Ever since getting married (and before having kids), my wife and I vowed never to have cable. Any way you look at it, cable from Rogers or Bell just lacks and the cost to us was never justifiable. A quick look today, and a “Popular TV‘ package is $74.99/month. That’s a lot of money.
So in our journey for affordable television for our kids, we have been using this Terk indoor TV antenna and have been getting around 10 crystal clear HD channels absolutely free. But the only decent channel we could get for children was TVOntario; and I had a feeling at some point, watching Arthur would not be enough for my son. Then with the popularity of Kodi and Android boxes, I decided to try out an MX Pro box, but it wasn’t able to play all the shows and the remote/user interface was very poorly designed. I almost gave up, until I found the Amazon Fire TV Streaming Media Player.
Cool (But Costly) Amazon Coolness Built-In
Right on the box, the Amazon Fire TV boasts over 10,000 apps, games, and Alexa skills including access to over 300,000 TV episodes and movies on Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO NOW, Hulu, and more. With an Amazon Prime membership, one would get unlimited access to Prime Video, featuring thousands of movies and TV episodes at no additional cost. But I wasn’t sold on this box for those reasons, as the costs would easily add up and wouldn’t make it any different from cable.
But Kodi Makes Amazon Fire TV Worth Buying
What is Kodi? In short, it is a free, open source piece of media centre software that can run on your Android phone or home PC. Its purpose is to provide a way to control all your digital media from a central hub in the home. Because of this, it can also tap into online databases to provide information on them (think streaming videos). So when I stumbled onto Troypoint’s how-to install Kodi on Fire TV blog, I realized that the Amazon Fire TV could be the answer to my ongoing search for cable freedom.
What My Kids Watch on Amazon Fire TV with Kodi
My kids watch both TV shows and the latest movies using Kodi on Amazon Fire TV. Almost every cartoon series can be found easily (and the past seasons too), all in at least 720p. Anything from Mickey Mouse Club House to Peppa Pig is easily accessible. For us dads who grew up in the 80s, you can even find retro cartoons like Thundercats and GI Joe. Anyone remember Silverhawks??? Movies are also available (and in fact, I think it does a better job at making the newest movies out there available). I was able to enjoy Sing with my son early this year.
Why Is the Amazon Fire TV and Kodi Combo So Great?
Having used a cheaper Android box with Kodi before, I can tell you it was disappointing for two reasons: shows wouldn’t play and the remote was the worst thing you could ever use. Here is why Kodi and Amazon Fire TV are a match made in heaven:
- Amazon Fire TV’s remote. It is simple, intuitive and smooth like butter. Mated to Kodi, it just works.
- Amazon Fire TV’s hardware. It doesn’t say on the box how much RAM it has, but having used the cheaper Android boxes I always ran into the problem of “not enough memory to play this video”. With the Amazon box, I have never seen this happen.
- Kid-friendly. With no cable, finding kid-friendly content to watch is very limited. But with this my kids can watch anything they want. Disney movies, Treehouse shows, or the latest kids movies.
- Wife-approved. When my wife first saw me set this up, she thought it was just another BS device I was wasting money on. But when I showed her she can watch all 10 seasons of Friends at her leisure, for free, her attitude changed. What’s really awesome is that she can actually navigate Kodi herself and find her shows using the Amazon Fire remote-this just proves how well the remote works with Kodi.
A Dad’s Final Thoughts
The Amazon Fire TV is a great option for providing kids TV shows and movies. It is a one time purchase of $89.99 USD (currently on Amazon) and installing Kodi is free. All you need other than that is a TV and Internet connection. No other costs apply. That sounds like a great option to me.
Note: I have been using Amazon Fire TV with Kodi for more than 8 months and everything has been flawless (even with the KODI 17 Krypton software update). So for me, this is a huge plus since nothing else that I’ve used before has been able to provide this type of stability.
Review Ratings: Amazon Fire TV with Kodi for Kids Shows
A one-time purchase, no subscriptions, and a wide range of shows and movies for the kids (and even the wife). Can't beat that!