I'm wanting to get rid of expensive cable, but am quite unknowledgeable about these new gadgets. #1. I was thinking about getting Roku, is Fire etTV stick the same thing? #2. I've been told to purchase an inside antenna and hook that up before I install Roku (Fire Stick TV)? #3. Do I need Fire TV Live to get local CBS, NBC and ABC? #4. I'm confused, if I have Fire TV stick, do I have to have my laptop connected to the TV in order for it to work? (I don't want to keep my laptop running while I'm watching regular TV). Please help me to try and understand what I will need to have in order to watch regular TV? (I know I can't get all the channels I want to watch with just the inside antenna, I already hooked that up). Thanks for any help anyone could provide to me. Ja
Hi there, Janet0652. Welcome to the Digital and Device Forums!
I see you have quite a few questions there, so allow me to answer them as concisely as possible:
Fire TV Stick is not the same thing as Roku. Fire TV Stick is a physical device that connects directly to the HDMI port on your television, and uses the Fire TV OS software also found in Fire TV Stick 4k, Fire TV Cube and Fire TV Edition TVs. You can learn more 🌎 here 🌎.
You do not need a separate inside antenna for the Fire TV Stick. You can watch live TV through channel subscriptions, or over-the-air TV with the additional, and optional, Fire TV Recast device (which does require an HD antenna)
You will not need to keep your laptop open, or on, while you watch TV. The Fire TV Stick connects directly to your WiFi to receive and stream content.
The main drawback of the Recast is that people have to install some sort of antenna to get their local TV channels. (also they need to have a good router, Fire TV device(s) AND a smartphone!) Whew.
With the advent of cable TV, it's been decades since many people had to worry about TV antennas. Luckily these days, there are various websites that will tell you if you can even receive your local stations. Some people are not within range of TV stations. But for those who are, websites like TVFool.com and antennaweb.org help you to see if it is possible.
If it IS possible, then you have to decide which antenna you need. This can get complicated. TV channels are divided into three sets of frequencies - Low-VHF, High-VHF and UHF. If you are lucky you'll only need a UHF antenna. If you are within 5-10 miles of your local stations, one of those cheapo flat antennas you slap on a window might work. Any other combination of longer distance or non-UHF channels may require careful thought.
Fortunately, in most areas of the country, Dish will supply and install a decent outdoor antenna with cabling to one room for only $150. If you don't want to learn all about antennas, this is a good solution. (Cities Excluded: PHILADELPHIA (PA), MEMPHIS (TN), WILMINGTON (DE), BANGOR (ME), GRAND JUNCTION (CO), EUREKA (CA), AMES (IA), NORTH PLATTE (NE), BUTTE (MT), CALUMET (MI), FLORENCE (SD), LEAD (SD), WESTON (WV), MILES CITY (MT), GLENDIVE (MT), ENSIGN (KS), HAYES CENTER (NE))
#2. & #3. I recommend antenna to give local channels.
#4. FireTV Stick does not need a Laptop.
You already have the antenna for regular OTA local TV.
The FireTV Stick is a lot different than the Roku.
The FireTV Stick allows you to subscribe to specific subscriptions such as Netflix, Hulu, etc.
Note: There are some free TV Apps included with the FireTV Stick like Pluto, CBS News, Freedive, etc.
The main reason a lot of people get the FireTV Stick, is it has the ability to side load Apps. That is something you would have to search elsewhere, as that is not discussed in this Amazon set up forum. Everyone I know uses there laptop to talk to the FireTV Stick to install there downloaded Apps, that is where you probably heard the part about a laptop.