The Amazon Fire TV Stick device is a great way to enjoy a variety of entertainment, from streaming movies and music to catching up on your favorite TV shows. You can access content through Netflix and Amazon Instant Video or even install Kodi and Plex. Or take it even a step further by installing additional hardware to turn the Fire TV Stick into a Fire TV.
There are some limitations when it comes to using this HDMI TV stick. For example, it restricts you to using only wireless networking. This means you can’t connect your USB drive with this device and hence, rendering you without access to watch your own files.
Although these devices come with such limitations, there’s a way around it. With the right cables, you will be able to turn a Fire TV Stick into a Fire TV.
Read on to find out how.
Here is What You Will Need
The first step to turn a Fire TV Stick into a Fire TV is to purchase suitable cables and adapters, such as: (Some of them are not mandatory and depend on what you want to do.)
- DSYJ Micro USB Host OTG Cable: $4 (This dual head cable supplies power and data)
- Non-powered 4-port USB hub: $13 (May require an extra cable)
- USB SD card reader: $7
- USB-to-Ethernet adapter: $14 (Only necessary when Ethernet is a requirement)
- Wireless Keyboard: $19.99
- 32gb Flash Drive: $7.79
(*Prices as of May 2019)
If you don’t already have an Amazon FireStick, now would be a good time to invest in an Amazon Fire TV Stick available for a steal under $40. It doesn’t offer the same performance and 4K capabilities as the Amazon Fire TV or 4K FireStick but it’s still a good deal considering the other included features.
Attention: Read before you continue
Governments and ISPs across the world monitor their users online activities. If found streaming or browsing content on your Fire TV Stick, mobile or PC, you could get into serious trouble. Currently, your IP is visible to everyone. We strongly recommend you to get a good VPN and hide your identity so that your online experience doesn’t take a bad turn.
We use IPVanish which is the fastest and most secure VPN in the industry. It is very easy to install on any device including Amazon Fire TV Stick. Also, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like their service, you can always ask for a refund. IPVanish also runs a limited time offer where you can save 73% on your VPN and they allow you to use one account on unlimited devices. This is a flash sale that can expire at any time.
A 1st Generation Amazon Fire Stick Won’t Work
It’s important to note that not all Amazon Fire TV Sticks are made equal. In fact, most 1st generation models don’t come with the USB hub upgrade. They don’t have a USB OTG option and the only USB opening available is just for recharging purposes. We’ve tested this by using a brand new OTG cable, and realized it only powered the device. (Aka don’t get a 1st generation Amazon Fire Stick to turn it into an Amazon Fire TV.)
Luckily, Amazon has since upgraded its latest model to include a multifunctional USB OTG option that more than powers the unit. That’s why this article is based on building a Fire TV box with the help of an upgraded version of the Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Hook the cables into your Amazon Firestick
Once you’ve connected your Amazon Fire TV Stick and set it up, you’ll have to disconnect it from your TV to upgrade it. Take the adapter and cables listed above and connect them to the device, beginning with the OTG cable.
Then, connect the USB hub with the OTG cable before you insert a card reader with the card already inside. Next, link the HDMI cable so that it acts as a bridge between your TV and the FireStick device. Then, attach the power cable to the OTG cable’s female connector.
At this point, your Amazon FireStick should boot up automatically so you can enjoy all the additional storage you now have access to. You’ve essentially just upgraded your device to a proper Fire TV box.
If you’d rather watch a video tutorial. Then we recommend the following video.
Next, comes the process of bringing everything together.
Organize it with a case
As you’ve noticed, we’ve used lots of cables and wires.. That’s why we recommend a case to to pair with your new homemade Fire TV Box. Ideally, it should be the right size to fit your Firestick, some cables and the USB hub.
You could always use an old Apple TV box that you’re not using anymore, but if you don’t have anything on hand, then you should definitely consider the Raspberry Pi case. It’s manufactured by Western Digital’s WDLabs and it’s the perfect size to hold a 3.5-inch HDD. You can comfortably add an HDD to your setup knowing that there’s ample storage for it.
The other option to keep all your components in place would be to hot glue them to your device, or to use a sugru.
Install useful apps for your Fire TV Box
Now that you have all this space available to you, you can install lots of new useful apps and games that’ll improve your viewing process, including Kodi.
While you’re at it, make sure to install a VPN for Kodi, and don’t forget VLC and Plex media players to play all types of media. Now that you know how to turn a Fire TV Stick into a Fire TV, go ahead and transform your own device into a comprehensive media center. You can use it to access Amazon Instant Video, YouTube, Netflix, BBC iPlayer and several Kodi add-ons of your choice.
Share your Amazon Fire TV Stick upgrade story in the comments section below and let us know if you have any questions. We’d love to hear from you!