Last Updated on January 8, 2021
In this article, we have compiled a list of Best Media Players For Firestick. These media players are also compatible with other Fire TV devices, including the Fire TV Cube, Fire TV (Gen 3), Fire TV Edition smart TVs, and Fire TV Edition soundbars.
Amazon’s Fire TV devices are capable enough to handle high-resolution streams. It also applies to the most affordable Fire TV devices, Firestick and Firestick 4K, capable of playing back high-bitrate 1080p and 4K content, respectively.
Ripping Blu-Rays is a common hobby among home cinema enthusiasts since they offer the best quality possible. Also, hosting it on a network-attached storage device (e.g., a PC on the same network) gives Bly-Ray owners the freedom to access the content from anywhere they want. As most streaming devices lack adequate internal storage, users either have to rely on either remote data transfer over the network or a dedicated external storage device.
The Firestick is no exception. Although it’s possible to fit a low-bitrate, Full-HD content in Firestick’s internal storage, only a few apps offer the downloading feature, and media players are a rare find, at least judging by the availability in the Amazon Appstore. However, with the correct adapter, you can expand the Firestick’s storage by connecting a high-capacity flash drive, so storage isn’t the issue.
As Amazon expects users not to download media files on Fire TV devices and stream them instead, only a very few media players have passed the policies of Amazon Appstore. But, Firestick runs on a forked version of Android, and users still can sideload APK files to bypass the Amazon Appstore’s limitations.
Assuming that you are using a dedicated network or physical storage drive to watch content offline, there are a few media players you can use on your Firestick. In this guide, we have shortlisted the Best Media Players For Firestick, so that you can have a smooth playback experience and spend less time fixing issues.
Best Media Players For FireStick
Last Updated on January 8, 2021
VLC for Fire
VLC for Fire is a rebranded version of VLC for Android TV, and it retains all the core VLC features. Most of you probably have some idea what functionalities VLC offer on Windows and macOS.
VLC for Fire supports almost all types of video and lossless audio formats, including MKB, MP4, AVI, MOV, WebM, FLAC, AC3, MP3, and many more. It has native support for H.264 and H.265 (HEVC) codecs, as well as HDR content with 10-bit colors. It even identifies embedded and external subtitles and lets users select it from the media file.
One of the hidden features of VLC for Fire is its ability to play network streams, especially IPTV ones. While it doesn’t properly integrate IPTV-centric features, you can switch channels from the playlist, as well as enable subtitles on VOD streams. In addition, you can play media files from either local or remote storage (on the same network).
VLC’s open-source decoder is also very efficient. It intelligently allocates CPU and GPU resources to provide smooth and lag-free media playback. Streaming devices with limited processing power, such as the Firestick, can also playback high-bitrate content with ease. Multi-core and full hardware decoding are available on VLC for Fire.
VLC for Fire’s Leanback interface is a delight to use, with every menu laid out on the home screen. With a Fire TV Remote, you can control the playback without toggling the playback menu. It makes up for an uninterrupted streaming experience.
VLC is undoubtedly our personal favorite when it comes to media players. It is also a must-have app for Firestick, especially if you have an offline collection of movies and other content. VLC for Fire is officially available in the Amazon Appstore for download.
MX Player is one of the most downloaded media players on Android and iOS devices. When it comes to firestick, MX Player is one of the best media or video players for firestick. It is the first feature-packed media player for Android that natively supported multi-core decoding.
MX Player is based on the same FFmpeg library used by VLC, so the video, audio, and subtitle support is not something you have to worry about. The most recent update has also brought AV1 codec support, which is currently being used by YouTube and Netflix because of its efficiency, performance, and less bandwidth usage.
MX Player’s hardware decoder can handle high-resolution content without dropping frames or stutters. However, it lets users choose between hardware and software decoding, in case there’s even a sling improvement in playback performance that the user can adjust on their own. Many third-party streaming apps on Firestick with external player support recommend using MX Player for content streaming, as it can handle heavy network streams without hiccups.
Alongside regular playback controls, you also can take advantage of A/B repeat and timer features from the MX Player’s interface. While MX Player doesn’t officially have support for Fire TV devices, it’s still possible to control the media playback using the Fire TV Remote.
Speaking of support, the Amazon Appstore doesn’t offer MX Player for Fire TV devices. It shouldn’t be confused with MX Player TV, which is a separate streaming service that offers ad-supported content in India. You can download the latest version of MX Player from either the official developer website (here – https://bit.ly/30tcsiJ), then sideload it to your Firestick.
Plex is a client-server media player that lets you play media player from your personal media library. It does not only support all audio, video, and subtitle formats but also provides granular controls over the playback quality. Thanks to its user interface, Plex delivers an unmatched home streaming experience.
Once you install and set up the Plex Media Server software on your PC, you can access your personal media library from the Plex client software on the same home network. You can also configure it to allow streaming over a different network, as long as the server is up and running.
Instead of client-side stream transcoding, you can set up Plex to use your PC’s processing power for accelerating the stream and sending the processed data over the network. This is useful especially when the Firestick can’t handle high-bitrate Blu-Ray content.
Plex also automatically generates posters, ratings, descriptions, and neatly organizes movies, episodic series, music tracks, and podcasts, so that it’s easier to find your favorite movie or TV show from the Plex library. The user interface is intuitive, and the first-time client-server setup process is straightforward, even for inexperienced users.
Plex also offers an on-demand library of ad-supported movies and TV shows for free. If you get the optional Plex Pass subscription, then you can also set up Plex Live TV with a supported digital antenna and tuner. You can then enjoy free OTT channels in high-definition, including ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC.
The Plex client app can be downloaded from the Amazon Appstore. To get it working, you can follow Plex’s official guide to set up the server and enjoy streaming content from your personal Plex library on Firestick.
Kodi is a media management software similar to Plex but offers more flexibility in terms of customization. By default, you can use Kodi to play media player from a local or remote source, and it supports almost every audio and video format. You can also toggle on embedded subtitles or import an external subtitle file when needed.
Add-ons are what make Kodi different from other media players in the market. You can download them from Kodi’s official add-on repository, which comes preloaded with the Kodi app. However, you also can install third-party repositories on Kodi, which hosts community add-ons that offer free movies and TV shows. There are a few add-ons that even offer IPTV channel streams for free, albeit from illegitimate sources.
Kodi has been in constant development since 2002, and its userbase is quite massive, which is why the Kodi add-on development scene is still relevant. Streaming services that are not officially available on Firestick can be downloaded on Kodi as an add-on, and Kodi’s user interface makes it far better to use instead of a frustrating experience with the slower web versions of various streaming services.
You can also install Kodi builds over the vanilla version, which comes with preloaded themes and add-ons, so that you won’t have to spend your precious time customizing various aspects of Kodi.
At the time of this writing, the latest version of Kodi is v18.6 Leia. However, you have to sideload the Kodi APK file on Firestick ever since it was removed from the Amazon Appstore back in 2017. You can download the latest Android version of Kodi from kodi.tv, which is the official website. Make sure that you are downloading the ARMV7A (32-bit) version for the Firestick. The recent versions of Firestick do have a 64-bit processor, but the Fire OS operating system runs in 32-bit mode for some unknown reasons.
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That’s it for our shortlist of best media players for Firestick. Although we could have added more media players in this list, most of them are not optimized for the Fire TV interface, making the navigation unusable with the Fire TV Remote.