Should You Buy the 2nd Gen Fire TV Stick or Go For The 4k Version?

If you're like me and are perfectly content with 480p, 720p, or 1080p and are more concerned with conserving bandwidth you might be tempted to go for the cheaper 2nd Gen Fire TV Stick that's currently on sale for $19.99.

Here are some reasons NOT to choose the less expensive device and, instead, choose the 4k version:

  1. The 4k version (like the FTV3) will work with PdaNet+ and allow you to connect to the internet, through your phone, using a WiFi direct connection. Why is that important? Because WiFi direct connections through your cellphone don't look like hotspot data. It looks like on-device data. That means that it won't touch your limited bucket of hotspot data. If you have an unlimited data plan you'll be able to stream unlimited video, using PdaNet+.

  2. The 4k version comes with the new remote that includes power and volume buttons for your TV. It's also capable of turning sound bars off and on and controlling the volume of them, as well.

There are other reasons, as well, but those two should be enough of an incentive to buy the 4k unit.

It's on sale, today, for $34.99, on Amazon, and (approximately) $29.99 at Target.

What set up do you recommend for these or are they good enough out of the box with amazon software?

Great question! The Amazon software is fine but there are lots of settings changes that I make. By coincidence, someone just wrote an article that has everything I do (and a few I hadn't thought of):

In addition, I would purchase the Hulu 99 cent deal (today is the last day!):

Our home internet is a T-Mobile phone hotspot with LTE data grandfathered in. We use mostly Binge-On qualified apps (that's a T-Mobile thing) on our streaming devices because they're zero-rated against our 14GB of hotspot data. Any unlimited plan from any cellular provider would be fine, though, if you used PdaNet+.

  1. We use a 99 cent Hulu plan (we were paying $7.99, until yesterday).
  2. We use our daughter's Netflix plan. (She pays for a 4 device plan.)
  3. We share a SlingTV Blue Package with 2 other families. We all pinky-swear to only use 1 stream and we've never had a problem. SlingTV is zero-rated through our T-Mobile phone's hotspot, so we get a lot of TV for our 1/3rd contribution.

Other options for paid live TV would be:

  1. (only $16/month for 3 simultaneous streams)
  2. ($15/month for 1 stream but is free with some some AT&T postpaid plans.)

If you want to go off the reservation I would install the Downloader app and install the following three apps for free live TV:


For on-demand I would install:


That's it!

I think you should get one with a TV attached already. :slight_smile:

This daily deal ends in 5 hrs

This one not sure, maybe longer...

I hate to get the smarts built into the television. I'll still have the TV in five years with today's technology built in, but they'll be up to the Fire Stick 27 by then.

Seems handy that Philo includes 'unlimited recording'. (Time-shifting is important for us).
Chelle, have you used that feature, and does it work well?
Is 'recording' a common feature with streaming services? The apparent difficulty of time-shifting is something that's kept me from getting very serious about going this route.

Recording is a common feature of live streaming services but it sometimes costs extra and/or has limitations on it (number of hours and/or length of time stored).

I have never had a need to record anything because SlingTV (and most other services) let you scroll back as many as three days to play programs that have already aired.

In addition, most channels have an on-demand list of programs that you can choose from.

For instance-- I can watch any of what's currently playing on the 3 Hallmark channels and even start any of those shows from the beginning. I can also choose from the extensive on-demand list for each of the channels. I have so much Hallmark content available, at all times, that I can't imagine what I could possibly need to record.

The same is true for most other channels.

I assume that Philo offers something similar.

BTW-- Philo will let you try out their service for two days without even providing your credit card information. All they need is your phone number so that you don't keep signing up for two days at a time.

I noticed that on the link you provided, although I don't think it mentioned the time period. I think I'll get some experience with my new Hulu account :slight_smile: before I venture into a limited-time trial.

Hulu should keep you plenty busy. It's my #1 go-to, followed by Sling then by Netflix.

I don't mind commercials. They give me time to get a few things done or clear out the kitchen sink (which magically fills itself with dishes throughout the day).


$246 for a 50" Fire TV!