FireTV Mods

Install FireStarter Launcher on your FireTV

You will need to install the FireStarter apps launcher on your FireTV if you need an alternate homescreen with the apps you use most, instead of the standard Amazon‘s homescreen. The main problem with default Amazon’s homescreen, besides the fact that it is full of Vendor’s related stuff, is it’s unfriendliness with third party apps: You have no way to promote your recently installed (probably by sideloading or from an external source as depicted in this tutorial) Kodi mediaplayer or any other non officially sanctioned app. Hence, normally you would need to navigate into Settings, Apps, list all apps,...
Read full tutorial »
FireTV Mods

FireTV 2nd Generation

The new 2015 Fire TV, launched on October 2015 on amazon.com and in selected stores (i.e. Bestbuy.com) is quite a hardware upgrade, compared with the original Fire TV: A dedicated graphics co-processor and a central processor with 75% performance increase, a new remote controller (which uses WIFI signals instead of Bluetooth), and a MicroSD slot for Flash Ram expansion. The best hardware upgrade, I saved it for last: 4K video playback support. On the Fire TV stick side, the offer is less spectacular, but includes new bundles and remote controller as well. The important thing is that Kodi and most other...
Read full tutorial »
Editorial

Installing apk files directly from your Fire TV

Your Fire TV runs a mildly modified version of Android operative system, which includes Amazon’s app store as the official source for installing apps and games. Regrettably enough, the Amazon’s App Store is heavily censored on apps and games availability for your Fire TV. At this time, your Fire TV is also quite un-rootable and thus you cannot install the Google App store. Many of us managed to circumvent this limitation by downloading our favorite apps and games into our computer. Then, with the help of ADB command line (which is part of Google’s Android SDK, in the form of a command line...
Read full tutorial »
Editorial

Fire TV evolved !

The Fire TV truly evolved with the software update 51.1.5.0 released on the last days of March 2015. I would say that this firmware update finally makes my Fire TV a nice product. Many will argue that the added functionality should have been included a year ago, when releasing the Fire TV into the market, and I cannot disagree with that. But “it is what it is”, and today, a year later, we get to enjoy two  unlocked major features;  without the need to root or modify our Fire TV units in any way: Fire TV now accepts USB Mass Storage...
Read full tutorial »
Accessories

Amazon’s Fire TV Remote Control

My Fire TV remote control is failing on me. It just looses connection (apparently it randomly shuts off, appearing “offline” on the System / controllers menu).  When it happens, I start fidgeting with the remote control. I take the batteries off, then put them back again. I try to make the remote control to be “discoverable” by pressing the OK button (in the center of the “joystick wheel”) for 5-10 seconds, I wait some time, try it again, and when finding no response, go back to taking the batteries off… several times. Finally, good luck strikes me after some minutes and the...
Read full tutorial »