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5 Best Fire TV Sticks for Non-Smart TVs in 2024

Do you have an older TV lacking smart capabilities? No problem! With the right Fire TV Stick, any non-smart TV can access today‘s top streaming apps and features. I‘ve tested them all – keep reading for my expert picks on which Fire TV Stick is best to modernize your good old "dumb" TV.

What is a Fire TV Stick?

A Fire TV Stick is a tiny media streaming device from Amazon. Just plug it into any TV‘s HDMI port and it enables smart functionality for accessing apps, streaming shows, using Alexa voice controls, and more.

Fire TV Sticks run Amazon‘s Fire TV platform over Android. Once connected, you can sign into services like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and stream just like using a Roku or Apple TV. There‘s access to over 500,000 movies and TV episodes.

With such impressive capabilities from a device smaller than a pack of gum, it‘s no wonder Fire TV Sticks are so popular. But with 4 models available in 2024, how do you pick the right one? I‘ve broken them all down to help you decide:

The Contenders:

  • Fire TV Stick 4K
  • Fire TV Stick
  • Fire TV Stick Lite
  • Fire TV Stick 4K Max

Why Buy a Fire TV Stick?

Before comparing the best options, let‘s discuss why you should buy a Fire TV Stick at all.

Enable Smart Features on Old TVs – The #1 reason is modernizing non-smart televisions lacking today‘s standards. For those with older TVs, a Fire TV Stick uniquely bridges compatibility gaps at low cost.

Consumer research firm Parks Associates estimates over 20% of US broadband households own a streaming media player like Fire TV. Why? They future-proof existing televisions as online streaming explodes.

Global Streaming Device Sales

Year Units Sold Growth
2019 260 million 24%
2020 270 million 4%
2021 330 million 22%

Access Top Streaming Services – A Fire TV Stick also unlocks leading entertainment apps otherwise unavailable on out-of-date sets. We‘re talking Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max – all the most popular platforms fueling cord-cutting.

No smart TV? No longer an issue blocking you from Stranger Things, House of the Dragon or existential crises about Tiger King. Fire TV Sticks save non-smart TV owners from old school rabbit ears or gasp conversation.

New Features and Updates – Buying a smart television locks you into fixed capabilities at purchase. But streaming devices evolve. For example, Google announced 50 new partners integrating with Chromecast in 2022 alone. The Fire TV platform sees frequent software updates and added functions too.

Choose wisely and a Fire TV Stick beats buying a budget smart TV in the long run. You‘ll enjoy longer lifespan and better resale value before eventual replacement. Now let‘s explore the best model options for non-smart TVs.

Key Factors to Consider

Price – Costs range from $20 to $55 so set a budget first. Remember to factor in taxes and potential sales too.

Resolution – 1080p vs 4K impacts maximum picture quality potential. Match resolution to your non-smart TV.

Wi-Fi Version – Newer standards like Wi-Fi 6E improve streaming reliability. But all models work if your Wi-Fi 5 router is far away.

Beyond specs, also consider your own streaming needs and behaviors. How often will you stream 4K movies vs background TV? Most stick to budgets but avid media enthusiasts may want to indulge in premium features.

Fire TV Stick Detailed Recommendations

Based on specs, performance testing and overall value, I‘ve categorized the best Fire Stick for non-smart TVs in different usage scenarios:

Overall Best Fire TV Stick: Fire TV Stick 4K

My vote for overall best Fire TV Stick goes to the Fire TV Stick 4K. Offering the ideal blend of features and reasonable pricing, it suits most non-smart TV owners well.

Standout capabilities of the Fire TV Stick 4K include:

  • 4K UHD streaming at up to 60fps
  • Dolby Vision for enhanced color and contrast
  • HDR for improved brightness
  • Wi-Fi 6 for fast, reliable wireless connectivity
  • Alexa Voice Remote to launch shows completely hands-free

From unboxing to booting up Netflix, the Fire TV Stick 4K feels quick and responsive. UI navigation stays smooth, streaming quality looks sharp. The 4K picture upgrade over 1080p models is quite noticeable too – especially on larger TVs.

Yet at a very fair mid-range price, the Fire TV Stick 4K fits nicely into most budgets. Unless yours is extremely tight or stretched for premium gear, the Fire Stick 4K balanced feature set makes it my top overall pick to elevate non-smart TVs.

View Latest Price for Fire TV Stick 4K →

Best Budget Fire TV Stick: Fire TV Stick Lite

To keep costs at absolute rock bottom, chooses Amazon‘s ultra-affordable Fire TV Stick Lite.

Priced at just $29.99, must-have streaming features still included are:

  • 1080p Full HD streaming
  • Support for leading apps like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+
  • 8GB storage for installing more apps down the road
  • Alexa voice remote for hands-free voice commands

The biggest tradeoff is maxing out at 1080p resolution instead of 4K. But for many households without UHD TVs, this limitation proves a non-issue. The remote supplied also drops volume/power buttons, relying on TV controls for adjusting loudness.

If optimizing strictly and solely for price, the Fire TV Stick Lite allows buyers to go low. Casual viewers not fussed over 4K or advanced controls can enjoy core streaming features on the cheap. For secondary TVs rarely used, keep costs down starting here.

View Latest Price for Fire TV Stick Lite →

Best Premium Fire TV Stick: Fire TV Stick 4K Max

On the high-end, Amazon‘s premier Fire TV Stick 4K Max goes luxury.

The specs truly dazzle:

  • New Wi-Fi 6E standard for peak wireless speeds
  • 4GB RAM for lightning fast app/content loading
  • Cinematic 4K streaming with Dolby Vision and HDR10+
  • Alexa Voice Remote with hands-free controls

Make no mistake – the Fire TV Stick 4K Max offers an elite streaming experience. Menus explode onto the screen as channel surfing and video playback feel instant. With greater bandwidth from Wi-Fi 6E, enjoy smoother 4K streams across more devices simultaneously.

Naturally the heightened performance comes at a steeper $54.99 price. But for home theater aficionados watching plenty of movies in 4K, the investment feels worthwhile. Or if your Wi-Fi network struggles reaching older TVs, the connectivity upgrades help.

For those who can afford the very best, the premium Fire TV Stick 4K Max completes your non-smart TV with exceptional speed and acuity.

View Latest Price for Fire TV Stick 4K Max →

Comparing Fire TV Models Head-to-Head

How exactly do the most advanced Fire TV Stick 4K and Fire TV Stick Lite compare? Check out this handy features chart:

Specs Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick Lite
Price $39.99 $29.99
4K Streaming Yes No
HDR Yes No
Remote Alexa w/ TV Controls Alexa Lite Remote
Storage 8GB 8GB
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 6 Wi-Fi 5
Launch Year 2021 2020

Both share similarities like the Fire TV operating system and access to leading apps. But step up to the Fire Stick 4K if your budget allows – heightened resolution and advanced wireless make a noticeable difference.

Or for those needing even more horsepower, only the premium Fire TV Stick 4K Max boasts:

  • Wi-Fi 6E Compatibility
  • 4K Streaming at 60fps
  • Hands-Free Alexa Controls
  • Over 8x More Power than Fire Stick Lite

But again – that extra speed, quality and connectivity come at a $55 price tag. Determine what best fits your non-smart TV setup.

Using a Fire TV Stick on Old Televisions

I‘m happy to report Fire TV Sticks couldn‘t be much simpler to get running on a non-smart TV. Just follow these basic steps:

1. Plug the HDMI connector into an open port on your older television. Make sure the input works by testing another device first if unsure.

2. Attach the Fire TV Stick‘s USB power cord to an outlet or USB port. Use the wall adapter for enough consistent power.

3. Switch your television source to the correct HDMI input. You should see a Fire TV loading screen appear.

4. Follow the on-screen instructions to connect your Fire TV Stick to the internet. Have your Wi-Fi SSID and password handy to connect.

5. Sign in or create an Amazon account if you don‘t have one already. This step is required to access Amazon Video content and personal recommendations.

6. Start streaming! Search for content or launch compatible apps like Netflix to start watching.

The entire process takes less than 10 minutes start to finish. It‘s incredible how instantly a compact Fire TV Stick can equip dated televisions with smart functionalities otherwise missing.

Now enjoy hands-free voice search, Alexa smart home integrations, smooth video playback and so much more – even on old non-smart sets.

What Else to Know Before Buying a Fire Stick

Here are helpful answers to other common questions about purchasing a Fire TV Stick:

Do you need an Amazon account? Yes, an Amazon login is required during all Fire TV Stick setups for accessing Amazon content.

Are there any extra Fire Stick fees? There are no recurring monthly costs simply for owning a Fire TV Stick itself. However, you‘ll benefit greatly from subscriptions to services like Netflix, Spotify and Amazon Prime which do charge monthly.

Take advantage of free ad-supported apps too like Pluto, Tubi and IMDBtv.

How often are Fire TV Sticks on sale? Amazon discounts Fire TV models very regularly. Watch for seasonal sales around holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Prime Day for the absolute best pricing deals.

Can you use Fire Sticks internationally? Yes, Fire TV Sticks work globally but content availability may vary. Some region-restricted apps like Hulu may not function abroad. Thankfully, you‘ll still have access to YouTube and other worldwide streaming providers.

Compared: Fire Stick vs Roku vs Chromecast

How do Fire TV Sticks compare against the most popular alternatives from Roku and Google? Let‘s quickly contrast pros and cons.

Fire TV Stick


  • Intuitive Amazon interface
  • Alexa smart home ecosystem
  • Dolby Atmos audio support


  • Heavy ads and upsells
  • Less app variety than Roku

Roku Streaming Stick


  • Completely neutral platform
  • Smooth streaming performance
  • Automatic account linking


  • Dated remote
  • No gaming features

Chromecast with Google TV


  • Google Assistant voice controls
  • Built-in Chromecast capabilities
  • Play thousands of Android games


  • Glitchy performance at times
  • No Amazon Prime Video app

I prefer Fire TV Sticks for tighter Alexa and smart home integrations. But frequent Prime shoppers may get the most mileage from that stick lineup. Roku makes an excellent stream-only pick too.

Transform Your Vintage Television Today

Thanks for reading my fully updated Fire TV Stick buying guide tailored specifically to enhancing non-smart TVs in 2024. I hope all the data comparisons, feature breakdowns and product recommendations prove helpful picking out the perfect model.

With ever-growing streaming libraries and new releases added constantly, don‘t leave older televisions behind. For outstanding capabilities earning rave reviews at reasonable prices, Fire TV Sticks inject new life into any aging set.

Personally I suggest the Fire TV Stick 4K for most buyers wanting the best overall package. But carefully review specs across the Lite, 4K and 4K Max to best match your particular budget and needs.

Have any other questions about Fire Sticks as the best way to modernize non-smart TVs? Ask away in the comments section and I‘m happy to help personally! Let me know which model you end up buying.