Fire TV. The device should detect the headphones and automatically connect.
As practical as it is, the Bluetooth connection option is a head-scratching rarity in other home entertainment devices. Amazon Fire TV fills this void.
Amazon Fire TV is a treasure trove of practical features designed to make your life easier. Hopefully these cool features helped make up your mind, in addition to giving you access to watch crystal clear 4K Ultra HD from all your favorite online streaming platforms.