Top critical review
Fascist app environment, but useful otherwise
November 11, 2018
Let me tell you, I was super excited for the launch of the new FireTV Stick with its leading edge technology and processing power. Well, it’s got that but there’s a couple bug, game breaking problems I have with this thing.
1) The Amazon platform is basically retooled Android, which is a crap interface. It’s cluttered, redundant, and Amazon being Amazon wants you to use all their services over everyone else’s so not only does their menu get in the way but the top third of the home screen is promotions for whatever they want to push.
2) Also because it’s Amazon they want you to use THEIR streaming services to rent movies so much so that there is no Vudu or Google Play app available to install. If Prime Video had a decent selection of rentals (it doesn’t) or a halfway usable interface (it doesn’t) I would have less of a problem.
3) Our FireTV Stick has issues with flickering and sound dropout. Tech support immediately supplied a series of less than helpful troubleshooting tips. “Did you try a different TV? Did you try a different HDMI port?” Despite my Roku working just fine. I elected to return this since I was already fed up with the closed interface and terrible menus.
Slightly less of an issue but still annoying is the inability to completely turn off HDR. Its either “always on” or “adaptive” meaning the content dictates HDR which is a problem especially with Netflix (which is calibrated too dark on some TVs)
For now I’m happier with my Roku Stick despite less robust HDR support.
Edit: updated my review for the following:
- Amazon reached out immediately after my review to get additional feedback and to offer more support. That actually means something these days. I’ll continue to monitor for problems
- I upgraded to a new TV and this makes the HDR issue better since it actually looks good on this TV. Problem still stands of not being able to disable HDR entirely if needed
- The smart controls feature is nice. I can use Alexa to change TV inputs now.
- Less flickering on new tv but still have sound dropouts
However my issue with not having a way to watch VUDU/UV movies is a huge issue. On top is that, MoviesAnywhere doesn’t tell you which movies were transferred over in 4K. So while the titles may sync, in cases of certain films (eg Deadpool 2) you only get the HD version and not the UHD/HDR one you paid for. Until this is fixed I’ll leave my review at 3 stars.