Non-motoring > Amazon Fire Stick Green Issues
Thread Author: No FM2R Replies: 58

 Amazon Fire Stick - No FM2R
In my continuing efforts to remain some time behind the leading edge of technology I have now got an Amazon Firestick.

It's very good and I like it very much. Though for me the greatest asset is to be able to install a VPN on it, which one cannot do on a Chromecast or easily on a TV.

The Firestick is not as easy to control as a Chromecast via my phone, but it's pretty good.

A question though, if one was not geographically challenged and one had a proper Smart TV, would a Firestick still have any use?

Alexa, I guess. But anything else?
 Amazon Fire Stick - Manatee
I have a smart TV and a firestick, and I think the question is do you need the smart TV? There are more apps/viewing options on the firestick. The smart TV (2019 Panasonic so not that ancient) is very slow and basic compared with a Firestick 4K which isn't the latest. The Panasonic UI looks as if it was designed by Fisher Price.
 Amazon Fire Stick - No FM2R
re: apps/viewing options

In what different ways do you use the Firestick, if you don't mind me asking. I really like it though I haven't had it long and want to get the most out of it.
 Amazon Fire Stick - Manatee
I'm not a sophisticated user. BBC/C4/ITV catch up or livestream, Netflix occasionally on my son's account, Amazon Prime. I could do most of that on the smart TV but it's much clunkier.

I did try loading Kodi but I couldn't get any sense from it (or it from me).
 Amazon Fire Stick - Zero
Firestick, I have Kodi installed, with a VPN, and gives me live F1, and other hard to get content. cant do that on a smart tv.


Last edited by: Zero on Sun 21 Nov 21 at 17:14
 Amazon Fire Stick - Crankcase
If you install "Downloader" you can sideload stuff. I put on a YouTube substitute that way that works really well but shows no adverts.
 Amazon Fire Stick - Zero
Yes have downloader, and ES explorer installed.
 Amazon Fire Stick - smokie
I did all that sideloading on my first Firestick but haven't bothered with the subsequent ones as I could never find a decent enough feed to watch. It may be better on the newer 4K ones I now use but I'm sharing a pukka F1 sub on Virgin with someone.

Also gave access to a zillion film channels (incl mucky ones, I was led to believe) but as I don't watch films much it was lost on me.

So geographic relocation is my main use, with a VPN, though that has problems sometimes as they don't change their VPN server addresses often and the Beeb blocks them.

I also put some in my second and third tellies just cos I can. (Actually to see how well we'd cope with them as our main source if I were to cut the line to Virgin. The answer was they are adequate nut not great IMO, compared to Virgin TiVo).
 Amazon Fire Stick - No FM2R
>> I could never find a decent enough feed to watch

That was my experience with Kodi on a PC. Too much tiresome work for too little benefit.
 Amazon Fire Stick - Zero
Its not intuitive, most of the guides and FAQ's are useless, but when you get it set up right it does deliver for my limited use. Live sports, (US and UK) and some select US TV series and channels.
 Amazon Fire Stick - smokie
There's the thing. I'm not that fussy about much that's on the TV so as is common with me I only really got one as a technical challenge. My motivation to get even more channels was somewhat limited :-) but it was worth exploring as SWMBO is now familiar with operating it and we have done away with the second and third TiVo (saving £10 a month IIRC).

But Mark is about right, if the other, slightly older, tellies were a bit smarter I wouldn't really need the sticks.
Last edited by: smokie on Sun 21 Nov 21 at 19:09
 Amazon Fire Stick - Zero
It has to be said, my requirement is not complex, as I have access to a very good torrent site that will deliver most of what I need in the world of film and music and ebooks.
 Amazon Fire Stick - No FM2R
I think yours, like mine , is mostly a geography challenge, especially when it impacts live events/sports.
Last edited by: No FM2R on Sun 21 Nov 21 at 19:28
 Amazon Fire Stick - Zero
Looking at it, probably and a good VPN gets round most of the issues.
 Amazon Fire Stick - No FM2R
Hence my sudden discovery of value in a Firestick. VPN can be installed on it and it is portable. b***** marvellous.

Especially when the rugby is on.

Anybody else watch it yesterday? A very good day of rugby. Great games as well as good results.
 Amazon Fire Stick - Crankcase
Those of you using a VPN to access the BBC from abroad; if the BBC were technically and politically able to provide their full terrestrial services abroad in a nice supported clean legal manner, at a monthly cost, would you pay for it?

I don't mean that to sound antagonistic. I'm interested WHY the BBC doesn't/can't do that, if there is demand from around the world. You'd think it could be a serious money-spinner for them. Surely there must be millions of people worldwide that would pay a tenner a month or something for access to everything?

 Amazon Fire Stick - Zero
>> Those of you using a VPN to access the BBC from abroad; if the BBC
>> were technically and politically able to provide their full terrestrial services abroad in a nice
>> supported clean legal manner, at a monthly cost, would you pay for it?
>>
>> I don't mean that to sound antagonistic. I'm interested WHY the BBC doesn't/can't do that,
>> if there is demand from around the world. You'd think it could be a serious
>> money-spinner for them. Surely there must be millions of people worldwide that would pay a
>> tenner a month or something for access to everything?

The BBC sells its worthy content to broadcasters in other countries, due to its charter and funding it cant "broadcast" abroad. but then no-one is going to pay good money to watch "the one show"
 Amazon Fire Stick - Bobby
I pay £40 for an annual IPTV subscription from a shady source.
Gets me all the sports, uk, films and “filmed at the cinema” channels.
 Amazon Fire Stick - No FM2R
>>The BBC sells its worthy content to broadcasters in other countries, due to its charter and funding it cant "broadcast" abroad. but then no-one is going to pay good money to watch "the one show"

Well, actually there is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC called BBC Studios. BBC jointly owns BBC America with AMC Networks, a commercial arm showing BBC programmes.

However, there isn't enough to interest it in Chile, for example. So then it does indeed sell it to someone else.

ALso BBC.com, as opposed to .co.uk, carries advertising.
 Amazon Fire Stick - No FM2R
>>would you pay for it?

100% I would pay for it.

As to why not, look at the Amazon / Star+ arrangement at the moment.

The Rugby Autumn Internationals were bought by Amazon to be shown on Prime.

Nobody in Chile buys Prime Video (essentially the same thing) to watch European Rugby.

So Amazon make more money selling the LatAm rights to ESPN. Who then employ Spanish commentators and use the Disney/Star+ video to stream them with Spanish commentary.

So, I can pay for Disney/Star+ (which as it happens I do) but I get the rugby with Spanish commentary, which is bad enough, but it's actually Argentinian Commentators and they clearly have never actually watched rugby before.

Or theoretically someone might use a VPN and stream from their UK Amazon Prime account, which theoretically they also pay for.

It is a question of availability, not price.
 Amazon Fire Stick - No FM2R
By the way, the companies have a legal duty to protect the stream from illegal usage and can be liable if they do not.

There was always going to be a problem, but the whole Pub vs. Sky over football is what originally kicked it off so strongly. Satellite broadcasting broke all geographic boundaries which were previously only an issue for a bit of France and the odd channel island.

I have similar issues with the US, but allegedly torrents are the ready solution to that. The NFL, for example, is verging on the impossible to watch legally with decent commentary.

Digital copying forced the music industry to get a life. The video industry will get there eventually. Live sports though, that might be a while.
Last edited by: No FM2R on Sun 21 Nov 21 at 21:29
 Amazon Fire Stick - helicopter
I did watch the England /SA Rugby yesterday in the UK, an excellent game.

I was in Tenerife last week and the week before and had intended to watch the Tonga and Australia games on my Ipad but Prime advised the content was not available in my area. None of the local sports bars were showing the games so I missed out but was able to replay the games on my return.

Last year I was able to watch sll the Autumn internationals on the Ipad in Tenerife so I believe there may be a problem with broadcasting rights after Brexit.
 Amazon Fire Stick - No FM2R
>> I believe there may be a problem with broadcasting rights after Brexit.

Absolutely sfa to do with Brexit. All to do with the deal that Amazon Prime did this year that was not done last year.

Not a chance FTA. Made it almost impossible to watch them in the pub in the UK, as well. Though some do have Prime. I guess more will now.
 Amazon Fire Stick - No FM2R
And it's going to get worse...

www.planetrugby.com/amazon-prime-video-get-autumn-nations-series-rights/
 Amazon Fire Stick - smokie
In Portugal there is a bar which is very English which I go to occasionally. They have about 6 screens and show lots of different sports, rarely two screens are on the same thing. I go there for mainly for F1.

One night while we were there he got a call to ask if he'd be showing the Celtic game He was, and was graced with the second visit in a few months by Rod Stewart - who apparently more than paid his way and also mingled freely with the people there, singing something with a couple of ladies just before he went.

 Amazon Fire Stick - Duncan
>> Firestick, I have Kodi installed, with a VPN, and gives me live F1, and other
>> hard to get content. cant do that on a smart tv.

You think that getting Formula 1 is a benefit?
 Amazon Fire Stick - Zero
>> You think that getting Formula 1 is a benefit?

Some races this year? Yes it has and its no effort or cost.
Last edited by: VxFan on Mon 22 Nov 21 at 10:25
 Amazon Fire Stick - No FM2R
I've got all the content I need so I don't really need anything outward facing.

What I would also like to be able to do is to access media files that are on a computer on my LAN. All phones, tablets and computers in the house can access all media on the LAN using either VLC or a file explorer.

I thought I could do it with VLC, but for some reason it simply won't work. It's failing to access the other computer.

Other suggestions?

 Amazon Fire Stick - Crankcase
I had a similar issue with VLC between a couple of devices some years ago (though not Fire stick) and used a product called "oplayer" successfully. It's in the Google play store if you want to side load it and try.
 Amazon Fire Stick - smokie
Doesn't PLEX do stuff like that? I have a feeling you have a PLEX "server" set up on one PC and tell it where to find media. Free for internal use IIRC.

Also I recall there was something called Twonky media server.
 Amazon Fire Stick - Crankcase
I run Plex extensively on all my firesticks. Great for instant access to my own media in a holiday cottage or something. Just works. I have a firestick with Plex on it upstairs plugged into a projector, for example.

But yes, you do have to have a pc acting as a media server, and set it up appropriately. The VLC type things just need access to any old folder with playable content in.

Except when they don't work as expected, of course.
 Amazon Fire Stick - No FM2R
>> The VLC type things just need access to any old folder with playable content in.

Which is the attraction. Ditto usual file explorers/managers.

But the stick is not cooperating. Obviously I am doing something wrong, but I cannot work out what. Probably an obscure setting on the stick somewhere.
 Amazon Fire Stick - No FM2R
Using ES Explorer and VLS on the stick in combination seems to have cracked it.
 Amazon Fire Stick - No FM2R
Don't you need to pay for the Plex that does all things?

I don't really want a media server, it's just one more thing to go wrong. I really just want to access other directories/computers.
 Amazon Fire Stick - smokie
Not sure, I thought local media was all free on PLEX but the paid version got you access to proper (local) TV, film and music channels.

ES Explorer was withdrawn from the Android library a year or more back for some kind of security concern so I stopped using it. It may be back now but I'd check it out before using it. My recollection is that it was clicking ads unseen in background to earn itself money but I may be wrong.
Last edited by: smokie on Sat 27 Nov 21 at 00:57
 Amazon Fire Stick - No FM2R
>>Not sure, I thought local media was all free on PLEX but the paid version got you access to proper (local) TV, film and music channels.

Oh, perhaps you're right, I will go and check properly.

>>ES Explorer was withdrawn from the Android library a year or more back for some kind of security concern ...

Well, well, you're quite right and I would never have spotted it. It has been removed but a bunch of similarly named yet utterly crap apps with remarkably similar logos have popped up in its place.

I switched to a thing called x-plore File Manager which I've never heard of but was in the Firestick App Store and seems to do the job.
 Amazon Fire Stick - Crankcase
Plex for your own stuff is free.

Plex for their live TV and movies is free, but there are ads. And the TV and movies are tripe.

You would only pay if you wanted to for a Plex Pass, which offers extra features nobody would want anyway. Well, I wouldn't.

So effectively it's free.

You do have to set up your folders in a certain way and name things in a certain way to make it see them. Once you've got that, it presents a great consistent front end across all devices which it populates with data about the programme from the net. So you can easily see all your content that has a certain actor, director, year, genre - the usual kind of thing.

I put the Panasonic smart TV Plex app on a family member's TV and that extremely non techy person can and does now watch my extensive library of stuff remotely at will. Another does the same using their Mac. And my basic Pc media server never stutters even when serving different things to all three of us simultaneously. I do have fast broadband.

It's a nice product.
 Amazon Fire Stick - smokie
Thanks for that clarification. It's one which I've always felt I need and intended taking a look at but have little interest in video media so it's low priority. I did stick it on my always-on Raspberry 3 just to try one time when I was abroad but the performance wasn't really good enough - I'm one a fast enough connection (200mb, 20mb upload) so the Pi must';ve been the bottleneck.

Maybe a winter project for the newer, faster & more memory Pi 4 which sits there most of the time doing not a lot.
 Amazon Fire Stick - Crankcase
Does music (so pretty album covers etc) and photos too, if that's of interest. And podcasts.
 Amazon Fire Stick - tyrednemotional
>>
>> Maybe a winter project for the newer, faster & more memory Pi 4 which sits
>> there most of the time doing not a lot.
>>

...if you simply want streaming function for files on your Pi, then MiniDLNA (AKA ReadyMedia) is very lightweight and will deliver Music, Video and Pictures to all DLNA-enabled clients (as you would need for Plex).

It doesn't offer the online services that Plex does, relying on the naming and tagging (esp. music) of the files themselves. It is available on a variety of platforms, including Pi.

Whilst I use a different, more sophisticated, server (Minimserver) for the music files on my NAS, I use MiniDLNA for Video and Pictures to the TV (it's on "fallback" for music) and the basic function is fine.
Last edited by: tyrednemotional on Sat 27 Nov 21 at 09:29
 Amazon Fire Stick - Robin O'Reliant
Having just ditched Netflix in favour of Prime I treated myself to a Firestick, though I'm not yet sure what it actually does. The main reason for switching is to get the new Beatles documentary on Disney, to which I'll subscribe for just a month.
 Amazon Fire Stick - sooty123
>> Having just ditched Netflix in favour of Prime I treated myself to a Firestick, though
>> I'm not yet sure what it actually does. The main reason for switching is to
>> get the new Beatles documentary on Disney, to which I'll subscribe for just a month.
>>

Funnily enough I've just gone the other way and ditched Prime, I found myself watching less and buying less stuff from Amazon. I think I'd bought 3 things in the last 6 months from Amazon.
 Amazon Fire Stick - No FM2R
>>It's a nice product.

My first foray tends to suggest that, on the contrary, it is a pile of unmitigated cack.

Spent ages t***ting about getting it set up and then it said "error loading stuff to play" or something like that.

The Plex recommended solution? "There are not many suggestions, but you could try uninstalling the application and then reinstalling it and rescanning the libraries". [I paraphrase]

I thought I'd prefer to go with Plan B, consign the pile of s***e to the waste bin.
 Amazon Fire Stick - Crankcase
Probably just a competency issue.
 Amazon Fire Stick - No FM2R
Almost certainly, I'd say. Which means it's their fault for making me need some.
 Amazon Fire Stick - Zero
too many buttons to push probably
 Amazon Fire Stick - No FM2R
It's my biggest single objection to computers, that you need to be competent with computers to be able to use them competently.

The same is not true about cars.

Computers should be more like cars.
 Amazon Fire Stick - tyrednemotional
...surely, if you've earnt a living as a consultant, the issue of competence shouldn't be of any concern to you.......
 Amazon Fire Stick - No FM2R
You're quite wrong, competence was always of huge and significant import.

Just not mine.
 Amazon Fire Stick - tyrednemotional
..QED..
 Amazon Fire Stick - No FM2R
This is my point. It is Plex's fault because they need me to have competence.
 Amazon Fire Stick - No FM2R
What is even more irritating is that their lazy, lackadaisical and overly simplistic advice of "uninstall it and then install it again" actually worked.

It adds insult to injury that it does exactly what I want it to do, both well and for free.

There is no justice in this world.
Last edited by: No FM2R on Sun 28 Nov 21 at 22:19
 Amazon Fire Stick - tyrednemotional
>> What is even more irritating is that their lazy, lackadaisical and overly simplistic advice of
>> "uninstall it and then install it again" actually worked.
>>
...you could have charged thousands for that...
 Amazon Fire Stick - Zero
>> >> What is even more irritating is that their lazy, lackadaisical and overly simplistic advice
>> of
>> >> "uninstall it and then install it again" actually worked.
>> >>
>> ...you could have charged thousands for that...

Only after being repackaged into a business and process reorganisation. With seminars to get people on board.
 Amazon Fire Stick - tyrednemotional
....don't; just don't...
 Amazon Fire Stick - Zero
>> ....don't; just don't...

I sense some reluctance to get on the strategic staircase
Last edited by: Zero on Sun 28 Nov 21 at 22:57
 Amazon Fire Stick - Kevin
FFS!

Do what you did with the VCR. Get one of the kids to do it for you.
 Amazon Fire Stick - No FM2R
I certainly never got involved in programming the damn things. Actually I very rarely did anything with them other than put a blockbuster film in and press play, and since that was mostly children's films then yes, they usually did it for me.

Is that relevant?
 Amazon Fire Stick - henry k
>> FFS!
>> Do what you did with the VCR. Get one of the kids to do it for you.
>>
I have an old recorder that has a complete editing facility that prior to burning DVDs can do all sorts of cleaning up the output etc.etc.
My daughter can do it and produced a thicko guide for me .
It is filed somewhere. My "customer" gets the adverts, overuns etc.
I just cannot spend the time fiddling with it.
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