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Can you give me a layman's description on what the Fire Tv actually is/does?

OP mroneeyedboh

18th August 2014, 09:22 PM   |  #1  
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I get its like Roku, but even.. what does it do? Can you stream local stuff or just things that are offered on the fire platform? Reason Im asking, is that my father is thinking about dumping FIOS. As he never watches "season style shows" He just turns it on to watch something when bored. So something like Fire Tv I think will be cool for him... He wont be playing games, just watching random broadcasts.. He said he liked the Roku and like the 99 cent movie channel.. Does the Fire TV have the same setup as the Roku?

Thanks guys!

Of course, Id be rooting it and downloading that XBMC that I seen. Again I dont know much about it, but it seems like most recommend to do that and root the unit. I seen an OTA blocker too... thanks agian.
18th August 2014, 09:53 PM   |  #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mroneeyedboh

I get its like Roku, but even.. what does it do? Can you stream local stuff or just things that are offered on the fire platform? Reason Im asking, is that my father is thinking about dumping FIOS. As he never watches "season style shows" He just turns it on to watch something when bored. So something like Fire Tv I think will be cool for him... He wont be playing games, just watching random broadcasts.. He said he liked the Roku and like the 99 cent movie channel.. Does the Fire TV have the same setup as the Roku?

Thanks guys!

Of course, Id be rooting it and downloading that XBMC that I seen. Again I dont know much about it, but it seems like most recommend to do that and root the unit. I seen an OTA blocker too... thanks agian.

The Fire TV is primarily a video streaming device. Meaning, it plays videos from the internet. The videos it streams can come from several different sources. Some are free, some cost money per video, and some require a paid monthly subscription which lets you play any videos in the library at no additional cost.

Here are some of the most popular video sources used on the FIre TV:

Amazon Prime Instant Video: This costs $99 a year and allows you to view any number of movies and TV shows in their library. This also comes with other perks from Amazon, like free 2 day shipping on most orders.

Amazon Instant Video: This is Amazon's movie and TV show purchase and rental service. You can buy movies or TV shows individually. Once purchased, you can play them as many times as you want. This it the digital equivalent to buying a DVD/Bluray and putting it on your shelf. This service also allows you to rent movies and TV shows. Renting gives you limited access to a movie or TV show; essentially enough access to watch the video once.

Netflix: For a monthly subscription, you get to watch any and all of the movies and TV shows in their library. The selection is better than Amazon Prime Instant Videos, but it's also more expensive considering there are no additional perks. It's strictly a video streaming service.

Hulu Plus: For a monthly subscription, you get access to their library of TV shows. Generally, TV shows will be available on Hulu Plus before they become available on other services.

Netflix and Hulu require that you install a free app on the Fire TV in order to access their videos. Where as, for Amazon Videos, you have direct access to them form the Fire TV's home screen.

You also have several free video options. These all require individual apps. These are services like YouTube, Pluto.tv, iFood.tv, Smithsonian Channel, Tubi, etc...


Lastly, you can play local videos stored on a PC in the house. This is what XBMC and Plex iare primarily used for.
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18th August 2014, 11:38 PM   |  #3  
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Thanks. I already have Amazon Prime, so I can tag my dad on to that..

And thanks for the description.
19th August 2014, 12:00 AM   |  #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mroneeyedboh

Thanks. I already have Amazon Prime, so I can tag my dad on to that..

And thanks for the description.

You're welcome. If you already have Amazon Prime, then it seems like the Fire TV is a good option for your dad.
If your dad is not technologically savvy, or you're worried he may be confused with which videos are free (via Prime) and which ones have to be purchased, I would suggest installing rbox's mod which allows you to hide certain menu options. I have a guide here. This will allow you to hide the "Movies" and "TV" sections (where most of the content is not included free with Amazon Prime) and keep the "Prime Video" section (where all of the content is included free with Amazon Prime). You can also hide all the other sections (like, apps, games, photos, etc..) which it sounds like he will never use.

To install rbox's menu hidding mod, you have to be rooted, so be sure not to accidentaly block rooting during the inital setup process of the Fire TV.
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19th August 2014, 02:37 AM   |  #5  
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Thanks again. If you dont mind, what all would you suggest to do to it when I receive it? Should I install Llama and that XBMC?


Also seems that Roku has more "misc" movie channels for free versus the Amazon Fire.. no?
Last edited by mroneeyedboh; 19th August 2014 at 02:41 AM.
19th August 2014, 06:07 AM   |  #6  
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Awesome summary from AFTVNews....

Want to add a few things:

-- Amazon prime videos (movies/tv shows) load way faster on FTV than on any other platform. I have PS3, Samsung Smart TV and Wii. It is a no contest when it comes to speed. So, if you are going to watch prime content, FTV is a much better option, just for this reason and even if you don't root it or load anything else like XBMC.

-- As mentioned before, you can buy/rent content from Amazon. Do keep in mind that even if you buy, you will only able to watch it as long as your Amazon account is in good standing, as in forever. If Amazon bars your account for any reason, all your buys will go poof.

-- FTV has a voice enabled search and works reasonably well.

-- If you have your cable subscription through a vendor that allows you to stream WatchESPN, you can download the app and watch all content on it through FTV (along with any other ESPN channels you subscribe to). This was the main and only reason I bought FTV (but now I know better to be happy with just ESPN, LOL)

---------- Post added at 11:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:01 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by mroneeyedboh

Thanks again. If you dont mind, what all would you suggest to do to it when I receive it? Should I install Llama and that XBMC?


Also seems that Roku has more "misc" movie channels for free versus the Amazon Fire.. no?

You can get all the "free" movie content if you install and use XBMC. Roku might have way higher number of gross apps/feed, but if you are not going to use it, why buy it? And FTV has so much more superior hardware.

---------- Post added at 11:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:03 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by mroneeyedboh

Thanks again. If you dont mind, what all would you suggest to do to it when I receive it? Should I install Llama and that XBMC?

As a personal preference, the least modifications you do on FTV, the less the chances of wrecking your FTV. I have accepted the trade off of a few more clicks to run XBMC over changing the launching behavior of my FTV. Just an opinion.
19th August 2014, 07:56 PM   |  #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mroneeyedboh

Thanks again. If you dont mind, what all would you suggest to do to it when I receive it? Should I install Llama and that XBMC?


Also seems that Roku has more "misc" movie channels for free versus the Amazon Fire.. no?

@dbdoshi added some great points. If you, or a family member has a cable subscription, your content selection increases because of apps like WatchESPN that let you watch for free if you already have a cable subscription with one of their participating providers.

Llama is primarily only used to reduce the number of clicks needed to get to sideloaded apps. I agree with dbdoshi and feel it's not worth the extra complexity just to save a few clicks.

XBMC is primarily useful for local videos on a hard drive or PC. There are some extensions for XBMC which let you stream more content for free, but most people install it to play their own collection of videos.

Lastly, yes, I agree that Roku has a wider selection of content sources than the Fire TV. I don't have much experience with Roku's, so I can't comment about the quality of their selection but it does seem larger.
21st August 2014, 04:23 AM   |  #8  
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Let me add a couple points here. First, you can't share Amazon Prime videos, the family share thing only covers the free 2-day shipping. This doesn't mean you can't give out your Amazon login/password, but if that person starts buying movies and such.... Roku has a boatload more apps, something like 1,700, but unless you are looking for some odd niche there really isn't much on Roku that you can't get on FTV. HBOGo being the biggie if you subscribe to HBO. Side-loading XBMC works great, plus gives you access to all the legal and questionable plug-ins. Between the XBMC plugins and the native FTV apps, I doubt there is anything available online you can't get.

I didn't bother rooting my FTV, and for a casual user I wouldn't recommend it. Sure, you can do nice things like change the launcher, customize the menus, or enable USB storage (something I hope Amazon does in a future update), and other things, but you don't need root to side load apps such as XBMC. I'd rather stay current with Amazon's updates and improvements than worry about blocking them or getting caught up in a cat & mouse game of root exploits.

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