Amazon Fire TV

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Home icon grey.png   ▶ Devices ▶ Android ▶ Amazon Fire TV
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Amazon Fire TV (2015) Gen-2
Released 2015-09-17 (US)
OS Fire OS 5.0 "Bellini" (Based on Android 5.1)
CPU MediaTek MT8173 ARM big.LITTLE Quad-Core CPU up to 2Ghz
Storage 8 GB internal + MicroSD slot up to 128 GB
Display Full HD (1080p) @ 60 fps and Ultra HD (2160p) @ 30 fps
Graphics PowerVR GX6250
Connectivity HDMI 2.0 (with HDCP 2.2 and CEC), Bluetooth 4.1 LE, USB 2.0, WiFi Dual-Band/Dual-Antenna (802.11ac MIMO), 10/100 Ethernet
Dimensions 115 × 115 × 17.5 mm (4.53 × 4.53 × 0.69 in)
Amazon Fire TV (2014) Gen-1
Amazon Fire TV.jpg
Released 2014-04-02 (US)
OS Fire OS 3.0 "Mojito" (Based on Android 4.4)
CPU Qualcomm Krait 300, ARM Quad-Core CPU to 1.7 Ghz
Storage 8 GB internal
Display Full HD (1080p) @ 30 fps
Graphics Qualcomm Adreno 320
Connectivity HDMI 1.4a (with HDCP 2.1 and CEC), Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, Wifi (802.11n), 10/100 Ethernet, Optical audio
Dimensions 115 × 115 × 17.5 mm (4.53 × 4.53 × 0.69 in)
Amazon Fire TV Stick (2014/2015)
Amazon-Fire-TV-Stick-2015-with-Voice-Remote.jpg Amazon Fire TV Stick with Remote.jpg
Released 2014-11-19 (US)
OS Fire OS 3.0 "Mojito" (Based on Android 4.2.2)
CPU ARM Cortex A9 Dual-Core @ 1.0GHz
Storage 8 GB internal
Display 720p and 1080p @ 30 fps
Graphics Broadcom VideoCore IV (OpenGL ES 2.0) with integrated VPU circuits
Connectivity HDMI 1.4a (with HDCP 2.1 and CEC), Bluetooth 3.0 (HID, HFP, HPP), WiFi (802.11a/b/g/n), and one Micro USB 2.0 port for power only?
Dimensions 84.9 x 25.0 x 11.5 mm
Note: Unless otherwise noted, the following information applies to both the Fire TV box and Fire TV stick.

Amazon Fire TV (first and second-generations) is a series of Android-based (Fire OS) set-top-box that contains a powerful ARM processor (that can even handle some of the more heavy Kodi skins). First released in 2014, Amazon's Fire TV series stands above some of the other Android-based offerings due to Amazon's strong product support and because it contains more remote friendly versions of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and other video service clients, which generally makes it a good pairing with Kodi.

Amazon have also released Amazon Fire TV Stick as a low cost version in a HDMI-stick format, and while the Amazon Fire TV Stick also uses the same Android-based (Fire OS) software platform it contains less powerful ARM processor hardware it should still technically provides the same video playback features and capabilities as the first-generation of Amazon Fire TV, at least as far as running Kodi on it. The second-generation of Amazon Fire TV however does support newer video codecs and higher resolutions than the Fire TV Stick model.


1 Fire TV Gen-1 and Gen-2 differences

The main differences between the first-generation Fire TV (released in 2014) and second-generation TV (released in 2015) is that the second-genration supports newer video codecs (HEVC and VP9) plus higher resolutions (Ultra HD /2160p at up to 30 fps, also known as "4K" resolution), and that includes HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 as required for 4K output by some streaming apps such as Netflix. And while the first-generation Fire TV (2014) shipped with an older version of the Fire TV operating-system it can now be upgraded to the same new version as the second-generation Fire TV (2015), so software-wise the old and new hardware can still support the same features and functions that are not dependent on newer Android hardware (such as video codecs and resolution).

2 Fire TV Stick differences

In a nutshell: slower processor (which won't be a huge difference for average Kodi usage), Amazon Fire TV Stick only has 1GB of RAM, comes withoput no USB port and wired Ethernet, as it features just HDMI, power, WiFi, and Bluetooth. No versions of the Fire TV Stick supports newer video codecs (HEVC and VP9), nor does it support higher resolutions than Full HD / 1080p, (so no support for Ultra HD /2160p at up to 30 fps, which also known as "4K" resolution). All released versions of the Fire TV Stick still works pretty well from a Kodi standpoint.

Other than the new voice remote control (that has an integrated microphone) there are no differences hardware between the first-generation Fire TV Stick (released in 2014) and second-generation "new" Fire TV Stick (released in 2015). The older version of the Fire TV operating-system can be upgraded on the first-generation Fire TV Stick (released in 2014) to the same new version as the "new" second-generation Fire TV Stick (2015), so software-wise the old and new hardware can still support the same features and functions that are not dependent on newer Android hardware (such as video codecs and resolution).

3 installing Kodi

Kodi can be installed on any Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. Root is not required.

See: HOW-TO:Install Kodi on Fire TV

4 Bypassing Amazon Home

This page describes various methods to bypass the normal Fire TV home menu when the home button is pressed on the remote. This includes launching Kodi when the home button is pressed, using an alternative launcher all together, and other methods for both rooted and unrooted Fire TV devices.

5 Launch Kodi from Recent on the FTV Home Screen

The trick to launch Kodi from the "Recent" menu is no longer possible, because Amazon decided to remove Kodi from their app store.

6 Launch Kodi from an Existing App on the FTV Home Screen

There is a alternative way to invoke Kodi from the FTV Home Screen using Llama. This method uses a “sacrificial” app that you have installed from Amazon that you will use to access Kodi. The app can be anything you have installed but don’t need to use; however, some apps behave better than others (some apps will enter a loop when exiting Kodi). One app that has been tested and works well for this purpose is “Classic TV”.

The advantage of this method is that using the sacrificial app you have Home Screen Access to Kodi and you can exit Kodi to the FTV Home Screen just as you would any other FTV app.

6.1 Prerequisites

  1. Llama side loaded on your FTV.
  2. The app called “Classic TV” from the Amazon app store.
  3. One Llama Event (described below).

6.2 Setting Up Launcher

  1. Install / side-load Llama.
  2. Install “Classic TV” (or “ikono TV” in the UK) app from Amazon app store.
  3. Launch Llama (From FireTV - Settings > Applications > Llama > Launch Application).
  4. Go to EVENTS on top menu and click '+' to add a NEW EVENT.
  5. In your NEW EVENT select ADD CONDITION then, from the Menu select 'Active Application' and select 'Choose App’. Scroll through the list of apps until you find “Classic TV” and select this app. Doing this should return you to the Events Menu.
  6. Next, select ADD ACTION and select 'Run Application' from the Menu list. From here, select whatever the name of your Kodi build is. That should create your event. At this point you can also name your event to distinguish it from others.

6.3 Replacing the "Classic TV" images with Kodi

  1. Download thumbnail and preview images (you'll need to either load the link in a new window/tab or right-click and "Save Link As..." so that you avoid saving the auto-generated smaller version that kodi-wiki created):
    1. Thumbnail 43127692f3ed9671e079492a40a450bbd51543bd84d74bba24baf55fe7e06afa.png (file name should be thumbnail_43127692f3ed9671e079492a40a450bbd51543bd84d74bba24baf55fe7e06afa.png)
    2. Preview 43127692f3ed9671e079492a40a450bbd51543bd84d74bba24baf55fe7e06afa.png (file name should be preview_43127692f3ed9671e079492a40a450bbd51543bd84d74bba24baf55fe7e06afa.png)
  2. Double check that your file names are correct and not capitalized at the beginning (as forced when they were uploaded).
  3. Using adb, upload to FireTV (/sdcard/.imagecache/
    > adb push thumbnail_43127692f3ed9671e079492a40a450bbd51543bd84d74bba24baf55fe7e06afa.png /sdcard/.imagecache/
    > adb push preview_43127692f3ed9671e079492a40a450bbd51543bd84d74bba24baf55fe7e06afa.png /sdcard/.imagecache/
  4. Reboot FireTV and new images should appear. (Rebooting can be done through Settings -> System, or by holding
  5. Troubleshooting:
    1. If images don't update, make sure the filenames match what is in /sdcard/.imagecache/
    2. For apps other than Classic TV, locate path and filenames using "adb shell ls sdcard/.imagecache/". For example, if using iKono TV the path will be sdcard/.imagecache/

Now when you start the “Classic TV” app from the Home Screen, it should automatically open XBMC. Feel free to experiment with other apps from the FTV app store. Just be aware that some will loop back and re-start Kodi when you try and exit Kodi to get back to the FTV Home Screen.

7 Launching Android apps within Kodi

Skins like Amber allow you place custom shortcuts on the main menu for an Android apps as favorites.

Android apps can be launched from within Kodi by going to Programs -> Android programs. It is even possible to launch Android apps from shortcuts on the main menu for skins that supports custom home items.

8 Copying files

8.1 Copy userdata settings (optional)

Run Kodi at least once to initialize the userdata folder on the Fire TV

Copying from PC to Fire TV
Copy files to Fire TV userdata folder using adb push <local> <remote>
  • For example, to copy advancedsettings.xml from your local folder to your Fire TV Kodi userdata folder:
    >adb push advancedsettings.xml /sdcard/android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.kodi/userdata
Note: For SPMC change the path to /sdcard/android/data/com.semperpax.spmc/files/.spmc/userdata
Copying files from Fire TV to PC
Copy files from Fire TV userdata folder using adb pull <remote> <local>
  • For example, to copy advancedsettings.xml from your Fire TV Kodi userdata folder to your local folder:
    >adb pull /sdcard/android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.kodi/userdata/advancedsettings.xml

You can use adb shell to open a remote shell on the Fire TV. Use standard Linux commands such as cd and ls to navigate the file structure. Type exit to exit adb shell.

See userdata folder for more information on the contents of the userdata folder.

8.2 Update Splash Image (optional)

Run Kodi at least once to initialize the userdata folder on the Fire TV

  • If the splash image file is splash.png, you can run the following command to copy the file to Fire TV (you may need to update the folder name):

For Gotham

>adb push splash.png /sdcard/Android/data/org.xbmc.xbmc/files/.xbmc/media/splash.png

Fire TV splash images:

  • Non-version specific
  • Version specific

Note: The "Non-version specific" splashscreens can also be applied using elmerohueso's "XBMC Tweaks for FTV" program addon, which is available from elmerohueso's Kodi repo.

9 Controls

9.1 Box and Stick

9.1.1 Bluetooth remote

Note: For better button layouts, see Alternative keymaps for Fire TV remote.
Button Global action Fullscreen video action Amazon Fire TV remote.jpg
3 Directional pad:
  • Up
  • Down
  • Right
  • Left
Directional pad:
  • Up: Next chapter or go forward 10 minutes
  • Down: Previous chapter or go back 10 minutes
  • Right: +30 seconds
  • Left: -30 seconds
4 Select On-screen-display menu
6 Context menu Playlist
8 Play/pause Play/pause
9 Back Back out of fullscreen video (does not stop playback)

To reboot the Fire TV with the Bluetooth remote, hold Play/Pause (8) and Select (4) for 5 seconds.

9.1.2 Bluetooth keyboards and gamepads

Any Bluetooth input device, such as a keyboard or gamepad, that works in general on the Fire TV will also work in Kodi.

9.1.3 CEC

People are reporting that the Amazon Fire TV has basic CEC support. Reported working keys are UP, DOWN, RIGHT, LEFT, SELECT, PLAY and PAUSE (depending on the TV brand).

9.2 Box only

9.2.1 USB

USB port allows for various additional remote types, such as FLIRC, various RF dongles, etc. Most of these devices will show up as a keyboard type input.

USB keyboards

See keyboard controls for how to control Kodi using a keyboard.

Additional Fire TV controls goes as followed:

Key Action
or "browser search"
media key.
Voice Search (Does not send mic audio)
F12 Fire TV home screen
Esc Fire TV back button
or "Menu" (to the right of the Windows key on the right side)
Fire TV menu button
Alt+Tab  Recent App
Ctrl+Alt+Delete System reset

9.2.2 USB gamepads

Any USB gamepad that works in general for the Fire TV will also work in Kodi.

  • Logitech F710 Wireless Gamepad (uses a small USB dongle)
  • Xbox 360 wired gamepad
  • Xbox 360 wireless gamepad works if you use the Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows

10 Video guide

11 Known issues

  • VC-1 / WMV9 encoded videos is currently not hardware decoded in Kodi on the Amazon Fire TV box or stick
  • Live IPTV (via multicast UDP/RTP) is currently not supported due to missing kernel support.

12 Random notes

Feel free to place various notes, tips, and links here. As this section of the wiki gets more organized, those notes will be properly sorted. Consider this like a dumping ground for when you're not sure where to put something.

  • Debug information in the Fire TV's Netflix app can be accessed by pressing Ctrl+Alt+ Shift+D.
  • The FireTV will not go to 'sleep' when Kodi is the active application. In the Gotham builds, you may set the Power Saving -> Shutdown Function to Quit, and choose any time between 5-120 minutes. This will Exit the application after being idle, which allows the FireTV screensaver to run (the screensaver should pop up right when Kodi exits; test this by using the 5 minute Quit timer). This also appears to function correctly and allow the device to sleep even if you are using the Llama settings to always keep Kodi running.
  • You can change the FTV to use non-US Time Zones by using TimeZone Changer.
  • Micro USB port on the Amazon Fire TV Stick does not support USB host functions (no hard drives or USB input).

13 See also

14 Links

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