Amazon Fire TV

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Home icon grey.png   ▶ Devices ▶ Android ▶ Amazon Fire TV
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Note: Unless otherwise noted, the following information applies to both the Fire TV box (1 and 2) 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 Broadcom BCM28145 (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. The stick does feature HDMI, power, WiFi, and Bluetooth. The first versions of the Fire TV Stick does not support 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 work fairly well from a Kodi standpoint (faster than a Raspberry Pi 1, but slower than a Raspberry Pi 2/3).

In 2015 Amazon bundled the Fire TV Stick with the new voice remote control (that has an integrated microphone).

In 2016, Amazon released a new version. The dualcore Broadcom BCM28145 was replaced by a quadcore MediaTek MT8127, which does support HEVC. It is bigger, 85.9 mm x 30.0 mm x 12.6 mm compared to the older measuring 84,9 mm x 25,0 mm x 11,5 mm. Amazon US sells it as "All-New Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote".

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 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.

5 Copying files

The easiest ways to copy files onto the Fire TV for Kodi is to either use the Kodi file manager or use ES File Explorer from the Amazon app store.

6 Controls

Fire TV 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 Fire TV remote, hold Play/Pause (8) and Select (4) for 5 seconds.

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).

Through bluetooth or a USB connection (Fire TV box only) you can connect additional remotes and devices. These devices must be seen as a "keyboard" to the OS, so that they don't need additional software drivers. For example, the Flirc, which is a universal learning IR receiver..
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

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

7 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.

8 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.

  • Unless rooted, the micro USB port on the Amazon Fire TV Stick does not support USB host functions (no hard drives or USB input).

Kodi config is kept in /sdcard/Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.kodi

Let's say you wanted to edit a sources.xml or other XML configuration file on your FireTV.

$ adb connect <fire_tv_ip>
$ adb pull /sdcard/Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.kodi/userdata/sources.xml
* edit the local copy of sources.xml *
$ adb push sources.xml /sdcard/Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.kodi/userdata/sources.xml

9 See also

10 Links

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