Your laptop has access to Amazon Prime Video by browser, so connecting your Amazon Fire TV Stick to it to watch Prime Video can be a little redundant. However, there are ways to connect the FireStick to your laptop. That is possible with some finagling.
So you want to connect a firestick to the laptop. Keep on reading to find out how to go about it. It’s not as easy as just plugging the FireStick into your laptop’s HDMI port though.
How to Connect FireStick to Laptop
You can watch the FireStick on your laptop but it requires a few extra steps to make it all possible. It might also require extra equipment, ranging from adapters and converters in case you’re using VGA instead of HDMI as well as various other paraphernalia (like the HDMI video capture device).
Your primary mode of connection for the HDMI-based Fire TV Stick is naturally the HDMI port of your laptop. If your laptop lacks the HDMI port you’ll have to do extra finagling to make the stick to work.
Using the HDMI-Out Port
Many modern laptops from 2002 and beyond have an extra HDMI-Out port on top of the ever-persistent VGA port for use with monitors. They’re similar to the HDMI port found on HDTVs, but they work a little differently. Laptops can only send videos signals on their HDMI out ports.
This enables them to connect to external monitors and HDTV for the sake of screen duplication or mirroring. The FireStick also uses the HDMI broadcast output to stream content. Therefore, the FireStick and laptop are designed to use the same thing.
Long story short, no, simply plugging your FireStick’s HDMI connector to your laptop’s HDMI-Out port isn’t enough for the devices to recognize each other. You need extra hardware or an HDMI-In port
Using HDMI Video Capture Device
If your laptop lacks an HDMI-In port and only has an HDMI-Out port, you need to hookup your Fire TV Stick to an HDMI video capture device. This gadget converts the video output on your stick into a format that’s readable to your computer.
- Bypass the HDMI-Out Port: The hardware also enables you to bypass the HDMI-Out port and instead use the USB 3.0 port in order to run the Amazon Fire TV Stick like a USB thumb drive or flash drive that it’s supposed to be reminiscent of.
- Video Capture Variants: You can avail of video capture devices that enable you to plug your FireStick then connect to the USB 3.0 port of your laptop in order for your notebook PC to read the Amazon streaming stick like a DVD player and the like.
- Incompatible Video Output: If your HDMI video capture device isn’t compatible with the encrypted video output of your Fire TV Stick, you’ll need another device to add to it known as the HDMI Splitter. So now you need two devices to make the FireStick laptop-readable.
- Special Streaming Software: To display your FireStick on your laptop, some video capture devices require special streaming software that isn’t the app or operating system that came with the FireStick. You can use things like OBS Studio (freeware) to allow FireStick streaming.
- Do We Need to Reiterate? Part of the reason why you need to jump hoops to make the FireStick readable for PC and laptops is because those devices can easily use Chrome or Firefox to watch the same streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video, and Hulu.
How to Connect FireStick to Your Computer Monitor
Want to use your FireStick on your computer monitor or projector? Unlike your desktop PC or notebook PC, connecting the streaming media player to an external monitor is simple. This is because its HDMI is HDMI-Out or reserved for use with display devices like monitors and TVs.
It’s as opposed to HDMI-In for use with media sources like laptops, DVD players, game consoles, and cable/satellite boxes. Just go to your monitor’s HDMI port or use a HDMI to VGA adapter to connect the Fire TV Stick to the monitor.
How about Audio or Speaker Concerns?
Now you have a screen that allows you to control your stick via remote. However, you might need a speaker to hear sound from your streaming stick. Not all monitors have built-in speakers like TVs. You might need to split the connection with an HDMI splitter to allow for speaker connections.
Or you could connect a pair of headphones or external speakers when push comes to shove. If you have a VGA adapter, make sure to get one with an audio, output instead of just a video one.
Just Connect Your FireStick to Your TV
When all else fails, just connect your Amazon Fire TV Stick into an HDTV or smart TV like god intended. Sure, you’ll have to set everything up like switching to HDMI1 or HDMI2 on your TV, but at least you won’t have to hunt down an HDMI video capture device, HDMI splitter, or software for your FireStick.
The FireStick is supposed to work on an HDTV, smart TV, Ultra HD 4KTV, and so forth. Just remember to put in those AAA batteries on your FireStick remote that should remotely pair or connect with the Fire TV Stick automatically.
Otherwise, just press and hold the Home button until the LED of the remote rapidly flashes an amber color. Regardless of whether you connect the FireStick to a laptop or HDTV, you will still need an Amazon Prime account for it to properly work. You also need to set it up for Wi-Fi and whatnot.
Factors to Consider
Both the laptop and an Amazon Fire TV Stick serve as media sources rather than media displays. Even though the laptop has a built-in screen, it’s still mainly a device like the Fire TV Stick. Therefore, they both possess HDMI connectors for HDMI-Out that link them to monitors and TVs.
To make the FireStick readable or usable with your laptop, you need what’s known as the HDMI video capture device to convert the FireStick’s HDMI-Out into a USB input that’s readable via the USB 3.0 standard. You don’t have to use the laptop’s HDMI-Out either.
- “Set Up Your Fire TV Stick“, Amazon.com Customer Support, Retrieved April 19, 2022
- “How to connect an Amazon Fire TV Stick on your laptop“, Asurion.com, July 28, 2021
- Clifford Colby, “Got a new Amazon Fire TV stick? Here’s how to set it up for the first time“, CNET.com, December 29, 2019