The Fire TV doesn’t come with an HDMI cable, but Amazon was kind enough to send one with the Fire TV for the purposes of this review. After connecting the Fire TV to my TV and plugging in the power cord, the unit immediately recognized the remote and proceeded to setup. The Fire TV was pre-configured with my account information so this streamlined the setup process a bit.
First, I connected the device to my wireless network using the onscreen prompts. After the Fire TV was connected, a notification appeared that indicated the device required an update. After downloading the update, Fire TV automatically installed the update. In about ten minutes from the time it started downloading the update, the unit was ready to use.
After setup was complete, a short video guide appeared that walked through some of the basic features of the Fire TV. Next, I was given the option to enable parental controls that require a PIN before playing videos from Amazon or purchasing content using Amazon 1-Click. Shortly after this, I was greeted by the main Home screen of the Fire TV.
The Fire TV runs a version of Android that has been heavily tweaked. If you’ve used an Amazon Kindle tablet before, the carousel layout and user interface will seem familiar. On the primary Home screen, you’ll see various menu options on the left which include Search, Home, Movies, TV, Watchlist, Video Library, Games, Apps, Photos, and Settings. Some of these categories also have sub-menus. For example, if you select Home, you’ll see options for Recent, Recently Added to Prime, Featured Apps & Games, Featured Movies & TV, Recommended Movies & Tv, Top Movies on Prime, Top TV on Prime, Shop New Release Movies, Top Free Games, and Recommended Apps & Games. The user interface may not be the cleanest or simplest design, but it’s still very easy to use and navigate.