There were several parameters or problems that I needed my streaming dongle to sort out. I've them below:
1. I was using my PlayStation 3 or laptop for streaming services like Prime, Netflix, YouTube, etc. The video was connected through HDMI but because I have a Yahama Amplifier (connected to my Bose 5.1) that doesn't have HDMI ports, I had to connect the PS3 or laptop through Aux Audio cables. Obviously the quality of audio wouldn't be a 100 percent. I needed something to stream audio through Bluetooth to my amplifier, as I've got a Bluetooth receiver for the amp connected through optical cables. So there's almost zero quality drop there. Solution: The FireTV stick perfectly connects to my amp or Bluetooth speaker as soon as they're turned on. The switch of audio from TV speakers to these Bluetooth speakers is seamless and the audio quality is absolutely HD. This has solved my major concern.
2. Both the PS3 or laptop required bootup time. Needed something that would be instantaneously on with my TV and run all the apps I want with one remote. Solution: the FireTV stick is powered by my UPS and hence is always on. Since turning off the TV doesn't turn off the FireTV stick, now I don't have the bootup lag. As soon the tv is on, I'm on the home menu of the stick.
3. The laptop was quite inconvenient to play pause or remotely control anything. The PS3 joystick was not an ideal remote for streaming purposes. Solution: The FireTV stick remote controls not only the stick itself but also the on/off and volume control of the TV. This is extremely convenient as this is the only remote that is now used primarily.
4. Different members of the house use different apps for varied serials and movies. Needed something that would be sufficient for every member. Solution: The FireTV stick works well with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Zee5, Gaana, NDTV news and YouTube. These are just what I use at home and there's still a plethora of apps to explore.
5. My HDMI ports behind the TV are quite close to each other and connecting a dongle would be a challenge if both the ports needed to be used. Solution: The FireTV stick comes with an HDMI extension adapter. This was an absolute boon. I could comfortably connect the stick using this extension adapter which is about 3 inches long. Now both the ports can be accessed.
Other Advantages: 1. The streaming quality is just perfect at full HD. 2. My primary internet connection that has a 100 Mbps bandwidth was down for a week. My secondary internet connection is a 1Mbps connection. The FireTV was able to still stream with a slight lag in buffering and minor reduction in quality, that was literally not noticeable. 3. The remote has a good form factor and feels like a good build. It been able to handle some abuse from even a 3 year old. 4. Installation of apps and configuration of the device is extremely user friendly and a novice can also manage it. 5. When travelling now, I just carry the FireTV stick along. At the hotel, the kids get their cartoon time and I don't miss my series. 6. I have a smart TV as well as a regular TV. The operation and speed of navigation is far superior on the FireTV stick compared to the smart TVs navigation. The FireTV stick is extremely fluidic without any lags or bugs. 7. The voice recognition is quite good. I don't use it much but when I do, it has a 100% success rate on identifying my words and running a search.
This device is something that makes your not so smart TV absolutely smart. So if you don't have a smart TV (or even if you have one). The FireTV stick is an absolute buy.
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