Tech Guide

Amazon's Fire TV can do more than stream videos: Impress your family with these tricks

Key Points
  • Amazon's Fire TV products can do so much more than simply play movies. 
  • You can use the Fire TV to order stuff from Amazon, find nearby restaurants and more.
  • CNBC's Todd Haselton walks you through a couple of expert Fire TV tips and tricks.
Amazon's Fire TV Cube is a must-buy if you hate losing your remote

Amazon's Fire TV products are great for streaming movies and listening to music on your television.

But there's a lot more to them. Here are a few tips and ticks that will help you get more out of your new Fire TV.

Order stuff from Amazon

Ordering products on your TV st really useful in case you just got home, forgot to get something and have already sat down next to the TV. Just do this:

  • Hold down the microphone button on the Amazon Fire TV remote.
  • Say, "Order soap from Amazon," or whatever you want to buy.
  • Amazon will show you items you've purchased previously, as well as additional products.
  • Scroll left and right to move through them, or press the center select button to buy.

Browse the web

The Fire TV isn't the best place to browse the web, since it's clunky to do so by voice and without a full keyboard. But you can do it if you want to watch videos that are only available on the web. Here's how:

  • Hold the microphone button on your Amazon Fire TV voice remote.
  • Say "Open the web browser."
  • Alexa will open the store and prompt you to download the Amazon Silk browser.
    Install it.
  • Tap "Open."
  • Navigate to the top of the screen to enter in a URL, then tap the center of the remote.
  • Type in a URL using the on-screen keyboard, then press the play/pause button on the remote.

Set your family photos as screen savers

You can upload and view all of the photos you take on your iPhone or Android phone on an Amazon Fire TV. I also like that you use them as the screensaver, which basically turns your Fire TV into a giant photo frame when it's sitting idle. Here's how to set your family photos as the screen saver:

  • Download Amazon Photos for iPhone or Android, install it, and begin uploading photos.
  • Once you've uploaded some photos to Amazon Photos, open the settings menu on your Fire TV.
  • Open Preferences.
  • Select "Screen saver settings."
  • Tap "Current Screensaver."
  • Choose a photo album or "Most Recent from Your Photos."

Play Audible books

You can listen to books you've purchased from Audible on the Fire TV. This can be helpful if you start listening to an audio book on your commute and want to continue from the couch when you get home.

Here's how:

  • Hold the microphone button on your Amazon Fire TV voice remote.
  • Speak "listen to "A Gentleman in Moscow," or the book you'd like to listen to.
  • Amazon will begin playing it and pick up right where you left off.
  • Say "Skip" to fast forward, or "Alexa go to chapter 4" to move too a specific spot.

Find a nearby restaurant

If you and your loved ones are watching a movie and want to decide where to go to dinner, you can all look together instead of crowding around a phone. All you have to do is speak to Alexa on your Fire TV.

To do that:

  • Hold the microphone button on your Alexa voice remote.
  • Say something like "Alexa, show me nearby sushi restaurants."
  • Alexa will show you a few nearby restaurants with Yelp ratings.
  • Select one with the remote to see the address, hours and distance from you.

Those are some of my favorite tips that I'm not sure everyone knows about. You can ask Alexa for tips no matter what app you're in by holding microphone button on your remote and saying "Alexa, what can I say?"

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