Should you connect the Amazon Fire TV Stick to your computer when you can just use your web browser to access Amazon Prime Video and whatnot? Well, why not? It’s streaming hardware with its own OS and software app.
Technically, you should be able to use an Amazon Fire TV Stick or FireStick on your PC or laptop. The question is, why bother? A laptop, PC, or even tablet should easily view Amazon Prime Video by your web browser. The FireStick was made to allow non-smart TVs PC-like accessibility to Prime or Netflix.
However, like playing console games from your PlayStation, Xbox, or Switch on your PC via emulator, there are ways for you to view FireStick via computer. So let’s talk about how to connect firesticks to computers.
How to Connect FireStick to Computer
Don’t connect your FireStick to a computer like you would your TV. Instead, use something like an HDMI capture device to make the stick as readable as a USB flash drive or external HDD. This capture device should have a USB 3.0 connection to boot.
You can also connect the FireStick to a computer monitor and use it like you would a regular PC. Or the monitor can serve as your TV screen. The FireStick’s HDMI-Out port as a media source should coincide with the monitor’s HDMI-In port as a display device.
Make sure your monitor has the right screen resolution and proper connections. Otherwise, you’ll need to invest in extra adapters for a VGA or RCA connection.
Why Can’t the FireStick Connect Directly to a PC?
A desktop PC is not like a laptop PC where everything is built into one unit. It’s actually several units—a monitor, a mouse, a keyboard, a speaker system, and desktop computer itself. The HDMI port on a desktop PC is the HDMI-Out. The same as the HDMI-Out of a FireStick.
You need an HDMI-In found in display devices like a TV, monitor, or projector in order to connect a media source like your FIreStick or a PC to display their contents. You can’t stick the FireStick to a PC’s HDMI-Out. It’s like sticking your DVD’s HDMI-Out to a Blu-Ray’s HDMI-Out.
They’re both source media. They connect to display devices to display their contents not to each other. Long story short, the only thing your FIreStick needs to “connect” to a PC is its monitor.
Why Shouldn’t You Bother Connecting a FireStick to a PC?
Even if you could use the FireStick on your desktop or laptop PC, it’s kind of redundant to use it there seeing that you can access Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Prime Video, HBO Max, Disney+, Peacock, the WWE Network, and so forth from your Internet browser.
Why bother making a third-party device with its own operating system that runs mostly on HDTVs to work on your PC when you can connect it to your monitor and still have it work or you can use your web browser like Chrome and Firefox to do the same thing?
It’s repetitive. It’s like trying to connect your game console to a PC in order to connect to the Internet when game consoles in 2022 all have online capabilities of their own without assistance from the PC.
Use an HDMI Video Capture Device
If you insist on connecting your FireStick to your PC or laptop, you can’t do it on the HDMI-Out port of either device. You need to hookup the Fire TV Stick to an HDMI video capture device instead. This way, you can use it on your PC like a program or extra hard disk.
- A Readable Format: The device turns your FireStick’s HDMI-Out video output into a USB 3.0 input that your PC can read, thus bypassing the HDMI-Out port. This also allows your laptop or desktop to read the Amazon Fire TV Stick like a USB flash drive or external HDD.
- Different Types of Video Capture Device: Some video capture devices allow you to plug the FireStick’s HDMI connector and play it like you would when it’s plugged into your HDTV. Other video capture devices only have a VGA port, thus, you need an extra HDMI adapter or splitter.
- Special Streaming Software: Aside from certain capture devices requiring splitters or adapters to read the FireStick’s HDMI connector—even if they have an HDMI-In port—you might also need freeware like OBS Studio in order to read the contents of your FireStick’s OS software.
- The Best-Case Scenario: The best-case scenario for you is to find a video capture device with an HDMI-In port and the ability to make your FireStick as readable to your PC as an external HDD or even smartphone. That way, you only need the device as your extra hardware.
How to Mirror Your Windows Machine on a FireStick
You can connect the FireStick on your TV then mirror what’s displayed on your computer. Why, you may ask? Streamcasting is a way you can connect your Windows PC and your FireStick together like with Chromecast but with FireStick serving as the Chromecast device.
This allows you to view content viewable on your PC to your TV without linking the TV and the PC together by wires and HDMI ports.
The Steps Needed to Mirror Your PC on a FireStick-Linked HDTV
To mirror your PC, first press and hold the home button on your Amazon FireStick remote. On the menu, choose the “Mirroring” option. Now go to your Windows PC, connect it to the same home Wi-Fi as your FireStick, then open “Notifications”.
Click the messaging icon on the bottom right-hand corner, select “Expand”, select “FireStick” on the available list of devices, and then select “Connect” to complete the process.
You can choose between “Duplicate”, “Extend” (for multi-display or multi-monitor setups), and “Second Screen Only” (the PC screen is only visible on the HDTV or projector while on the desktop/laptop screen it is blank).
Can I connect my Fire Stick to my computer?
Amazon Fire TV Sticks can connect directly to a monitor via HDMI or a computer via a capture card. An HDMI splitter that supports HDCP1. 2 is needed when using a capture card and connecting via monitors. A Windows computer display can be shown on a Fire TV Stick wirelessly by using the cast option.
Can I use the Fire Stick on a computer monitor via a USB HDMI adapter?
Modern monitors all support the HDMI standard and have at least one input port so this won’t be a problem. The Fire TV Stick uses an HDMI output, so a monitor with an HDMI port will accept your Fire TV Stick without any issues.
How do I access my Fire Stick from USB?
Fire TV Stick, tips & tricks: how to connect external usb ntfs drive
Is Amazon Fire Stick compatible with USB port?
Fire Stick Cable, for Amazon Fire TV Stick, Power The TV Stick Directly from TVs USB Port.
Getting into the Nitty-Gritty
Connecting the FireStick to a PC is like connecting a BD player to a DVD player or a PlayStation to a Nintendo Switch. They’re both the same thing and they use HDMI output ports designed for the HDMI input ports of TVs, monitors, and projectors instead of fellow source media.
You can finagle your way to running a FireStick on your PC like you would when sticking a flash drive or your smartphone to it via USB. However, why bother? You can view Netflix and Prime Video by web browser anyway!
- “How to connect an Amazon Fire TV Stick on your laptop“, Asurion.com, July 28, 2021
- Snead, “How To Use A Firestick On Your Computer“, SmarterHomeGuide.com, March 30, 2022