06 May 2021 366 Views

8 Streaming Hacks to make the most of your Amazon Fire TV Stick

by James Murphy

 

If you own an Amazon Fire TV Stick, you would know that there is a lot to adore about this functional, trendy, and feature-packed streaming device. But then, did you know that there are several underrated hacks that can take the utility exhibited by your Fire TV series to a whole new level. 

Most of the streaming hacks that are to be mentioned in the subsequent sections aim at improving your content-consuming experience. Plus, each of the hacks might require you to move out of your comfort zone and even install or sideload certain third-party applications. But then, you can stretch your resources a bit if content consumption is one of your priorities.

Hack 1: Restart the Device with a Remote

The first hack pertains to making your Fire TV stick even more resourceful. For starters, it is recommended to restart the device using the remote control instead of leaving the couch to do the same manually by unplugging and plugging the stick. While this hack is aimed at easing Fire TV management for you, it doesn’t require a lot of training.

You simply need to hold the existing Play along with the Select tab for 5 seconds to reboot the device. However, we would only recommend this hack if the Fire TV Stick stops working mid-way and you want to fix the same by rebooting the device without having to leave the couch.

Hack 2: Sideload the Best Streaming Apps

If you want to make the most of your Amazon Fire TV streamer, it is necessary to rely on applications other than the ones provided with the gadget itself. While you can always check for the likes of Netflix, Disney+, and other OTT resources, setting-up the Fire TV stick in the best possible way concerns getting hold of select IPTV and web streaming resources.

At first, you need to sideload something as effective as the USTVGo. This web streaming resource offers free access to several region-based pieces of content and Live TV channels that otherwise require a pricey cable or satellite TV subscription. If you are confused as to how can USTVGo be enjoyed on the Fire TV Stick as it is not even an app, you can follow this blog post on FireStickTricks.com to sail through the process.

If you do not want to restrict your content viewing experience to a browser, as is the case with USTVGo, you can always sideload an app like the Sling TV. This IPTV resource is an app that houses several sports, news, and other paid TV channels that aren’t usually available over the Internet protocol.

Having these resources installed on Fire TV Stick adds to the streaming experience and ensures holistic coverage. 

Hack 3: Use the Voice Support

You need to jog the memory about the voice-supported capabilities of the Fire TV Stick. A good way to maximize the experience is to use the integrated Alexa functionality to talk to your TV, via the bundled remote control. Plus, this functionality isn’t only restricted to the Fire TV Stick but encompasses other devices like the Fire TV Cube. 

Also, if you have a dedicated Alexa speaker at home, you can control your TV even better by using commands like “Alexa, open Prime Video, Netflix”, etc. 

Hack 4: Disable Auto-Play

If you want to get the best possible streaming experience, you should immediately disable the auto-play option for the videos. Having this option turned on ensures that if you pause for a while on a particular marquee image, the content piece starts playing automatically and that too with the sound turned on.

As this can be frustrating for a simple user, it is best advised to turn the audio and video auto-play right before you can even start using the Fire TV Stick. However, you need to disable the option manually as certain browser-based streaming services like USTVGo might not respond to the usual set of commands. 

Hack 5: Clear the Cache

While this hack isn’t expected to miraculously enhance your streaming experience, it might just make the Fire TV stick usage safer than usual.  If you are a persistent Amazon app user with a penchant for shopping, your Fire TV Stick might end up storing or even listening to the diverse details and insights. 

Therefore, it is best advised to select a particular app on the Fire TV Stick interface and clear the existing data or the cache memory, at regular intervals. 

Hack 6: Be Mindful of the Local Content

If you really want to make the most of your Fire TV Stick, it is advisable to prep it up for viewing local content. The best resource for the same is to install Plex on your Fire TV Stick. This application allows you to establish a dedicated media server with the laptop, smartphone, or PC, precisely for linking the photos, videos, and audio files directly to the Fire TV gadget.

You can also rely on the likes of Kodi for perfectly managing the local setup of photos, music, movies, and TV shows. 

Hack 7: Take the HDMI Extender Seriously

If you have already unboxed the Fire TV Stick, you might have come across the small yet functional HDMI extender offered right out of the box. While this might look like a trivial resource to someone who prefers plugging in the TV Stick right behind the television, it can be of use if you want to keep the streamer more exposed to the existing wireless network.

Fitting in the streaming device behind the TV, via the HDMI port, cuts it off from the wireless network. Plus, it also makes the Fire TV stick run hotter than usual. However, the HDMI extender can help by offering a separate outlet for you to use for fitting in the streamer. This way, plugging and unplugging the Fire TV stick becomes easier than usual, precisely for making it more receptive to the wireless network, which is how the remote actually interacts with the gadget.

Hack 8: Make the Remote useful again

You might end up experiencing erratic remote connectivity, especially during a sudden battery change. However, fixing the same is important for making the most of the streaming experience. Plus, the hack is extremely easy as you only need to press and hold the home tab for almost 10 seconds with the internet turned on and you can re-establish the connection, almost immediately. 

Bottom-Line

Each of the mentioned Fire TV Stick hacks can help you amplify the overall streaming experience. However, the list doesn’t end here and we shall talk about other relevant and functional Fire TV Stick tips in a subsequent topic. Truth be told, the Fire TV stick is a highly intriguing streaming asset that deserves a lot of detailing than these 8 straightforward hacks. 

But, that’s a discussion for some other time!



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