Amazon Fire Stick, where have you been all of my life?
I didn’t realize this was a question until I randomly saw a Black Friday ad a few days ago, and I beheld a product I didn’t know existed- a Borg Brain that takes over your dumb, non-smart TV and turns it into an edifice of streaming, YouTube gazing awesomeness.
Now, it’s probably the case that this product has existed forever and the more tech-savvy among us (Dirk, I know you’re out there) is probably shaking his/her head at my backwardness.
Let me tell you about the Fire Stick, and its awesomeness. Also, it would help if I gave you some background.
A while back I upgraded a few TVs around here to smart TVs, i.e. TVs that can stream without awkward interfaces. TVs that are easy to use with Netflix, Hulu, etc. I’ve been very satisfied with my new smart TVs, but it left me with a dilemma.
A couple of perfectly good TVs that were “dumb.” Well, I hate waste, but what was I to do with the older wall-mounted flatscreen in the guest room or the faithful Sony that had been replaced by its brilliant cousin, the smart Toshiba?
Stupid me, I found the Amazon Fire Stick, and it seemed as if it would transform my dumb TVs into smart ones for a mere twenty bucks.
I had my doubts. But what the heck, I figured, if this would work it would save me a fair bit of jack and extend the lives of some very good, but obsolete, TVs. So, I ordered a couple. In typical Amazon fashion they arrived right away. For a couple of days I let them sit, I feared that using them would be a nightmare of passwords and bulky, glitchy interfaces.
Well, I did it today.
The hijacking of my dumb TV was incredibly easy.
Lemme tell you how this worked.
First, turn on the old TV, then select HDMI whatever (the TV can’t be so old that it doesn’t have an HDMI port, although there are probably hacks for that, too).
This is the last time you will use the old remote.
As soon as you turn on the Fire Stick (which I jammed into the HDMI port and plugged into its independent power supply), the Borg Brain takes over your old TV, and it replaces the old remote, too. All of a sudden the ominous lopsided Amazon trademark appears on your screen, and all you have to do is enter your WiFi password, and then your Amazon PW (yes, you must have an account).
At a certain point, the updating Stick will have you change the volume on the old TV with the new, provided Amazon remote, and the assimilation is over.
The Amazon Borg Brain has taken over your faithful set and transformed it into something new and fearsome.
Want to watch Apple TV? Enter your PW and go for it. Feel like binging on the lives of the British royals? Put in your Netflix PW. Rinse, wash, repeat. And oh yes, I must mention that there’s a ton of free content as well.
The Amazon Fire Stick.
Breathe some life back into your old(er) set.