The Amazon Fire TV is a streaming media player that comes with voice search, allowing users to watch videos, movies, shows, and play games. Available on Amazon for $99, this TV lets you choose any of the over 200,000 movies, series, songs and games. Thanks to voice search, you can simply say the name of the video you’re looking for, rather than type it.
Competing against Roku and the Apple TV, this is one of the latest must-have items in terms of technology. Those of you who love watching movies on a big screen probably know what I’m talking about. However, the optimized features of the Amazon Fire TV aren’t always apparent, which is why this article is going to guide you through using this player with the help of a small range of tips and tricks.
Set Parental Controls
If you have children, you definitely know how important it is to be able to protect them. With so many movies to choose from, it’s easy for a kid to end up watching something he/she shouldn’t – a video that’s going to distort his/her view of the world, something frightening, or something not suitable for those until 18 years old.
Thanks to the built-in parental controls that come with the Fire TV’s settings, you can choose what your child can watch. On the Home Screen of the player, you should scroll down to Settings, and then scroll to your right in order to select Parental Controls. The first tab that is going to pop up will allow you to enable this option by clicking the on/off button.
If you already set up a PIN code for the parental control, you will be asked to enter it. In case you didn’t, you will be asked to set up the password now, by entering it twice – once to register it, and the second time to confirm it. Once you’ve entered the code, you can navigate through the options and manage who can make general purchases, buy video, and generally block content by type.
How to Remove Items from the Screen
All the recent items that have been used, such as movies you’ve last seen, games you played, or apps you used, are going to pop up in the main menu. In most cases, it is a convenient feature, as it allows you to easily find items you’d like to use again. However, in some other situations, you might want to remove a few of them.
This can be easily done by going to the Recent Items folder on the Home Screen, and then scrolling down to find the items you’d like to erase. Underneath each of the items, you are going to have a Remove from Recent option – all you have to do is tap that for them to be gone.
Use Kindle Fire HDX as Second Screen
If you own a Kindle Fire HD/HDX, you can use it as a second screen, together with the Fire TV. For example, you can watch a movie on the TV screen, and use the tablet to look up information about the characters on IMDB, as shown in the image above.
It’s fairly easy to set up by opening the Settings folder from the Home Screen. Under Settings, you’re going to find Second Screen – click on the tab and use the switch button to set it as ON or OFF depending on your preference.
Mirror the Kindle Fire HDX to the Fire TV
Apart from using the Kindle tablet as a second screen that will allow you to see something different than on the main screen, you can also choose for it to act as a mirror. This way, you will not see the movie on the TV and other information on the tablet, but you will watch the same movie on both screens.
You can even take the tablet into another room, so that two people can watch the same movie in different rooms at the same time. To do this, you should open the same Settings folder, but on the Fire HDX. Then go to Display and Sounds, and choose Display Monitoring. The device is going to automatically find the Fire TV if they use the same network.
How to Get Movies and TV Shows
You can rent or purchase any movie and show you’d like on Amazon. All there needs to be done is go to the Amazon store and start browsing through the options – you can look through the newest releases, or choose to look for a specific show by its name.
Once you find the one you’d like to watch, you can click on it, and a variety of options will appear under the item. You can usually buy it, rent it for a smaller price, add it to your watchlist, see the trailer, and check the select of similar suggestions of movies.
When you decide to purchase an item, you can watch it whenever you want. However, when you only rent a movie, you will have to see it within a period of time. Once rented, you will be given the option of watching it immediately, or watching it at a later time.
How to Send Youtube Videos to TV
It’s true that the Fire TV comes with an app icon for Youtube that’s already included, so you can directly look videos up on the device. Alternatively, if you want to stream that from a smartphone, you can send the videos from any Android phone or iPhone to the TV.
When you open the Youtube app on this phone, you should see a Cast icon under the video. When clicking on that one, another window will pop up showing Connect to device. This one will list all the available devices to connect to, including the Fire TV that you’ll have to select.
How to Install Games and Apps
Similarly to the way you purchase movies, to get a game or application, you should go to the corresponding tab on the Home Screen. Scrolling down, you should be able to find a Games category, as well as an Apps category.
To find a game, select one of the types of available ones: adventure, action, arcade, board, etc. Then you can browse through the options, and choose the one you like. Clicking on it, you will see how you can buy it using money of coins that you previously purchased from Amazon. Sometimes you will also find apps or games that you can get for free.
Manage your Voice Recordings
Whenever you search something on Amazon using the voice search feature, this one will be saved to your account. As the company mentioned, they use this information in order to learn how the different types of voice sound, and adapt the Fire TV to better recognize voices.
If someone doesn’t want its voice to be recorded, though, it’s easy to simply delete the recordings from the menu. Go to Your Account, and then select Manage Your Content and Devices. You will have to select the device you’re using – you have to choose the Fire TV. Once this one is chosen, simple tap on Manage Voice Recordings and click Delete under any of the audio you want to remove.