Unlock your FireTV Stick
Since Amazon launched the FireTV stick, many of us have been wondering about installing XBMC -or as it changed name- KODI on it.
Now, as the first shipped FireTV sticks are reaching their lucky purchasers, we start getting interesting comments through the different social channels.
In short, XBMC can be installed by following the same steps from it’s earlier brother, the first FireTV box and -good news keep coming- XBMC / Kodi basic performance is being reported as completely acceptable.
Hardware differences between FireTV and FireTV Stick
FireTV Stick includes 16gb of FLASH Memory (double size than original FireTV); 1 Gb of RAM (Half the memory of the original FireTV), dual band WIFI and a dedicated remote control.
This included remote control is a watered down version from the original FireTV remote control and it does not include the voice search option. But you can always separately purchase a FireTV remote Control with voice search and pair it with your FireTV stick.
Same story with the gamepad: sold separately, you can always purchase an Amazon Gamepad or just go for the lower priced Nyko gamepad.
Processor wise, the FireTV Stick has also been downsized: It includes a humbler, dual core processor, when compared with original FireTV’s four cores clocked at 1.7Ghz.
The graphics subsystem has also been watered down, everything accordingly to the price, we shall say in sake of fairness.
On the I/O Ports side, the FireTV Stick includes only an HDMI connector and a micro USB connector (which can only be used to power up the device).
Amazon’s App Store Compatibility with FireTV Stick
Given FireTV Stick lower specs, some apps and games won’t run on it. When you search for an App on the Amazon App Store, you need to check for the FireTV Stick icon in order to ensure compatibility … same as games and gamepad compatibility, the appropriate icons at each app title side, will inform you about compatibility status.
FireTV vs FireTV Stick: Which one to choose ?
If you really are on a tight budget, then fireTV Stick is definitely for you. Nice durable hardware, KODI compatible with acceptable performance.
But then, there is certain lack of processing power that ultimately will drag you down, specially if you like to add plugins into your KODI media player:
I am afraid some plugins will definitely feel the lack of power, as you, for example, download and process a big XML with streaming URLS, when running on your FireTV stick. You will also lack the ethernet or the optical audio ports.
Both FireTV and FireTV Stick can get KODI running on them, so your main concern should be processing power, when your FireTV is unlocked and searching for it’s full potential, processing power will be an asset.