Amazon's Fire TV platform includes streaming set-top boxes and sticks, and it's latest device, the Amazon Fire TV 4K, recently launched, meaning you probably already own it and are wondering how to master it.
To help you get the most out of it, as well as any older Amazon streaming device, we've rounded up a selection of tips and tricks worth knowing. We've mentioned tips like how to change your device name so it's easier to decipher which is which (should you own several of the same device and want to push content to a specific one). Also, we've included tricks like how to restart your box using the Amazon Fire TV remote.
Check out all the tips and tricks below. And keep checking back, because we plan to continially update this piece over time.
Expand your internal storage
Amazon’s Fire TV provides 8GB of internal storage for apps, music, and other files you want to save locally. But did you know the Amazon Fire TV also allows you to plug in a USB stick and transfer over content? You just need a USB 3 stick (formatted to FAT32) to expand your storage. Also, while it's plugged in, go to Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications to transfer content to the USB stick.
Change your device name
Amazon assigns names to its devices, such as the Amazon Echo, Fire TV, Fire TV 4K, and Fire TV Stick. If you own several of the same device though (like maybe three Amazon Fire TV 4K boxes), it'll be hard to decipher which is which when you buy apps or content and want to deliver that stuff to a specific device. An easy solution is to change the names of all your Amazon devices.
From a desktop computer, go to your Amazon account (drop-down menu under your name), then find the Manage Your Content and Devices page, and go to Your Devices tab. You might at this point be asked to sign into Amazon once more in order to verify your identity. You can then click on any device (followed by the Edit link) to change its name to something more recognisable.
Connect Bluetooth headphones
The Fire TV set-top boxes support Bluetooth headphone connectivity. With your headphones in hand, go to Settings > Controllers and Bluetooth Devices > Other Bluetooth Devices on your Fire TV. The box should then automatically find and connect to the headphones. Voila!
Turn your Amazon Fire tablet into a second screen
Amazon allows its higher-end tablets, such as the Amazon Fire HD or Fire HDX tablet, to become second screens while you're watching content on Amazon Prime Instant (or for navigation purposes with your Fire TV Stick). You can also push content from your streaming device to your tablet, so you can use your Fire TV even if someone else is watching TV at the same time.
From your Fire TV, go to Settings, then Second Screen, and toggle on the feature. Bothd devices must be on the same network, though.
Mirror your mobile device to your TV
Just like Apple's AirPlay feature, you can mirror your Amazon Fire phone or tablet to your TV.
The Fire TV and Fire TV Stick support Miracast, a Wi-Fi solution for showing multimedia across multiple screens. So, if you're playing video on a an mobile device, you can display it on your HDTV via Fire TV. Supported devices include the Fire Phone, Fire HDX tablet, Windows 8.1 and up computers, and any device running Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) or higher. The device has to be on the same Wi-Fi network as your Fire TV.
From there, go to Settings > Display and Sounds > Enable Display Mirroring on the Fire TV. You may have to go to your mobile device settings as well to enable Miracast. Alternatively, hold the Home button on the Fire TV remote and select "Mirroring." Push any button on the remote to stop.
Remove apps from your homescreen
You can actually change around your homescreen by removing the featured apps under your Recently Used tab. Just navigate to the app you want to remove, and then below it - next to “More info” - you'll see a “Remove from recent” option. Click it to remove it from homescreen.
It will reappear under this section the next time you use the app, though.
Set a custom screensaver
To set your own image as the Fire TV's screenscraver, upload an image to the Amazon Cloud Drive account linked to your Fire TV, then go to the “Photos” tab on your Fire TV, and find the image you want to set as a screensaver. You can do this with an entire album of images too.
Just select 'Set As Screen Saver', and then you can change your style settings, such as the slide style, slide speed, etc. Alternatively, you can also set your Screen Saver settings by pressing the Home button on the remote and select Settings > System > Screen Saver.
Install apps from Amazon’s website
You can install apps directly from Amazon’s website. Simply browse Amazon’s online catalogue, then go to the app you want, and you’ll be able to purchase it and push it directly to your Fire TV device after purchase (as long as your streaming device is linked to your Amazon account).
Use the shortcut menu
Amazon offers a shortcut menu for speedy navigation: press and hold the home button on the remote to open up a pop-up menu, and you'll see quick options for Power, Mirroring or Settings.
Use the remote to restart
You can restart the Fire TV devices with the Fire TV remote. Go to Settings > System > Restart. You can also simultaneously press and hold the Play button and Select button for about five seconds. Simples.
Re-pair the remote
Should you remote get disconnected, re-pair it to the Fire TV or Fire TV Stick by holding down the home button for up to 10 seconds.
Cast from YouTube
You don't need a Google Chromecast to cast videos from the YouTube app on your mobile device to your TV.
Just load the YouTube app on Fire TV and then do the same with the app on Android or iOS. From there, tap the Cast icon in the YouTube mobile app, and that's it. Again, make sure your devices are all on the same Wi-Fi network.
Delete ASAP Info
Amazon's ASAP feature learns what Amazon movies and shows you like so they start instantly. But if you want to delete all the feature's saved info on you, go to Settings > Applications > Amazon Video. Then clear the data and clear the cache. You can also clear the cache for other apps.
Delete Voice Recordings
Amazon also stores recordings of everything you voice search through your Fire TV, but you can delete the recordings. From a desktop computer, go to your Amazon account (drop-down menu under your name), then find the Manage Your Content and Devices page, and go to Your Devices tab. You might at this point be asked to sign into Amazon once more in order to verify your identity.
You can then click on any device, select Manage Voice Recordings, then click Delete.
Voice search on the Fire TV Stick
The Fire TV Stick does not have that same voice search option that's on the Fire TV box.
But you can buy the $29.99 Voice Remote for Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick to get it. Or, download the Fire TV remote app for Android or iOS. Your phone will need to be on the same Wi-Fi network as the Amazon Fire TV device to work. The name of the Fire TV will appear on the smartphone screen. Click it, then punch in the code that appears on the screen, and you'll have full control.
Enable Parental Controls
You can enable Parental Controls on your on your Fire TV device, allowing you to block purchases and restrict access to Amazon movies, TV shows, games, apps, photos, and more. This will stop your kids from making surprise purchases as well as accessing inappropriate content.
To use parental controls and purchase restrictions, you need to set a 5-digit Amazon Video PIN for your account using an Amazon remote or the Fire TV Remote App. Go here to learn more about how to setup a PIN. Keep in mind, after you enable Parental Controls, most actions related to content viewing, purchasing, or changing settings require you to enter your PIN.