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December 07, 2014

Amazon Firestick - Part 2

After singing the praises of the Firestick in my last blog post, I've had some more experience playing with the unit.  Last night was the first time I've had some network delay issues with 1080P content, but nothing really terrible.

The big thing for me was looking at apps to do local streaming.  After doing a few google searches, I found that while XBMC is not an option from the Amazon store, you can "Side Load" the application.  While not seamless, running XBMC on the firestick is pretty amazing.  Streaming local 1080P content over my local network works like a charm.  If you are looking to do this, read these links.  As of the next release XBMC will be officially known as Kodi.

Using this method, you can load a lot of other APK file packaged applications beyond what I've mentioned.

December 05, 2014

Amazon Firestick

When I came home from running errands the day before Thanksgiving, there it was on my doorstep, the Amazon Firestick.  As you may have read, I've been playing with the Google Chromecast units and have had lots of fun messing with them.  When the Firestick was announced a few weeks ago at $19.99 USD I couldn't pass it up, since my wife has an Amazon Prime addiction.  As I type this I'm watching an Amazon Prime HD movie and it has yet to hiccup.  Here are some of my thoughts:

  • The UI is fast compared to the Amazon Prime app on my Panasonic BluRay player
  • The same BluRay player above has network stutters, so I assume the Firestick has more buffer memory
  • The unit was preconfigured at the factory to hook into my wife's account.  Sorta cool or sorta creepy depending on if you were buying it for yourself or for a gift.
  • The Wi-Fi also does 5.8Ghz, which is pretty awesome.
  • It has Miracast built in.  That's cool to have, but I never use it.

We've been playing with this thing for a little over a week now and it is pretty awesome.  It doesn't seem to stutter on 1080P content, which is pretty awesome.  If you have Amazon prime, this thing is something that you want to have, but if you are buying your content from random sources, a Roku might be a better choice.