If you’re anything like me, you have Amazon’s Fire TV sticks all over your house. These little gadgets support a wide variety of streaming services and are often available at discounted prices, making it a good idea to buy one.
And while it’s easy to get started with the Fire TV interface, these helpful tips, shortcuts, and quality-of-life improvements can make your streaming experience even more enjoyable.
Pair Bluetooth headphones for private listening
I love falling asleep to a gruesome true crime show in the background. Not my wife.
Should you find yourself in a similar marriage challenge, there is a win-win compromise. Simply pair your favorite Bluetooth headphones with your Fire TV.
Go to the Settings menu, then choose Controllers and Bluetooth Devices and then Other Bluetooth Devices.
Pair your headphones – you only need to do this once – and the next time you want to listen in private, just turn your headphones on and they should connect automatically.
Use your phone as a remote control
You’ll need to complete a one-time pairing, and you may need a way to manually turn on your TV if it doesn’t wake up when you wake your Fire TV device. But once those two things are settled, it’s a great way to get back to a show without spending an episode looking for the remote.
It also has a handy text entry feature: tap the keyboard icon in the top right corner the next time you need to enter a cumbersome login email or password. Every day is better than entering text character by character with the remote control.
Quick access to apps and settings
A very useful, but often overlooked feature: Long-pressing the Home button on the Fire remote brings up the Quick Access menu. This allows you to quickly jump between profiles, view all your installed apps, access settings, and more.
If you find the Fire TV interface a bit cumbersome at times, this trick makes navigating much easier.
“Where does that man come from?”
My wife and I like to play the “Where is that man from?” game, but we’d like it even more if our brains were still sharp enough to pick up such information without looking it up.
Luckily, if you see a familiar face in a movie or show you’re streaming via Amazon Prime Video, all you need to do is press the controller to access Amazon’s X-Ray feature.
The interface will then show you who is in the current scene and what music is playing, after which you can click around to get short bios and see other titles the cast members have played in.