Can a Non-Smart TV Use a Fire Stick?

Fire Stick remote with the HDMI device on a table inside a living room.Fire Stick remote with the HDMI device on a table inside a living room.

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Today, purchasing a TV without at least some internet connectivity is increasingly difficult. Prime Video is a standard app on most smart TVs, and streaming Prime on your non-smart TV may be on your radar if you have a Prime membership. However, if you own a non-smart TV, this feature may not be available unless you use a Fire Stick.

A Fire Stick can be used on a non-smart TV as long as it has an HDMI port. A Fire Stick is inserted into the TV and uses an internet connection within the home to operate. The settings can be adjusted once the Fire Stick is inserted into the non-smart TV. Shows can then be watched and enjoyed.

The only thing that separates a smart TV from a non-smart TV is that the streaming apps, app store, and other purchase options are built-in. With an Amazon Fire Stick, you convert your TV into something as close to a smart TV as you can without purchasing the real thing.

Using the Fire Stick with Non-Smart TVs

There are four different iterations of Amazon’s Fire Stick and a cube:

All four run versions of Fire TV OS, an operating system based on Android. You’ll be familiar with the look and feel if you have an Android phone or own an Amazon Kindle tablet—not the reader version. All four devices have the same apps or access to the same apps, so you won’t find too much difference among them.

If your TV’s native resolution is 1080p, then the Fire TV Stick Lite and the 1080p Amazon Fire Stick are the ones you’ll get the most out of.

Although the 4K version adds little more than a leap in resolution, the Cube offers some interesting features, especially if you have a smart home. 

The Amazon Fire TV Cube also doubles as an Echo device. Along with the voice command feature with all four, the Fire TV Cube serves as a smart home hub, giving you access to all your compatible smart devices.


Amazon Fire Stick and Fire Cube Features

As mentioned above, there are not a ton of major features that separate the four devices, but each has a few characteristics that make them different and worth considering.

 Fire StickFire Stick TV LiteFire Stick 4KFire TV Stick 4K MaxFire TV Cube
Resolution1080p HD1080p HD4K4K4K
Smart Home IntegrationWhen combined with an EchoWhen combined with an EchoWhen combined with an EchoWhen combined with an EchoSmart Home Compatible
Ethernet PortsAdapter – Purchased separatelyNoneAdapter – Purchased separatelyAdapter – Purchased separatelyComes with an adapter
Alexa Voice ControlYesYesYesYesYes
Dimensions3.3 x 1.0 inches3.4 x 1.0 inches3.9 x 1.2 inches3.9 x 1.2 inches5.6 x 1.5 x 0.64 inches

Unfortunately, the four Fire Stick versions don’t come equipped to draw power from your TV. A dongle extension can either loop around and plug into your TV’s USB port, or they have to plug into a wall outlet or power strip.

The Fire TV Cube plugs into a power outlet, much like any Amazon echo device or streaming cubes like Apple TV.

Is a Smart TV or Non-Smart TV with Fire Stick Better?

This is where things get interesting. It’s a logical argument to make. Why bother with the higher overall cost of a smart TV when you can get the same streaming content with a plugin device?

  • Purchase and rent movies. The Amazon Fire Sticks come with all the features of Amazon Prime Video, including the ability to rent and buy movies. With the possible exception of Apple, Amazon provides more content than any other streaming service.
  • Fire Sticks and Fire Cubes are smaller and compact. The Fire Stick and Cube are a lot smaller than a traditional TV. This makes them convenient for travel. Traveling with a smart TV is cumbersome.
  • Faster updates are available. Amazon Fire Stick/Cube updates faster, and unless you’re comparing it to a 2021 newly released smart TV, the Amazon devices are much more responsive regarding the remote control.
  • Data privacy is an issue with both. Your data is likely shared for advertising whenever you access a streaming service.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know your smart TV can use a Fire Stick, there’s every reason to get one. The prices are very wallet-friendly and much better than forking over hundreds on a smart TV. With Amazon’s frequent updates, a solid library of available content, a large number of apps,  and a great selection of purchase and rental options, the Fire Stick or Cube is the perfect upgrade for your TV.

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