Any sensible person in the market for a streaming device must consider the Fire TV Stick at this low price

Originally published at: Any sensible person in the market for a streaming device must consider the Fire TV Stick at this low price | Boing Boing


So, I’ve been looking at this device. I already have one which I bought two years ago. It’s worked fine and gotten some OS upgrades (not really improvements, though). The new 4K MAX has almost identical hardware yet is on a much newer version of the OS. Looking at the Wikipedia article for these and related FireTV devices, they’ve never updated a device from one major version to another. You get what you bought and never get a major upgrade.

Since this device is 3 years old, it’s nearing the end of its support life. I would not recommend buying one despite the price. I would suggest waiting until black friday to see what they do with the MAX.

WRT the FUD about ‘is this a distraction?’ that just tells me the commenter has no knowledge of this devices history. It has dropped in price every year at about this time since it was introduced. Go look at cammelcammelcammel to see it. It had a BF price of $24.55 in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Oh, look, it’s doing it again this year at the same time.


Does it natively support adblocking? Or would I be required to flash a different OS onto it in order to have a livable viewing experience?

Amazon does sort of subtle adds. They show you all the stuff you can watch and you don’t know how much it will cost until you click on on and then it show the free or pay options. There is a setting, I think, to say ‘only show free’, but that includes ad supported stuff. There is an ‘included with prime’ option which will really just show you the free stuff that part of prime–as long as you’re a prime member.


I don’t have or want an amazon account and I’ll be dead before I pay for prime.

If this device doesn’t facilitate strong ad blocking, and will serve me ads, I don’t see what the use case is.

I cut the cable to stop seeing ads. If a media machine makes ads unavoidable then it is a pointless device.

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Hmm, okay, you can install other streaming apps on it–netflix, crunchyroll. Those will not give you ads (assuming you have the right subscription).

If you’re looking for a generic stick to run Kodi on, I don’t think this is what you want. Too little local storage.

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Honestly I just buy refurbished optiplexes to drive tvs. A $90 PC running desktop linux with a keyboard is far superior to any streaming stick.

Hey, thanks for this. Much appreciated. I’d been hanging back waiting for a price drop, but it seems to make sense to wait for the Max, based on what you said. Thanks!!


I tend to use Odroid boxes running LibreElec or similar (that’s a distro of Kodi). I only use those for my local network playback. I use streaming sticks like the various Amazon FireTV sticks for Netflix, PrimeVideo, and Crunchyroll. I would prefer one box to rule them all, but this division of labor has provided me a lot of flexability and all the devices support CEC, so I can use just the one remote if I want to.

Full up PCs are pretty power inefficient, no? I agree that they’re a full solution to your HTPC problem, but that’s because they’re the whole darn PC. :slight_smile:

My past Kodi Hosts have been Odroid C1 and C2 boxes (the C2 should do 4K, so it should last a while). If I had to buy one today, I would get the C4. It’s a better chip. For anyone saying to use an Rpi4, I have two good reasons to pick the C4 over it–normal sized HDMI port and barrel jack for power (not an unreliable micro USB connector).

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I’ll feel like a dope if they don’t discount it as I sort of need a new one. They don’t always discount their new product for the first year, but they often do… So, keep in mind I could be wrong.


I’ve got it sitting in my cart, so I should get an indication if the price drops.


Ahh, handy trick. I really like cammelcammelcammel for that.


I keep waiting for something with options to run Alexa-free, like my old device. Every day, it reports that my remote can’t be detected… :woman_shrugging:t4:


I got a Fire stick delivered a couple of weeks ago. Funny thing was, I never ordered one. I called Amazon to report this and make sure I didn’t have to pay for it. The very nice fellow in the Indian call center confirmed that I could keep it and wouldn’t have to pay. He said I could give it to someone “needy”, which was sort of touching, I suppose.

I’m convinced that I got it because I don’t have a smart speaker (and never will, BTW, other I suppose than my phone). Getting the Fire stick free is not enough. They’d have to pay me for me to use it. I’d settle for $9.99/mo.

My only experience with a FireTV device was honestly miserable. Laggy responses and very slow performance overall.

I guess you get what you pay for.

Did you power it up? If you have an amazon account and order one, they come pre-programmed with the login for your account. I’m curious whos login info you have.

If Roku doesn’t solve it’s Prime and YouTube war and I lose either or both I’m going to switch. I’m leaning toward a Fire Stick because if I’m going to jump ship I want Alexa volume and channel switching. That’s how lazy I am. I do not feel as though I should reach for the remote if I have a perfectly good voice assistant listening to everything I say or do. She may as well learn my TV habits as well.

Apparently atmos not supported for netflix. I have a fire cube since it was the first to support both dolby vision and atmos.

I love these ads (this, the scale, the tablet stand…) Seems like a win for the manufacturer (since I’m thinking about a fire stick a lot longer than I ever would have) and a win for Boingboing because it doesn’t feel like an ad.

Back in the early 90’s me and most of my improv comedy troupe got hired by FAO Schwartz in Manhattan as toy demonstrators… and we set to doing what we do, which was playing off of the crowd. I turned the “Wacky Wrestlers” - two refrigerator walking goo dolls that you’d twist together and would appear to wrestle - into a Howard Cosell announced Madison Square Garden smackdown between “Mr Mustard and Captain Ketchup”. This would go on for 5 minutes.

In the words of one parent “Joey, we’re going to buy this, because it is an important lesson in the art of turning nothing into something”.

Another friend had a mad scientist routine with “Dr Dreadful’s Drink Lab”, another friend was “Infoman” dressed up in a superhero custome, and I also did a foam boomerang as an Australian kind of carnival barker, and man did we sell juggling toys. Our manager was confused by our whole approach - they’d hired actors as toy demonstrators for years, but they never really moved things they way we did… I explained to my boss “we’re street performers you brought into your store, and they pay us for the performance by buying your junk.”

In that spirit I hope this advertisers appreciate you guys.

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I’m surprised no one’s mentioned the recent user interface makeover Amazon perpetrated on the Fire Stick. It’s been excoriated on r/firetvstick as one of the most counterintuitive rearrangements ever conceived. It’s designed to look very appealing, but requires contortions to do what used to be straightforward.

For new users it probably won’t seem entirely terrible, unless they’ve used an intelligently organized streamer already. I bought the setup primarily to cut the cord with Fire TV Recast, and it has pushed the recast several clicks down from the home screen.