Amazon Fire Stick - good, cheap Android client

I’ve searched around for some info on using Amazon’s Fire Stick as a cheap Android client, and didn’t really see much. I ordered one and decided to try it out. You have to side load the APK (transferred the Android APK via FTP), but everything works great. I just wanted to share this with others, so they could try it as well. Seems like a cheap client ($40 USD for the Fire Stick, plus about $20 per software license, making it about $60 total per player). We are a K-12 district with approximately 20 locations and multiple TVs per location, so this will save us a ton of money instead of building a bunch of Intel NUC boxes.

Here is a video of our lobby sign running on an Amazon Fire Stick (I’ve also tested MP4 embedded video, and that seemed to work fine as well).


Hmm, I really think this is neat… I’m still trying to find a good platform to run the Xibo client on, and have been waiting on pricing and more info on the new x86-based Intel Streaming sticks. I might pick up a Fire Stick to test though, if it works well, it may be the right solution (and super-cheap!).

I actually just tried this myself. :smiley: Used ADB to sideload the app. It seems to work fine (forgot to set the time zone so the clock module wasn’t showing the right time xD )

Then I thought I should double check to see what kinds of issues people have had doing this.

My biggest concern is making sure it’s on its own private network to prevent students from playing with it using the app. And also getting a secure box around the TV. We setup a hidden SSID and placed it on its own Vlan. No one but I can get to it directly.

If I have any issues I’ll definitely let you know. But I’m already loving how easy it is to setup, and unlike the windows client it hasn’t died on me yet. I will have to put it through its paces though. Video loading seems to be flawless. Clock is still showing AM and PM in chinese I need to figure out how to fix that or just get rid of the AM PM. xD Weather module works just fine. Talks back to the server every five minutes like clock work. I’m very happy with it.

Especially since it’s easier to setup that a raspberry pi.

I had personally wanted to try one of the computers on a stick options because our campus alert software (AlertUs) only works on OSX and PC. And since we’re not paying money for it we only get the most basic of options. But maybe we can build a plugin for Xibo that checks for alerts from the AlertUs software. We’ll see.

Do you have any information on how you did this, I would love to try this with my firestick. Does it auto start the player on power up?

Sorry I didn’t see this reply. Since it’s already November I’m not sure if you found your answer or not.

I used this guide to do the side-loading:

Just needed the ADB software from the Android SDK, and the IP address of the stick. Once the Xibo apk was installed I just had to run it from the system menu. Logging in and hooking it up to the server was a pain though as I didn’t have the ability to use a keyboard with the way we currently have everything setup. Using that remote to type in the server secret was a pain. But once online it took off all on its own. It really wasn’t hard at all.

Thanks for the response. I did however get it going. Great use of a firestick, for sure!

How can you get the licensing for the android apk?? I do have an existing setup with a Windows PC stick and i just did presented it yesterday and everything is cool. But i know some issue that the windows software have like the transitions of images through the player is not really working and also the layering of medias. Do you have all these features through enable or working on the licensed android apk?? By the way the price of the stick that i bought cost like $120 i saw your price range and got my attention i just want to know how reliable it is than using windows pc sticks.

The project can’t comment on this directly because we’ve not tried - perhaps one of the chaps above will comment.

I’ve been really impressed with the firestick. I’ve mainly used it for scrolling text, images, small videos and dataset tickers.

Here, we have a very basic setup. Our layout is 3 views - main view - clock view - weather view. The main view shows mostly JPG slides and not much else most of the time. Every week we get one 5-10 minute video on the announcements for the week running as well.

I haven’t noticed any major problems myself. On occassion it has gone into this weird black screen and stayed there for a while, I’m not sure why. But I rarely see that so I haven’t considered it an issue. And the transitions, and playback are smooth. I’ve had to mute the audio because we don’t have enough slides in between the video play sessions. It got annoying really quickly to have that video play every 2 minutes.

Biggest problem for me was making sure that the GPS location is set manually, as is the appropriate time. Otherwise the time and weather modules didn’t show the correct information. xD

good choice if you do not need to root the stick. It is very reliable (Wlan is constantly, good picture quality, smooth videos), but not rootable in the newest version. so you can not use teamviewer or make updates of the client software.

Is it possible to update the Xibo App on the FireTV Stick from the CMS? What about commands like reboot?

Creo que no, es una de las cosas que me echa para atrás para usarlo, ya que la calidad es muy buena, pero que no tienes acceso root, AnyDesk no funciona muy bien, y tampoco puedes desconectar de la cuenta de Amazon, ya no me gusta mucho.