In this article, I will show you how to watch FireStick on your laptop so you can enjoy your favorite content on the go. The instructions I will show here also work with the FireStick 4K, FireStick Lite, and the new FireStick 4K Max.
Amazon’s FireStick has played an immense role in revolutionizing streaming. The nifty device is one of the easiest ways to watch movies, TV shows, documentaries, and loads of other content.
But its usefulness extends beyond streaming video-on-demand and live content. With the FireStick, users can also carry out tasks like conducting Zoom videos and browsing the internet.
Several other advantages sell the FireStick and make it such a popular choice among cord cutters, such as its portability and ease of use. However, that has some FireStick users wondering if they can stream their favorite content on the go when they don’t have access to a TV. Can you watch a FireStick on a laptop, perhaps?
Attention, FireStick Users!
Governments and ISPs constantly monitor your online activity, and accessing copyrighted content on your Fire TV Stick could lead to serious trouble. Currently, your IP is visible to everyone. I strongly recommend getting the best FireStick VPN to mask your IP address and securely stream your favorites.
I personally use ExpressVPN, the fastest and most secure VPN available. Not only is it easy to install on any device, it comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee. Plus, if you're not 100% satisfied, you can always get a refund. ExpressVPN is currently also offering a whopping 3 extra months free on their annual plan!
Can You Watch a FireStick on a Laptop?
The short answer is yes, FireStick users can use the streaming device to watch content on a laptop. That said, it’s not a simple plug-and-play process.
There is a major factor that prevents you from following the same steps as you would with a TV. Most TVs and computer monitors come with HDMI input ports. This is what imports video into the device and allows you to watch your FireStick on a TV.
Laptops also have HDMI ports, so you would think it should be just as easy, right?
Wrong. Unfortunately, laptops come with HDMI output ports most of the time. This is what allows them to mirror or cast content to a TV or external monitor via HDMI. Because you can only plug the FireStick directly into an HDMI input port, this presents a problem.
Note: Before we get to the solutions, I want to point out that there’s a difference between watching your FireStick on your laptop and mirroring your laptop to your FireStick. If you simply want to view your laptop screen on your FireStick, you can easily mirror your laptop to your FireStick without any special equipment.
If you’re still determined to view your FireStick on your laptop, it’s probably because you want to use your FireStick but you can’t access a compatible TV. But regardless of your reasons, read on to see the solutions.
Ways to Watch FireStick on a Laptop
Full disclosure, there is no quick and easy fix to this issue. The methods I am going to highlight are a little complicated (or expensive).
That said, let’s get down to it.
1. Get a Video Capture Device
First, we’ll discuss how you can watch your FireStick on a laptop using a video capture device. Also called a capture card, this gadget is used with a computer to capture the displayed content and encode it for playback. It is frequently used by video game streamers.
More relevantly, a video capture device can record audio–visual signals from the FireStick and transmit them to your laptop. It converts the signals into a format that your laptop can understand, negating the need for an HDMI port. In fact, video capture devices have USB, PCIe, USB-C, or Thunderbolt 3 connections.
The BASERY Video Capture Card is a great budget option for watching your FireStick on your laptop.
Note: There may be another complication that comes with using a capture card to watch your FireStick on a laptop. The FireStick uses the HDCP, or High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection, protocol. This is an anti-piracy tool that prevents digital content from being copied. Most video capture devices do not work with HDCP. You may need to use an HDMI switch to bypass the encryption protocol that powers HDCP. Essentially, an HDMI switch makes it so only the standard HDMI signal can go through. But first, you should try using just a video capture card in case an HDMI switch is not necessary.
The BASERY Video Capture Card requires a specific kind of software before you can properly set up your FireStick. OBS Studio is a free open-source software that does the job perfectly. It is a multi-platform software that works on Windows, Mac, and Linux laptops.
Here’s a quick but excellent video tutorial on setting up your FireStick with the BASERY Video Capture Card and OBS Studio:
Believe it or not, this is the better of the two options for viewing your FireStick on a laptop. Let’s check out the next option.
2. Get a Laptop With an HDMI Input Port
We have already established that the vast majority of laptops only come with an HDMI output port. This is different from the port on FireStick devices, which is an HDMI input port. As a result, it’s impossible to directly connect them and watch content from your FireStick on your laptop.
Having said that, there are laptops that do, in fact, have HDMI input ports. They include a selection of Clevo and Alienware laptops:
- Alienware M17x R4
- Alienware M17xR3
- Alienware M18x
- Alienware M17xR4
- Alienware 17 R1
- Alienware M18xR2
- Clevo X8100
- Clevo X7200
There are a few disadvantages of this method. For one, these are all gaming laptops, so they may not be the right fit for every FireStick user. Gaming laptops are heavy and so are not ideal for carrying on the go.
Furthermore, very few, if any, of these laptops are still currently available on the market. Some of these Alienware laptops are over a decade old, meaning their hardware and software are very outdated. On the other hand, Clevo does not even sell directly to end-users but instead to resellers, distributors, and computer builders.
Overall, I do not recommend this method, as it is not worth the trouble and expense.
In this article, I showed you how to watch your FireStick on your laptop using two different methods. Both methods work for any type of FireStick. They also each have their complications. That said, buying a video capture card is by far the more convenient and affordable option. As always, if you have any thoughts on the topic, please let me know in the comments section below!
- How to Cast to FireStick from Android, iPhone, PC, & Mac
- How to Fix Amazon FireStick Not Recognized by TV
- FireStick Not Working? Common Problems & Solutions
- How to Fix FireStick Connected with Problems
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