Feather’s Reviews: TVs and Fires

Hello Everyone!

Ok, so I know it’s been weeks since Christmas came to an end, but one of my favourite Christmas gifts was an Amazon Fire stick, given to me by my mom, who also bought one for herself.

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Now, having had, practically, a month with it, I’m not sure if I’m completely sold on it. Want to know why? Check out my review below. I’ll be explaining my top three pros and cons of having an Amazon Fire Stick (or any online streaming sticks for that matter).

Pros!

1.  I Can What My Favourite Films and TV Shows Without Ads!

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Well, yes, for the most part. If you’re starting a new show or film, then you’ll get the odd plugins at the beginning, before the film/show starts, but that’s sort of a necessity anyway, considering the shows completely devoid you of any ads. Now, personally, I do love watching movies and TV series back-to-back, without adverts, so this is definitely a pro that anyone can agree on (who wants to see those fake teeth whitening ads or make up plugs every 15 mins!).

2.  I Can Pause The Show/Film If I Need To

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This is for those times when you want to start or watch a new show/film and you don’t want to miss a beat. So, if you need the loo or to get more snacks (or do the chores…because mom and dad are coming home) then all you have to do is pause the show, and do what you need to do! There’s no fuss, just the good ole pause button.

3.  I Can Watch Online Videos On A Bigger Screen

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Ok, so you can do that anyway, if you have the HDMI cable for your computer or laptop, but who wants the extra cable wires cluttering up your space. After all, the Amazon Fire comes with a remote that allows you to scroll through all your options, so you don’t need to go through the fuss of finding the right port on your laptop/desktop. It’s just a shame they don’t have Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram.


Cons!

1.  There Aren’t Many Free Options

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While yes, you have the free options that come out every now and then (monthly by the looks of it), and there are plenty of them, these options are limited to either the classics, indies, and the B rate movies that did well in the box office, but you’d only watch them once. If you want to watch films like Marvel Avengers or The Lord of the Rings, you’re going to have to pay a premium. That’s film alone. If you want to watch a TV series, like Sherlock, right from the beginning, you’ll have to pay to watch each season, and for something like Sherlock, that’s about £20! I shudder to think what the Game of Thrones series costs!

2.  I Miss Regular Scheduling

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Now, I know I hate ads, just like any decent person, but there is something novel about watching TV (and I mean having something on for the sake of it being on). I do have Sky TV, where you can see the regular scheduled programmes and the odd film, but that’s the family TV…we can’t afford a second one that isn’t connected to that. Having said that, Amazon Fire, should have that option to stream live TV, like the BBC Channel, or ITV, or Channel 4. Well, I guess you can get Freeview…

3.  You Need Amazon Prime For Some Apps, Shows and Films!

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Thank god my mom has Amazon Prime and can afford it! I wouldn’t be able to use the stick otherwise! I know it’s all part and partial of the Amazon franchise, they’re sort of pulling an Apple move, where their products must be used in conjunction with their software (looking at you Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro…) but is it really necessary to have a Prime account? Surely an Amazon account itself should be able to access an Amazon Fire stick anyway? Well, who knows, maybe one day Amazon will open up their services to those of us who can’t afford Prime just yet.


Bonus!

While I do like the Amazon Fire stick, it still has a lot to improve on. For example, the interface is rather basic and I prefer having a fully comprehensive menu, just like a computer screen basically. I like the novelty of having my options already on screen and all I need to do is choose it. I don’t want to have to scroll through the apps or shows I’ve already watched, just to get to the particular one I’m looking for, or even having to use the search menu either.

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To be honest, I’d like to have a screensaver or a “desktop” image like you’d get on a computer, that way you know the Fire stick is yours, and no one else’s. It says, it’s personal to you, and it’s to your tastes. The whole orange on black thing sort of kills the personality of the view, and eventually you’d stop using it, because it’s too uniform.


Conclusion?

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I’m not completely sold on the whole Amazon Fire stick. Like I said, it still needs some improvement. If I were on the Amazon Fire team, I’d probably look into some way of personalising the interface, so that users won’t have to stream their photos just to make it personal. I know I’d like it if I could see a pretty picture of a fantasy landscape while I’m scrolling through their menu. It’s just my taste.


Well, that’s my review for today, it’s time we heard from you! Do you have an Amazon Fire TV stick? What do you think about it? Do you like it? Why do or don’t you like it? What do you think could improve it, and how? Let us know in the comments below! Maybe Amazon might hear you!

See you all next week! I may just do a rather late review of Sherlock series 4…of course I watched it!…and let you know what I thought about it! Yes, I know there were lots of ups and downs, and heart-stopping moments that I’d really fangirl or scream in agony (you know what I’m talking about) or shout in frustration over. So, watch out for that!

This is Feather, signing out!

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