I have owned a Google Chromecast for a couple of years now and always thought it was a nifty little gadget. However, it had its limitations. While some sites like YouTube stream seamlessly, one of my major issues was with network (ABC, NBC, etc.) TV show streaming – lots of buffering and lag. I thought perhaps it was my Internet service at home, so I upgraded my router and even upgraded my Internet speed. Unfortunately, none of that helped, so I can only assume the cause is the networks and Chromecast having a behind the scenes fight.
I solved that problem by streaming those networks from my phone to my Chromecast. However, I am always afraid that my phone will switch over to my data plan, and I will end up with a bill higher than if I had just bought cable in the first place.
I decided to give Amazon’s Fire Stick a try since it sounded very similar to Chromecast plus had a few extra perks – like having apps on the stick, etc.
The Fire Stick didn’t do anything I needed it to do. The interface reminded me of working the Wii….. lots of useless boxes to scroll through and nothing I wanted. I wasn’t going to pay extra for HBO Go or Sling TV. If these kind of options are your thing, then you may enjoy the FS more than I did.
The lag from my phone’s CBS app to the FS made the show unwatchable, still burned through my phone’s battery and heated it up because you have to leave the screen on in order to mirror the screen.
Additionally, the ABC app does not work for the FS and the workaround that is on the Internet does not work either. If you try it, you will get an upgrade required message and upgrading is not actually an option. Also when you install apps on the FS, you really need a mouse in order to navigate through them properly.
I will stick to streaming via phone or via HDMI cable with my extra computer.
Overall the Fire Stick is just too much of a PITA to be worth my time or money. I returned it to Amazon and have purchased a second Chromecast for my other TV.