If your smart TV is no longer top of the class, it’s probably time to get an upgrade with a Fire TV stick and now's the ideal time to buy one as Amazon's Black Friday sale has gifted us with unbeatable prices, starting at just £12.99.
Thankfully, it’s really easy to update your smart TV for latest streaming service apps, or get an older set connected in the first place. Simply buy an Amazon Fire TV stick and pop it into a spare HDMI on the back of your screen. Voilà! No more FOMO when your friends share binge-watching tips.
Smart TVs have been around for years, and they’re a convenient way to access streaming services and catch-up TV. But they have limitations.
If your smart telly is a certain vintage, it may no longer be getting updates, and if your TV tuner isn’t Freeview Play, you could well find yourself short changed when it comes to catch-up TV choice and box sets.
A separate dongle solves all these issue. Amazon’s Fire TV range offers an unbeatable array of streaming apps, not just the usual headline attractions, such as Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+, but a host of other services, including Pluto TV (currently home to Star Trek Discovery, and a raft of vintage programmes), NOW (for Sky channels and the Sky movie store) and UFC Fight Pass (sports).
Here are the different types of Fire TV Sticks available, so you can pick the best one to suit you.
Budget Fire TV
Currently the most affordable member of the Fire TV family, £17.99 (was £29.99) on Amazon, this Lite model is brilliant value, and now comes with Alexa Voice Remote Lite too. The choice of streaming shows is comprehensive, and includes BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Prime Video, Now, Disney+, ITV hub and more.
Buy it: Fire TV Stick Lite | £17.99 (was £29.99) from Amazon
It has Amazon Alexa built-in, so you can voice search for shows, movies and stars. You can also ask Alexa for news, weather and how much that doggy in the window is. This Lite stick is HD only though, and the remote is basic with n TV control - so only buy this version if you’re going to plug it into an older HD TV, or a small (32-inches or less) screen for casual viewing.
Fire TV Stick with TV controls
It may look the same as its cheaper sibling, but this Fire TV stick adds TV control to the mix. Priced at £22.99 (was £39.99), you can use it to control TV power and volume, as well as all the other stuff.
Buy it: Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote | £22.99 (was £39.99) from Amazon
Significantly, this version also supports Dolby Atmos sound from those streaming apps that support it. This makes it worth the extra if you have a Dolby Atmos soundbar. But remember, pictures are still HD only.
Top of the range 4K Fire Stick
The flagship of the Fire TV range, the 4K Max version sells for £37.99 (was £54.99), and is the model you should buy if your flatscreen is a 4K UHD model. In addition to unlocking the full visual potential of 4K shows and movies on Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and BBC iPlayer (4K offers much more picture detail, as well as HDR peak brightness), it also supports Dolby Atmos cinema sound.
Buy it: Fire TV Stick 4K Max | £37.99 (was £54.99) from Amazon
If your router/modem is Wi-Fi 6 enabled, you’ll also benefit from faster connection speeds and the ability to stream multiple 4k shows at the same time, without your network grinding to a halt.
This is the Fire TV stick to buy if you want to be future-proof. Consequently it’s well worth the price premium.