The Amazon Fire stick has grown in use in the UK in recent years. With more and more of us looking to cut the cord in favour of streaming, the Fire TV stick is more popular than ever.
For the most part, people want to use their Fire stick with their television or monitor. This is typically where you’re going to get the best viewing experience, especially if you want to watch in 4K. But what about if you want to use a Fire stick with your laptop; is this possible?
Well, we’ll be looking at how you might be able to stream your Fire stick onto your laptop. As well as this, we’ll run through how to screen mirror from your laptop to your Fire stick in the opposite direction.
Can you connect an Amazon Fire stick to your laptop?
The answer is that no, for 99% of people, you won’t be able to connect your Fire stick to watch films and TV shows on your laptop screen. This is because your laptop only has the ability to send data out via a HDMI cable, it cannot receive data.
This is simply down to the ports that your laptop has on it. Whilst it does have a HDMI port that you can use, this is a HDMI output port. This means that it can only send data from the laptop to another device, not the other way around.
If you wanted to receive data, the device would need to have a HDMI input port instead. Your laptop very likely doesn’t have this, so unfortunately, it’s not possible for you to connect to it this way.
Some people may be looking to send data from a laptop to their fire TV stick. This is possible, but you won’t need to use your laptop’s HDMI port to do this, as you can actually cast to it wirelessly. You’ll need a working Fire stick remote to do this.
When it comes to streaming from fire TV stick to laptop, there are a few other workarounds to this issue that are worth visiting quickly. However if you’re looking for an easy way to watch a Fire stick’s content on your Macbook or Windows laptop, unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
Are there any laptops that you can connect a Fire stick to?
As I mentioned above, the vast majority of laptops do not have a HDMI input port for you to connect to. This means that you can’t use any other device with a HDMI output to connect the two together.
However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. There are some models of Alienware laptop that have a HDMI input port built into the device. An example of this is the Alienware M17x series, as well as some of the M18x models too. They’re premium laptops, so they’re pretty expensive.
With these specific laptops, then you can use your laptop as you would a monitor. But for most of us, it’s actually not possible to output another device on your laptop screen. So, you cannot use a Fire stick with your laptop.
How can I watch shows on my laptop, then?
The truth is that in most scenarios, it’s best to try and log into the subscription service directly through your laptop to watch your favourite shows.
However, there are some things that you won’t be able to watch directly through your browser (live recorded TV, for example). You can either watch Netflix within your web browser, or you can download the app onto your laptop too. This is the simplest way to watch television on your laptop screen.
The only other realistic alternative is to use a capture card with your laptop. Essentially, capture cards allow you to input your streaming data into the card, which is then relayed on your laptop display. This is how many streamers manage to record their Fire TV stick’s output, by connecting it up to their laptop.
The issue is that with many cheaper capture cards, the image can be a little delayed. It’s probably not the optimum way to watch your Fire stick on a laptop.
What devices have HDMI input?
So, you can’t output from your Fire TV stick to your laptop because it doesn’t have HDMI input capabilities. But what devices can you connect to via HDMI?
Well, the obvious one here is going to be your television or a computer monitor. These types of devices are intended to be able to accept data, so you can connect to them with any device that has HDMI output capabilities.
Other devices that you can also do this with are your speakers. A HDMI connection carries both audio and video, but with speakers, it is only necessary to carry the audio signal over.
How to cast to Fire stick from PC or laptop
For the majority of people, they’ll actually be looking to send things in the opposite direction.
The good news is that you can connect your laptop to your Fire stick and set up screen mirroring, which will show your laptop screen on whichever device your Fire stick is plugged into (probably your television).
If you want to do this, then you just need to hold down the home button on your Fire stick for a few seconds. Then, you’ll get the option to select the Mirroring option. This will allow you to connect your laptop to your Fire stick.
Then, when you go to the connections available on your laptop, you should be able to find your Amazon Fire stick in there. Simply click to connect the two, and your laptop should start screen mirroring onto your home television.
Overall, for the most part it’s actually not possible for you to use an Amazon Fire stick with your laptop. Whilst there are some exceptions to the rule, like specific laptops which have HDMI input, connecting your Fire stick and your laptop together isn’t going to work.
Most people just go ahead and use their favourite streaming services in browser, or within the app. If you want to watch live TV with your Fire stick, you’ll need a capture card or to just invest in a TV or monitor.