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Amazon Fire TV + FreeTime for Time Limit & Parental Controls

by TerriAnn
Amazon Fire TV review with FreeTime timer and parental controls for kids

While we know it’s not good to use electronics as a babysitter, sometimes exhausted parents just need to do it. The problem is finding a good way of controlling what is being played/watched and setting a reasonable time limit. I already mentioned the benefits of FreeTime on the Kindle but now you can get those same benefits on your television using Amazon Fire TV. Does it really work? Read on to find out 🙂

Amazon Fire TV review with FreeTime timer and parental controls for kids

FreeTime on Amazon Fire TV

FreeTime is very easy to set up on your Amazon Fire TV, especially if you’ve already created your account on another device. The best part about Freetime is the option to add a time limit. At the 15- and 5-minute mark, your child will see  a small pop-up notification letting them know their time is getting close to being out. When their limit has been reached, a message will show and a parent must enter their code to exit the program.

Amazon Fire TV review with FreeTime timer and parental controls for kids

The only problem was that, after the 5-minute warning, I was able to play Despicable Me: Minion Rush for an additional 20 minutes or so. As soon as I went out of FreeTime and then back in, that’s when I got the notice that time was out. Just be aware that it may be possible to “cheat” the time limit a bit if you’re currently using an app or movie.

Any movies or tv shows that you own in your Amazon video library can be added to FreeTime. Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and Disney XD can be added as channels but you must have cable to access those. I was disappointed that I could not add the streaming Prime Instant Video shows to the FreeTime. I’m not sure if that’s a programming issue or just something I haven’t figured out how to do, but I really would have liked that feature. We cut off cable recently so this really limited what I could put in FreeTime for my daughter to watch (or me while testing).

Amazon Fire TV review with FreeTime timer and parental controls for kids

Earlier I mentioned that it was possible to play games and other apps on the Amazon Fire TV. There’s a whole section of apps and games that you can add to your device and to your FreeTime library.

Amazon Fire TV review with FreeTime timer and parental controls for kids

While you are able to use the remote, a separate controller can be purchased if you plan on playing games on this frequently. Using the remote to play is not the easiest or most convenient but it is doable.

Amazon Fire TV review with FreeTime timer and parental controls for kids

Amazon Fire TV Review

A couple tidbits about the Amazon Fire TV itself. The voice command works really well and does great at recognizing the speech of all three of us (my husband, my daughter, and me). Search and play is super fast. Only the games seem a bit choppy but that may depend on the game itself. Photos can also be shown on your television by means of Amazon Cloud Drive which is quickly accessed.

I love that there’s a specific Prime menu item to easily find what television shows and movies are free as a Prime member. It’s also great playing music, especially if you have children, as you can have the lyrics right there on screen to sing along. The box is also tiny and works with Bluetooth so you can hide it behind something and still control it fine.

Have you thought about getting an Amazon Fire TV and using the FreeTime feature?

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Kelsey Apley August 22, 2014 - 6:38 am

This would for sure be great for kids if you want to limit time, I love the notice when time is close to out. I think it sounds like a neat tv for sure.

Anne - Mommy Has to Work August 22, 2014 - 8:01 am

I love the idea of controlling their time limit. Of course my children would have a heart attack. lol

Tammy Litke (@threedifferent) August 22, 2014 - 1:41 pm

Very neat. I like the Prime feature. Right now we have another ‘TV Hub’ so aren’t really looking at getting an Amazon Fire TV and the free time is a super feature for those with kids – we don’t need that any more though 🙂

Liz Mays August 22, 2014 - 2:38 pm

Once they tweak that timer, it will be even better. I like the ease of checking the Prime options.

Colleen August 22, 2014 - 7:43 pm

I’ve heard of these but never really used one, my kids are a little older and not as much need for the parental control.

Raijean S August 22, 2014 - 9:32 pm

Such a cool feature, I’m going to have to check it out.

Crystal August 22, 2014 - 10:41 pm

I love the warnings that alert the kids their time is running out. It’s nice to not be the bad guy all the time!

vanessa: thequeenofswag August 23, 2014 - 7:03 am

Such a great feature and product. I’ll have to check this out.

Theresa Gould @ Faith and Family Reviews August 23, 2014 - 7:30 pm

We have this! It is so useful and was a great idea.

Jenn August 23, 2014 - 7:45 pm

I like that you can set parental controls. I like watching Amazon Prime tv shows, but I don’t think I’ll be getting the Amazon Fire.

Kathy August 23, 2014 - 8:03 pm

I love the parental control feature. It would be nice to have the tv tell my son its time to stop instead of me!

Crystal Green August 23, 2014 - 8:09 pm

I desperately want one of these! I’m a HUGE Amazon fan! We love our Kindle Fires HD and my Kindle Fire HDX.

Ty August 24, 2014 - 12:19 pm

I’ve heard so much about these and wondered if I should get one. After reading this I think I may just get it. Thanks for the review!

HilLesha August 24, 2014 - 3:24 pm

That’s great that it has a parental control feature.

Penelope Guzman (NY Blogger) August 25, 2014 - 11:49 am

We are actually getting the Fire soon and have been using Amazon prime, and I really want to be able to keep an eye on what my kids are watching so am looking forward to the parental controls.

Donna August 26, 2014 - 8:06 pm

I don’t know what we’d do without Amazon Prime. I think the Fire is something we will probably get soon. 🙂

Angela August 27, 2014 - 10:30 am

Amazon Fire TV sounds great. I’ll have to check it out.

Marcie W. September 29, 2014 - 4:45 pm

I just adore the idea of the FreeTime feature! With three children who only get a small chunk of electronic time each day, this could eliminate arguments and ensure everyone gets an equal time frame.

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