8 Problems With Amazon’s Fire TV Sticks (Explained)

Are you planning on buying a Fire TV Stick? These streaming devices don’t cost much, and they can be quite convenient and useful. But they also come with their fair share of issues.

Luckily, these problems can be solved with a little troubleshooting.

1. Fire TV Stick won’t connect to Wi-Fi.

Being unable to connect to Wi-Fi is a common issue, not just for Fire TV Sticks but also for smart TVs in general. It can be frustrating, especially if you are psyched up to test out your new Fire TV Stick!

There are several possible sources of this issue, such as interference and the range of your Wi-Fi.

Here are some Internet-troubleshooting tips for your Fire TV Stick.

First, restart your devices.

You can reset your device with the following steps, in order.

  • Turn off the Fire TV Stick and unplug it from the power outlet.
  • Turn of your Broadband modem and the Wi-Fi router (Note that many modems now are built into the router, so you only need to turn off the router).
  • Wait for a minute, then turn on your Internet connection and wait for your modem to reconnect.
  • Plug back the Fire TV Stick’s router, then turn on the TV and try connecting again.

Look for any interference.

Some household devices, like cordless phones and baby monitors, may disrupt the connection between your Wi-Fi router and Fire TV Stick.

You should consider moving these disruptive devices away from the Fire TV Stick and Wi-Fi router to avoid interruptions in your connection.

For those who need baby monitors, you may try looking for something that can run off your Wi-Fi connection to avoid interfering in the 2.4 GHz radiofrequency.

Check the distance between the Fire TV Stick and Router

Ideally, the Fire TV Stick should not be more than 115 feet away from the router.

  • Wi-Fi routers and Fire TV Sticks only work when within a certain distance. And the further into that maximum allowable range, chances are, the weaker the signal will be.
  • If you are experiencing weak signals due to the distance between the Fire TV Stick and your router, consider moving your device closer.
  • If that is not possible, you should turn on the range booster of your router or install a wireless range extender.

Update the firmware of the Wi-Fi router

Sometimes the problem may not be with the Fire TV Stick but with the Wi-Fi router.

Manufacturers of Wi-Fi routers usually release firmware updates to fix bugs and improve performance.

You should check if there are any updates. The process to update the firmware depends on the router model, so you should consult your manual on how to proceed.

Update the Fire TV Stick firmware

You should also check if there any firmware updates for your Fire TV Stick. Like routers, Amazon also releases updates to improve the performance of the Fire TV Stick.

To check for firmware updates:

  • Go to the Settings Menu and look for Device or System in the menu.
  • Go to About then scroll to Check System Update.
  • If a firmware update is available, the Fire TV Stick will download it automatically.
  • Once the download is finished, you have the option to install the update, or the Fire TV Stick will install the update for you when the TV is idle for 30 minutes, or when it restarts.

Should there be no firmware update available, or if the update does not fix your Internet issue, you will need to set the Fire TV Stick to factory default.

  • A factory reset can be done by going to the Fire TV Stick Settings Menu and navigating to My fire TV, Device, or System, depending on the device version.
  • Scroll to Reset to Factory Defaults, then enter your PIN if prompted.
  • Your Fire TV Stick will be reset to a clean slate.

2. Media Streaming Errors

Sometimes, video streaming errors are inevitable. The video may not play or take a long time to start, or the video stutters or stops abruptly and won’t continue. For the most part, the solutions listed below will resolve the problem.

Check your Internet connection.

  • Amazon highly recommends having a connection speed of 8 Mbps because, at that speed, you can stream HD content decently.
  • If you are looking to stream at 4k resolutions, you need at least a speed of 25 Mbps.
  • Some streaming platforms recommend 30 Mbps, so it would be good to check what the streaming service recommends.

If you know your Internet connection isn’t the problem, e.g., if your other devices are connected and work smoothly, you can try restarting your router and Fire TV Stick.

  • Consider also disconnecting other devices connected to your Wi-Fi network that is not in use.
  • Remember, even laptops on sleep mode may still be leeching off your Wi-Fi, so it would be good to shut it down or disconnect from Wi-Fi.

Make sure that your Fire TV Stick is far from any wall or metal object.

  • If your device is on the floor, move it to a higher spot.
  • It’s also not advisable to keep your Fire TV Stick inside a cabinet console when the connection is not good.

If the streaming issue lies with only one app, consider doing the following:

  • Go to Settings, open Applications, then click Manage Installed Applications.
  • Look for the app that’s having streaming issues, then select Force Stop to close the app.
  • Clear the app’s data by going to Clear Data options.

3. Fire TV Remote App Won’t Work with Fire TV Stick

The Fire TV Stick has a compatible remote control app for your smartphone. You can use this app as a substitute for your remote control in case it runs out of batteries, or you misplace it.

However, there may be instances when the app won’t work with your Fire TV Stick.

Should that happen, here’s what you can do.

  • Check if your Fire TV Stick and device with the Fire TV app are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. They need to be on the same network to function.
  • See if there’s another device on the network that is mirroring the display of the Fire TV Stick. If there is another device, the mobile app won’t work, and you need to end the mirroring.
  • Restart the Fire TV Stick and the device with the mobile app.
  • Note that the Fire TV Stick can only have up to seven devices paired to it, including the remote control that came with it. You may try unpairing any device connected to see if your smartphone or tablet can pair.
  • If you are adept at navigating through your Wi-Fi router, you can check if the Multicast setting is on. Also, you may check if a static IP address had been assigned to the Fire TV Stick. You can open these settings by accessing the manual of your router.

4. Fire TV Stick Screen is Blank

There may be times that you may encounter a blank screen when using the Fire TV Stick. But don’t fret yet, as there are some fixes you can try.

  • Should a blank screen only appear when you use the Fire TV Stick, make sure that your TV is set to the input source where the Fire TV Stick is plugged into.
  • If you are on the input source of the Fire TV Stick, consider unplugging and plugging it in again carefully, as there is a chance it wasn’t plugged in correctly.
  • Should you be using a hub for the Fire TV Stick, it would be good to plug in directly and see if it works. The hub or connecting cable from the hub might be the culprit.
  • If you are using a Fire TV Cube, a smart speaker that functions like a Fire TV Stick, make sure you are using a high-speed HDMI cable.

5. No Sound During Playback

You may encounter instances when there’s no sound at all, or the audio is too weak when watching content on the Fire TV Stick.

It’s not a common problem, but it can be fixed.

  • The first thing you need to check is if your TV isn’t mute or set at a low volume.
  • If your TV uses an external speaker, make sure it is turned on.
  • You should also unplug and plug the Fire TV Stick.
  • If you are using a hub for the Fire TV Stick, try plugging the Fire TV Stick directly into the TV. Remember that the HDMI cable also carries audio signals.
  • You can also try turning off Dolby Digital Plus Output. Just go to Settings, then Display and Sounds. Go to Audio, look for the Dolby Digital Output, then deactivate it.

6. Fire TV Stick Won’t Connect to Bluetooth

Fire TV Sticks are equipped with Bluetooth that lets you connect devices such as speakers or headphones.

When it comes to Bluetooth issues, the most common are:

  • Bluetooth Device not appearing on Fire TV Stick, and;
  • Bluetooth Device won’t pair with Fire TV Stick.

Bluetooth Device Won’t Appear.

This issue is quite common with many devices that allow Bluetooth pairing.

Should this happen, try the following fix:

  • Make sure the device you are pairing is on and fully charged.
  • When applicable, make sure the device is set to discoverable.
  • The device must be within 33 feet, ideally, since that’s the farthest range of most devices.
  • If you can reboot the device, do it. If not, restart the Fire TV Stick.

You should also check with the manufacturer of the device to ensure it can pair with Fire TV Sticks. You need to check if the device supports Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) or Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP).

If it does not support A2DP or AVRCP, then you can’t pair it with the Fire TV Stick.

Bluetooth Device won’t Pair with the Fire TV Stick

Bluetooth devices don’t pair automatically as a security precaution. You need to pair your Fire TV Stick with the device through the Bluetooth settings.

  • In some cases, the pairing is enabled after you input a numeric key or PIN. Unfortunately, the Fire TV Stick does not support this security protocol. If your device needs a PIN to complete the pairing, it will not work with the Fire TV stick.
  • Now, should you find your device listed in the available Bluetooth devices but it won’t pair, you should try the Bluetooth troubleshooting tips listed earlier.
  • If it still does not work, check if the device is paired to another device. You cannot do simultaneous Bluetooth pairings with a single device—unpair any existing connection before pairing with the Fire TV Stick.
  • Should it still not work, make the Fire TV Stick “forget” the device being paired under Other Bluetooth Devices in the Bluetooth settings. After you make the Fire TV Stick forget the device, try pairing it once more by going to Add Bluetooth Device and press the switch of the device that makes it discoverable. Once the device appears on the screen, click and select pair.

7. Fire TV Stick is unresponsive

Unresponsiveness is a common issue with many other devices, including computers and smartphones.

That can be problematic if you are using an OLED display since you are exposing it to burn-in if it’s stuck on a single screen. 

Should this happen to you, here are suggested fixes:

  • Check your Wi-Fi connection and make sure it’s connected.
  • Restart the Fire TV Stick
  • Check if your Fire TV Stick has updated firmware.

8. App Not Working

We’ve all encountered apps, whether on the computer or smartphone, that act weird or stall during usage.

The Fire TV Stick sometimes experiences that. Here are suggested tips to resolve the issue.

  • If you can exit the app, go to the Settings, then Applications, and open Manage Installed Applications.
  • Look for the app that’s causing trouble and click on Force Stop.
  • Clear the cache of the app in the same sub-menu. Also, look for Clear Data, and clear it as well.
  • Restart the Fire TV Stick.

Should the issue persist, uninstall the app and reinstall it after a restart.

In the event you can exit the app, just restart the Fire TV Stick and follow the steps from clearing the cache of the app.

General Pros and Cons of Fire TV Sticks

For the most part, you can’t go wrong with a Fire TV Stick, especially if you have a good TV but want to give it up-to-date smart TV properties.

While it may have some disadvantages, the benefits it provides outweigh the shortcomings.

Here are the pros and cons of Fire TV Sticks.

Pros:

The Fire TV Stick is Affordable

You can get the Fire TV Stick for a low as $40, which isn’t bad if you already have a good TV that you can plug the Fire TV Stick into.

It beats buying a new TV for hundreds of dollars or more!

The Fire TV Stick can handle 4k Resolutions.

If you have a 4k TV and a fast Internet connection, you stand to enjoy the 4k version of the Fire TV Stick. There are a good number of apps that handle 4k.

For more information, check out our article FireStick 4K Shows & Channels: What To Expect?.

Has access to the major streaming services

The Fire TV Stick lets you access premium streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, and of course, its own Amazon Prime Video. Note that the services differ in each country.

Easy to use

You won’t have any issues setting up the Fire TV Stick.

It’s as easy as:

  • Plugging it into the HDMI port and powering it up,
  • Connecting to your Wi-Fi network,
  • Enter your Amazon account,
  • And you can start downloading and watching your favorite apps!

Best for Amazon Prime Videos

If Amazon Prime is your primary streaming platform, the Fire TV Stick is the best device to use.

You don’t need to enter payment information whenever you buy a movie, as everything is centralized with your Fire TV credentials.

Cons of the Fire TV Stick:

  • Not as compatible with other devices, such as the Google Chromecast
  • It lacks Streaming Features that makes it stand out
  • Ads are loaded with Amazon Content, especially if you are not subscribed to Amazon Prime Video.

Final Thoughts

The problems that may arise with the Fire TV Stick aren’t that serious and can usually be solved on your own.

You really can’t go wrong with a Fire TV Stick, as it’s an economical investment for those wanting to try a different TV platform.

For more information on Fire TV Sticks, check out Smart TVs & Fire TV Sticks: 14 Answers (For Beginners).

 

Sources:

10 Troubleshooting Ideas For When Your Amazon Fire Stick Is Not Working

How to Reset Your Amazon Firestick

Amazon Fire TV Stick – Pros and Cons of this Streaming Media Player

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