Cut the Cable Options: Amazon Fire TV

Welcome to another episode of Cut the Cable.

I've recommended Amazon Prime TV as a viable way of cutting the cable or satellite TV service. I watch Amazon Prime Video Streaming on my Smart TV and on another flat panel "dumb" TV using my Amazon Kindle HD.

A friend recently decided to sign up for Amazon Prime since I recommend it so often. You get a free 30-day Prime trial with unlimited access to all they offer.

You can even get a free copy of What is Amazon Prime?: The Complete Guide to the Amazon Prime Membership so you can learn all about Prime Membership before signing up.

When my friend visited in the spring, he was amazed at Amazon Prime Streaming so it didn't take him long upon returning home to get his own membership. He went a step further and ordered the Amazon Fire TV.

About Amazon Fire TV

In case you're not familiar with this gadget, the Amazon Fire TV is a tiny box you connect to your HDTV. With it you can stream videos from Amazon Prime -- over 200,000 TV episodes and movies, millions of songs,s and hundreds of games -- as well as Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, and rent movies, games, music, etc.

It also offers the capability of Voice Search that actually works according to my friend. Just say the name of what you want to watch and it finds it for you in a few seconds.

Check it out for yourself and Compare Streaming Devices. Of course, you don't have to have this gadget. You can use your iPad, Kindle Fire HD, smartphone, and other devices.

Friend's Comments

My friend was disappointed to learn that not all of the 200,000 plus TV and movies are free. (He did not cruise around the Prime Video webpages before ordering the gadget, or he'd have seen that not everything was free. Some movies and TV shows cycle on and off the "free" list.)

My friend said: "As to the Amazon Fire device — the Voice Search works GREAT. No problems there. However, on a Hardware note — it has NO power button (you can’t turn it off … it goes off automatically after a while if you’re not actively streaming a video — I’D LIKE TO BE IN CHARGE OF WHEN IT GOES OFF)."

He also found that the device makes you jump through more hoops to watch Netflix.

"If using the Nexflix App on it (to view a Netflix video), there’s no way to turn-on, turn-off the Closed Caption without returning to the basic app (Amazon Video), and turn it on/off, then go back into Netflix and pick up the video where you left off... seems as though Amazon Fire made it as inconvenient as possible to use Netflix."

That's probably true since they are direct competitors.

He goes on to say: "Voice Search doesn’t work with Netflix … it’ll work, but throws you back into Amazon Video. If you want to search within Netflix, you have to do it the old-fashion way – hunt and peck the letters."

Also, "The remote has NO “Stop” button — None! You can “go Forward, Backward, Pause” … that’s it! You can’t STOP a video. Basically I just hit the Pause then return Home and find a different video. Soooo — there are some things I’d have designed differently with the remote."


He liked the Amazon Fire TV but felt like there were improvements to be made.

Takeaway Truth

Since we cut the cable/satellite last year, saving $100 bucks a month makes up for minor inconveniences.


  1. I got Amazon Prime last winter, when it was still $79, figuring that it'd pay off,just in free shipping, and the videos were a bonus. I was disappointed by the selection of videos, thinking there would be many more, but perhaps it's because I don't recognize many of the titles they DO have; Maybe it's because I'm not hep on movies and premium cable.

    That being said, I've never failed to find something to watch, Usually I play an album and read a book, but there are times when I don't want to think, I just want to lay there and let a video roll over me,

    1. I've been a Prime Member for years, mainly for the number of books I buy. When they began offering videos, it took me a while to take the time to learn how to do it. I think if you're looking for specific movies then you may be disappointed. So I cruise the New Release list about twice a month and always find something too.

  2. I've had Amazon Prime for two years. I love the free 2-day shipping on anything regardless of cost. I've made a lot of small purchases that saved me time and effort of having to go to a store and hunt around. Plus I use Amazon Prime for movie rentals and free Prime shows. I have a Roku box. Plus you can get a book loan every month! I think it is a great bargain.

    1. Hey, Pat! Over the years, I've ordered more and more through Amazon Prime. If I'm looking for something specific, it's easier to find it online than to take half a day to shop stores that might have it.

      In fact, I've started sending gifts through Prime too. Last year when I bought Christmas presents for everyone--many through Prime--and then everyone's plans fell through for the holiday, I ended up mailing those presents to the kids' homes. That did it. I said from now on, all Christmas presents for out of town get shipped straight to them. Then if they make it home, great. If not, I'm not stuck after the holidays shipping a bunch of gifts. Yes, I think Amazon Prime is a bargain too.

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