Amazon Fire TV Stick and Kodi

Amazon's hardware always seems to offer good specifications for a good price and the Fire TV Stick is no exception. With a price of under £40, it's a bit of a no-brainer. Although we have Samsung Smart TVs, with all the apps loaded, there was still a gap which the Fire TV Stick fits perfectly.
Hardly any bigger than a memory stick

Alongside our ageing DVD collection, we have a growing number of films and television series stored on network-attached hard drives. Currently we watch these using a WDTV streaming device - a small box which connects over wi-fi and streams content from the hard drives to the television. Whilst these work well, they are showing their age: they don’t connect over 5 GHz and the interface is quite primitive - not much more than a simple list of files. Increasingly, when we don’t recognise a programme title we have to Google it to remind ourselves what it is.
WDTV's ageing interface
And then Kodi caught my eye. This Android app does basically the same job, but with a real 2018 interface. When you run the app, it looks through your hard drive and catalogues your media files, presenting the information beautifully. It gives you cast and crew information, plot synopses, artwork and more. It even keeps track of what we’ve watched and what we haven’t.
One view of Kodi's rich interface
The Fire TV Stick runs Android, but it’s a heavily customised version called Fire OS. In particular, it doesn’t include the Google Play Store for loading additional apps. Fortunately, you can still easily side-load apps which makes the Stick a fully functioning Android device. So, having loaded and set up Kodi, we are enjoying our collection of video files even more.

The Stick has more capability than this but for us this is currently its sole purpose. When we get more used to it I’m sure we will find more uses. But until then we’re getting renewed pleasure from our video collection.