With the right apps installed, you can enjoy unlimited content on your Fire TV Stick. Amazon’s streaming device is quite the data pig if you regularly consume content on Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube and other apps. If you don’t have an unlimited internet plan, you should reduce the use of device data. In this guide, we will show you 4 ways to reduce the data usage of Fire TV Stick.
With a capped internet plan, there is a limit to the amount of content you can stream, and it is best to check it before you run out of data to use the internet. For example, streaming an hour of HD content to Netflix with the best quality setting consumes 3 GB, and Amazon Prime Video consumes up to 1.4 GB with better quality. Data usage when streaming Ultra HD content to the Fire TV Stick 4K is even higher – 7 GB per hour on Netflix and 6.48 GB per hour on Amazon Prime.
Aside from the quality of the broadcast, other factors such as automatic video playback and automatic application updates also have an impact on the data consumption of the Fire TV Stick.
Note: The settings mentioned in this guide apply to the basic Fire TV Stick and the Fire TV Stick 4K.
1. Adjust the video quality
This is one of the biggest determinants of the amount of data consumed by your device. Streaming higher quality content will certainly consume more data than streaming low or medium quality. Setting your Fire TV Stick to broadcast the best video quality will exhaust your limited Internet / data plan faster than you can imagine.
By default, the Fire TV Stick is configured to stream videos with the best quality – determined after testing the bandwidth capabilities of your Wi-Fi network. To adjust the video quality of the streaming device, follow the steps below. below.
Step 1: Launch the Fire TV Stick menu and select Preferences.
2nd step: Select Data monitoring.
Step 3: Press Data Monitoring again to reveal the Data Monitoring options.
Step 4: Select “Set video quality”.
Step 5: Now choose one of the two lower video qualities: better or good.
To help you understand the video quality options of Fire TV Stick, see the brief explanations below:
Best video quality: It is the best video quality that provides the best streaming experience. Configuring your Fire TV Stick to broadcast videos of this quality will consume the most Internet data. As noted earlier, Netflix’s best quality (Ultra HD) consumes 7 GB per hour while Amazon Prime Video gobbles up 6.48 GB per hour.
Best video quality: Streaming at this quality will reduce and save Internet data. To do this, your Fire TV Stick will stream content at lower bit rates. However, the resulting video quality may not be of superior quality, but will certainly be good enough to provide an excellent video streaming experience. The average quality of Netflix consumes 0.7 GB of data per hour while the best quality of Prime Video eats 1.4 GB per hour.
Good video quality: Streaming at this quality will save you the most data. The Fire TV Stick will produce videos at lower bit rates and simultaneously minimize caching. You should however note that the video quality can be very compromised – compared to the other video qualities mentioned above. Prime Video consumes 0.38 GB per hour while the low quality of Netflix consumes 0.3 GB per hour.
The quality of the streaming video you choose comes down to individual preferences. You can test the two video qualities (good and better) to check which one you like.
As mentioned earlier, there are two versions of the Fire TV Stick: the Basic Fire TV Stick and the Fire TV Stick 4K. The first supports streaming video in HD resolution (1080p) while the second can stream content up to Ultra HD.
Broadcasting content in UHD (4K) would result in even higher data consumption. However, you can also reduce the data usage on your Fire TV Stick 4K by adjusting its video quality (see Step # 1 – Step # 4 above) and implementing other settings in the sections below.
2. Disable automatic video playback of the content presented
On the Fire TV Stick home page, trailers for some Amazon Prime movies are automatically played as soon as you turn on the device. While playing these videos automatically helps to preview the movie or show, it ends up adding up to consume a lot of bandwidth.
Disabling automatic visual and audio playback of this content is essential to reduce the use of Fire TV Stick data. Follow the steps below to do so.
Step 1: Go to the Fire TV Stick Settings menu and select Preferences.
2nd step: Select Featured Content.
Step 3: If the options “Allow automatic playback of videos” and “Allow automatic playback of audio files” are activated, press the selection button (ie the large round button) to deactivate them.
This will change the two autoplay options from ON to OFF. Now you have one thing less to eat your Internet data plan / bandwidth on your Fire TV Stick. Let’s move on to the next.
3. Disable interest-based ads
Amazon occasionally sends advertisements and promotional content to your Fire TV Stick. You may not notice these ads, as they are carefully (and most of the time, briefly) merged with the content presented on the home page. Although we do not know exactly how much data these advertisements consume, it is certain that they increase the data consumption of your Fire TV Stick. These ads are enabled by default, but luckily Amazon allows you to disable them in the Fire TV Stick settings menu. Follow the steps below to do so.
Step 1: Launch the Fire TV Stick Settings menu and select Preferences.
2nd step: Then select Privacy settings.
Step 3: Now scroll to the bottom of the menu page and tap on Interest Based Ads to turn it off.
Make sure the state changes from ON to OFF.
4. Disable automatic updates
The Fire TV Stick comes with an Appstore built into Amazon. By default, the streaming key is configured to automatically update any application that you install from the store whenever new versions are available. It is recommended to keep your apps up to date, but you need to make sure you do it at your own pace. If you leave the automatic update of the AppStore activated, you will waste your Internet bandwidth by updating all your applications, including those that you hardly use.
Disabling it will go a long way in reducing the data usage on your Fire TV Stick. Follow the steps below to do so.
Step 1: Launch the Fire TV Stick Settings menu and select Applications.
2nd step: Select Appstore.
Step 3: Now tap on Automatic Updates to toggle the option from ON to OFF.
Again, you just removed another feature that consumes Internet bandwidth on your streaming device.
You cannot take advantage of new features / services because your Fire TV Stick applications do not install? Discover four (4) effective methods to solve the problem in the guide linked below.
Last updated on May 4, 2020
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