I thought I had found a use for my $20 Amazon Fire TV Stick. Unfortunately, it's not a great digital photo frame. It will display a screensaver of photos from my Amazon Cloud Drive. I took a few minutes to throw some photos in a directory on the Amazon Cloud Drive website, then configured the device's screensaver functionality to show them. Unfortunately it goes completely to sleep after about 10 minutes of showing the screensaver, so I don't get the long photo slideshow I wanted, or the always on weather screen I would have settled for.

I picked up this little streaming device for no particular reason, other than it was really affordable for prime members, and we watch quite a bit of Free Amazon Prime streaming video in this house. The entire device is about twice the size of a USB flash drive. It plugs directly into a free HDMI port on the back of your TV, and it uses an addtional USB cable to provide more power. These devices don't need more power than is proveded by the USB ports on the back of your TV, but it helps to use the provided wall wart which give more juice. The Fire Stick will warn you a few times if you use a lower power USB port to power it that things will work, but not as well as they could if you plug it in with it's own power adapter.


I have the one Weather App in it's app store running and it shows whenever I hit a button on the remote. Which is nice but not the "glancable" always-on display I wanted. I have a custom Raspberry Pi Dashboard running normally, but it's kinda difficult to maintain and update for most people so I'm waiting to do a writeup on it until I have it refined a little more. I was kinda hoping the Fire Stick would offer me the home dashboard and photo frame functionality I wanted, without all the fiddling and customization. Sadly, not yet. You may be asking "how is it at playing streaming videos?" Totally acceptable. *Shrug*. I still like watching TV on our laptops and iPad. One complaint about the hardware: I really wish the remote had a navigation click ring like used to exist on the old iPods for fast list scrolling.