How to make your TV Smart with Amazon’s Fire TV Stick

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The 3rd generation Fire TV Stick is Amazon’s best-selling streaming TV device, replacing the four-year-old processor with a new one, much faster.

The Fire TV Stick Lite, on the other hand, has the same performance as the standard Stick, but with one major trade-off for its remote: there are no TV volume, power, and ON/OFF button.

Of the two, the Fire TV Stick is absolutely to recommend compared to the Lite version: having the TV controls integrated into the remote is really worth the few extra euros that separate the two models.

Fire TV Stick and Lite version

Held side by side, the new Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite look identical. Both connect directly to the TV’s HDMI port (an extension cable is included), and both have a 1.7 GHz quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of memory and Wi-Fi. The two sticks have no extra ports other than the micro-USB for power.

Performance-wise, they are a big step up over the previous Fire TV Stick (first launched in 2016), with much shorter load times and smoother scrolling through menus.

Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K is slightly larger than the Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite.

Video and audio features

Both Fire TV Sticks can play 1080p video and support high dynamic range in HDR10, HDR10 + or HLG formats, although neither supports 4K video or Dolby Vision HDR (you’ll have to upgrade to Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K for these features).

The only other difference is on the audio front: where the Fire TV Stick supports decoding for Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital/Digital + and DTS, the Fire TV Stick Lite only supports passthrough for those formats. In any case, the Fire TV Stick Lite’s lack of Dolby decoding is of little concern in most cases.

Remote controls

The biggest difference between Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite is in their remotes. While the third generation Fire TV Stick has the TV’s volume and power on/off controls on the remote, the Lite model does not.

If you have an audio system with its own IR receiver, you can configure the Fire TV to control the volume independently of the TV, and you can even use HDMI-CEC to control everything in unison.

Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite can obviously be purchased on the Amazon store; details below:

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Available for Amazon Prime