Many users are torn between a Firestick and a smart TV because of how similar they are. However, there is no reason to be torn between the two, and many people use them in conjunction. So, do you need a Firestick with a smart TV?
You don’t need a Firestick with a smart TV, but a Firestick can improve your smart TV’s performance. The Firestick has 16,379 apps which is more than most smart TVs, so you can broaden your horizons. It’s also easier to use a Firestick between the home screen, app store, and streamlined remote compared to a smart TV.
However, you don’t need a Firestick if you have an Amazon Fire TV because they work the same way. Some people keep a Firestick dongle around to use as a backup for their smart TV. Follow along as we explore whether or not you need a Firestick with a smart TV.
What Does a Fire Stick do for a Smart TV?
A Firestick lets you access more apps with arguably better performance than your smart TV. Many potential users are hesitant to buy a Firestick because their smart TV already has so many impressive features. However, there is no smart TV with as easy of an interface and amazing app options as the Firestick besides the Amazon Fire TV.
Plugging a Firestick into a smart TV gives you access to over 16,000 apps with an easy-to-use interface. The streamlined remote is much easier to understand than the standard smart TV remote. Let’s take a look at whether or not you need a Firestick with a smart TV and why it may be worth it for you.
Access to More Content
There are currently 16,379 apps available to Firestick users. You can find these apps on the Amazon Fire TV App Store where you can scroll through a wide range of categories. This is unheard of when compared to the average modern smart TV.
You can use your Firestick to access apps that are unavailable on your smart TV. Granted, not every user needs to access over 16,000 apps, but it’s nice to have the options. It’s worth it to connect a Firestick to your smart TV to at least broaden your horizons and potentially find your new favorite app.
The Amazon Firestick can outperform many of the best smart TVs on the market. Between the speed, performance, and available apps, Firestick is a great way to enhance your smart TV. There are too many roadblocks for a smart TV to have reliable performance all the time, such as the processors and software.
That isn’t a problem with Firesticks because of how simple they are. Besides being small, Firesticks are simply in their construction and hardware. You can regularly update your Firestick just like your smart TV.
However, Firesticks typically offer updates much more frequently than the average smart TV. This lets you ensure that your Firestick will always be up to date even when your smart TV isn’t. You should be able to tell how much better the Firestick’s performance is as soon as you plug it in.
Easy to Use
The streamlined nature of the Firestick makes it much easier to use than the average smart TV. In my experience, smart TV remotes often have too many buttons, especially if you only use them for streaming services. That’s not a problem with the Firestick remote because there are few buttons and they are all easy to understand.
All that you have is a directional wheel, play, back, home, and app list button on your Firestick remote. Some Firestick remotes also feature shortcut buttons to open specific apps, such as Amazon Prime and Netflix. You won’t have to worry about pressing a random button by mistake and making your screen go blank.
For one reason or another, your smart TV may not always work at full force as intended. This can happen due to excessive data, pending updates, or if you have an outdated smart TV. Having a streaming device such as a Firestick makes it so that you always have a backup plan.
Plug your Firestick into your smart TV if the smart features aren’t working well. Switch over to your Firestick to turn your TV back into a fully functioning smart TV again. Granted, this won’t work if your smart TV is broken or won’t let you change inputs.
This is a great idea if your smart TV’s features are hard to rely on or if it is old. It’s worth it to at least have a Firestick around in case your smart TV no longer functions as it should.
Extra Storage for Applications
Even the most advanced smart TV comes with limited storage. You have to pick and choose which apps you want to delete to download another one that you want. However, you don’t have to make any difficult choices if you have a Firestick or a similar streaming device.
You can download fewer apps on your smart TV to free up space and instead install them on your Firestick. This gives you more options and lets you have a full arsenal of apps to use. Your TV and Firestick will both work poorly when the storage is almost full.
Using a smart TV in conjunction with a Firestick makes it so that you never have to worry about either device’s performance suffering.
How to Use a Firestick on a Smart TV
It is just as easy to use a Firestick on a smart TV as it is on any other television. The process is simple and only takes a few simple steps. Let’s explore how to use a Firestick on a smart TV.
1. Plug the Dongle Into the HDMI Port
The Firestick itself is a small dongle that is similar to a USB cable. Locate an available HDMI port on your TV. Plug the dongle into the HDMI port and keep track of the port’s number for later. This will come in handy when you are done setting it up.
2. Connect it to the Power Adapter
The other piece of hardware that you need is the power adapter that connects to your Firestick dongle. Plug one end of the power adapter into the closest available outlet or power strip if necessary. Next, connect the other end of the power adapter to the open end of the dongle.
3. Turn on Your Firestick
Once the dongle and power adapter is connected, all that you need to do is turn on your Firestick. Grab your remote and look for the Home button in the middle of it. Press the Home button and wait for your Firestick to turn on and launch Amazon Fire TV. Replace the batteries in the back of the remote if the Home button doesn’t work.
4. Rename the Firestick (Optional)
You can rename the HDMI port that you are using your Firestick on if you want. This makes it easier to switch back and forth between your Smart TV and your Firestick to utilize both. All that you need to do is access your smart TV’s home screen with your official remote. This won’t work with the Firestick remote.
Scroll to the settings menu on your smart TV’s home screen and select inputs. Cycle through the list of inputs and figure out which one is your Firestick. Look on the back of the TV to check which port your Firestick is plugged into if you forgot.
Select the HDMI source for your Firestick and an option should appear for you to rename it. Name it whatever you want, but I’d personally name it Firestick to make it easier. This way, you can easily go back and forth if you are unsure of what to watch.
What is the Difference Between a Firestick and Smart TV?
The difference is that a Firestick is simply a dongle and a smart TV is a television with smart features. Many users buy a Firestick because of the prospect that it can transform any TV into a smart TV. This can help you save money compared to upgrading to a new smart TV because the Firestick is so affordable.
The Amazon Firestick only costs $50 which includes the dongle and remote. This is a tiny fraction of the cost of a modern smart TV. Smart TVs typically range in cost between $400 and $1,500 or more depending on the size, and features.
Granted, modern smart devices often feature 4K and even 8K resolution which is worth the cost for many people. Personally, the most important difference between the two is that the Firestick is more convenient. You always have the option to use the Firestick on a smart TV and you can take it with you anywhere you go.
Is There a Monthly fee for Amazon Firestick?
There is no monthly fee for the Amazon Firestick. However, many of the apps that you can download on Firestick have monthly fees. Apps such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and Shudder cost a monthly premium for you to use them.
You can download any of these apps for free, but you won’t be able to access the content without being a subscriber. The only cost of a Firestick is the initial $50 purchase. Amazon Prime comes at a monthly premium, but you can download and use the app on Firestick without being a prime member.
For example, anyone can use the Amazon Prime app to rent and buy movies without being a subscriber. There are no hidden fees with the Firestick either which is hard to count on with modern technology these days.
Do I Need a Firestick if I Have a Fire TV?
You don’t need a Firestick if you have a Fire TV. The Amazon Fire TV is a smart TV with all of the functionality of a Firestick. You can essentially transform a TV into a Fire TV with a Firestick, however.
Amazon Fire TV offers the best of both worlds between the incredible display and wide range of apps. This is a great option if you want the features of a Firestick with the display of a powerful smart TV. Of course, the cheapest option is to get a Firestick if you don’t already have a Fire TV.
However, there is no reason to purchase a Firestick if you have a Fire TV. You can still plug in a Firestick or Roku dongle if you have an Amazon Fire TV, but it’s not necessary. It doesn’t hurt to have a Firestick to use as a backup in case something goes wrong with your Firestick. The $50 price tag makes the Firestick a cheap backup for Fire TV owners.
Can You Use a Firestick on a Regular TV?
You can use a Firestick on a regular TV, and that’s one of its main appeals. A Firestick can essentially transform your regular TV into a smart TV. All that you need to do is plug the Firestick into a port on the back or side of your TV.
You may not get as great of a display and resolution as if you use a Firestick on a smart TV, however. With that said, Firesticks aren’t limiting because they will work on nearly any TV that has an open port available. I take my Firestick with me on trips because it’s easy to connect to any TV in a hotel or at someone’s house if necessary.
Can You Watch Regular TV With Firestick?
You can watch regular TV with Firestick if you download the official app of your cable provider. This isn’t an option if you aren’t a premium subscriber to a cable provider, such as Spectrum. However, some free apps let you watch TV with commercials, such as Peacock.
Simply install the official app of your cable provider if there is one on the Amazon Fire TV App Store. Enter your login information and password, and you should be able to use your Firestick like a regular TV. This comes in handy when you travel or if you simply don’t want to switch back and forth between regular TV and your Firestick.
So, do you Need a Firestick With a Smart TV?
You don’t need a Firestick with a smart TV, but it’s a great option. The Firestick’s app store has over 16,000 apps to choose from which is more than most smart TVs currently on the market. Many users also report that the Firestick has much faster and more reliable performance than the average smart TV.
It’s a great idea to keep a Firestick as a backup in case your smart TV’s performance deteriorates over time. You can also download apps on your Firestick to spare your smart TV so that it doesn’t run out of space. It’s also easier to use a Firestick than a smart TV because of the simple remote and interface on the home screen.
You don’t need a Firestick if you have a Fire TV because they function the same way. The Firestick is hundreds of dollars cheaper, and the Fire TV is Amazon’s official smart TV. A Firestick may not be necessary for a smart TV, but I find it worth the extra $50 for a reliable backup plan that you can take anywhere.