Are you frustrated with constantly running out of storage space on your Amazon Fire TV Stick, Fire TV, or Android TV box? Do you find it tedious to continually manage the limited onboard memory by deleting apps and old videos?
If so, then connecting dedicated cloud storage is an elegant solution for expanding capacity. With a cloud drive, you get virtually unlimited storage accessible straight from your television.
In this comprehensive guide, you‘ll discover how to setup and use cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive with popular streaming devices.
- The benefits of cloud storage for Fire TV and Android TV
- A comparison of the top cloud storage platforms
- Step-by-step instructions for connecting accounts
- Tips for managing cloud content remotely
- Troubleshooting advice for common connection issues
- Cloud vs local storage pros and cons
- And much more to help you supercharge your streaming!
So whether you want more space for downloaded media files, easier access to personal videos and photos, or to backup your device, integrating cloud storage is sure to enrich your Firestick and Android TV experience.
Let‘s dive in!
Why Cloud Storage is Essential for Streaming Devices
Before stepping through how to connect cloud accounts, it‘s helpful to understand all the ways streaming devices can benefit from cloud integration.
Practically Unlimited Capacity
One major limitation of Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube, Nvidia Shield, and other media players is built-in storage of 8GB, 16GB, maybe 32GB at most. That‘s enough for some apps and a few shows or movies.
But for an entire media library of HD videos, songs, and photos? Forget it.
Offloading files to the cloud lifts this restriction – most services start with a minimum of 15GB free, with paid plans offering terabytes of storage. No more worrying about filling up local memory.
Sync and Access Files Anywhere
Upload personal media from your smartphone, tablet, computer, or other devices straight to the cloud. Those files then automatically sync and are streamable to your TV.
It‘s seamless watching the same collection of videos, music, and pics on any device, with additions and deletions syncing across them all via the cloud. No more fumbling with USB sticks for file transfers.
Accessing media directly from cloud storage means not having to store it all locally. This saves storage space on your device for more apps and games.
Streaming video content directly from the cloud also reduces buffering compared to downloading large files locally which can tax slower internal storage.
Backups and Redundancy
All cloud storage services securely backup your files on remote servers and data centers. This protects against damage or loss if your physical streaming device fails.
Having a cloud-based media library avoids starting your collection from scratch if your local storage gets corrupted or worn out from constant read/write cycles.
Collaboration and Sharing
Cloud storage makes sharing media effortlessly simple across friends, family members and coworkers. Most services allow creating shared folders for easy collaboration.
If you want to grant someone else access to your videos or photos stored in the cloud, it just takes sending an invite link. No physically transferring files on drives required.
Top Cloud Storage Platforms for Streaming Devices
Now that you know the many benefits of cloud integration for Fire TV and Android TV, let‘s compare some of the top storage services available:
|Cloud Service||Free Storage||Features|
|Google Drive||15GB||Backs up photos/videos from Android. Works with Google ecosystem.|
|Dropbox||2GB||Simple file sync. Can play media directly in app.|
|Microsoft OneDrive||5GB||Integrates with Windows and Xbox.|
|Amazon Cloud Drive||5GB||Owned by Amazon. Optimized for Fire TV.|
|Apple iCloud||5GB||Designed for Apple devices and Mac users.|
|Mega||50GB||Very generous free tier. Offers end-to-end encryption.|
This table shows some of the most popular platforms, but many others like Box, Sync, MediaFire, and pCloud offer similar functionality.
When choosing a service, consider how much free storage is included, price of paid plans, and any special features like photo backups or Microsoft/Apple ecosystem integration.
Google Drive enjoys seamless integration with Android TV given it‘s from the same company. While Amazon Cloud Drive makes most sense for Fire TV and Fire Tablet users thanks to Amazon optimization.
But any of the major cloud platforms will work excellently for accessing media files on your television. Now let‘s get them connected!
Step-by-Step Guide to Connect Cloud Storage
Setting up cloud connectivity will differ slightly depending on your streaming device OS and cloud service used. But these steps give a general overview that applies in most cases:
1. Install the Cloud Provider‘s App
On a Fire TV Stick or Fire TV Cube, open the Amazon Appstore and search for your cloud provider‘s official app. Download and install it.
For Android TV boxes like the Nvidia Shield, find the app in the Google Play Store. Major platforms like Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive publish Android TV versions of their apps.
If your cloud service lacks an Android TV app, you can manually sideload the Android smartphone .apk app file using Downloader or Apps2Fire.
Once installed, the app icon will appear in your apps menu or home screen alongside other streaming apps.
2. Login or Sign Up for an Account
Launch the cloud provider‘s newly installed app. You‘ll be prompted to either login with existing credentials, or sign up for a new account.
Use the onscreen remote to enter your username and password. Having a wireless keyboard can expedite this process.
Free accounts come with baseline storage, typically 15GB or more, that you can start filling up with personal media. Paid plans with expanded capacity are available as well.
3. Allow App Permissions
After logging in, the app will request access to your files, media, photos, etc. Grant whatever permissions it needs to function correctly.
Giving permissions allows transferring, viewing, editing, and managing your cloud content directly from the big screen.
4. Configure Options Like Offline Access
Take a minute to toggle on any special app settings based on your preferences:
Sync – Keep files on your streaming device set to sync automatically with the cloud.
Offline access – Save cloud files temporarily to device storage for when internet is down.
Notifications – Turn on mobile notifications about cloud account activity.
Camera upload – Automatically back up photos/videos from device camera to cloud.
5. Start Adding Media to Your Cloud Library!
Now comes the fun part – populating your cloud storage with personal media files to stream! You can use these methods:
Web dashboard – Use the cloud provider‘s website from a desktop computer for bulk drag and drop uploads.
Mobile app – Install the cloud app on your smartphone or tablet for easy on-the-go uploading.
App sharing – Share videos, music, and photos directly from other apps into your connected cloud account.
File manager – Use your Android TV box file manager to copy media files from USB drives to cloud folders.
Aim for a library with optimized media – decent quality video, subtitles enabled, and TV-friendly filenames like "Movie Title (2020).mp4".
6. Stream Away on Your Television!
Once your cloud storage has media uploaded, open the app on your Fire TV or Android TV device. Browse, stream, or download cloud files to watch right on the big screen!
Most cloud apps have interfaces optimized for television viewing and remote control navigation. Support playback right in the app or via another media player like VLC or Kodi.
And that concludes the general process for hooking up cloud accounts to start accessing tons of extra media storage on your Firestick, Fire TV, or Android TV box!
Tips for Managing Cloud Content from Your TV
Streaming directly from cloud storage works great, but does require some special considerations:
Use mobile apps – Cloud provider‘s smartphone apps make remotely managing, sharing, and uploading files easier.
Organize media – Sort cloud content into folders like "Movies", "TV Shows", "Photos". Makes finding what you want easier.
Bookmark favorites – Flag frequently accessed media files for quick retrieval later.
Optimize video – Encode clips in H264, MP4, etc. at decent quality to minimize buffering.
Resume playback – If connection stops, streaming will resume automatically from where you left off once back online.
Background downloading – Return to the Home screen while large files buffer in the background to avoid timeouts.
Rename files first – Give videos and music filenames that look good on TV before uploading to cloud.
Troubleshooting Common Cloud Connection Problems
Linking cloud storage to streaming hardware does not always go smoothly. Here are some common challenges and solutions:
Can‘t login to cloud app – Double check your username and password if you get login errors. Or reset your credentials and try again. Reinstalling the app can also help.
Cloud files not appearing – Try reconnecting your cloud account or manually syncing to refresh the file listing. Make sure you granted the app proper permissions.
Buffering issues – Upgrade your internet plan for faster streaming. Or enable offline viewing and do an initial full download over WiFi instead of streaming.
App crashing – Force close and reopen the misbehaving app. If problems persist, reboot your device. Reinstall the app or contact support as a last resort.
Can‘t find app in appstore – For Fire TV models, you can remotely install unlisted Android apps by searching for them on the Amazon website Appstore from a PC.
General errors – Close and restart the app. Power cycle your device. Uninstall and reinstall the app if needed. Check for app updates.
Consult the cloud service‘s help documentation or contact customer support to resolve any other issues not mentioned here. With some trial and error, you should be able to get past most connectivity problems.
Cloud Storage vs Local Storage: Which is Better for Streaming?
Should you only use cloud storage or do you still need some local storage? Here‘s how the two options compare:
Benefits of Cloud Storage
- Virtually unlimited capacity
- Access files anywhere
- Automatic syncing across devices
- Backups protect against data loss
- Easy sharing of media
Benefits of Local Storage
- Very fast streaming speed
- Easier offline viewing
- Works for storage-heavy apps
- No need for internet connectivity
Generally, the best solution is using both local and cloud storage in tandem.
Rely on the limited built-in storage for apps, games, and frequently accessed media. Then leverage the cloud‘s unlimited space for your entire personal media library.
This balances speed and capacity. You get the flexibility of the cloud without compromising convenience and performance.
Recap and Next Steps
Let‘s recap what we covered:
Why cloud storage upgrades limited onboard memory for virtually unlimited media capacity. Plus automatic syncing and backups.
What cloud services work best for Fire TV, Android TV, and other streaming devices. Such as Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and more.
How to connect accounts by installing apps, logging in, granting permissions, and uploading files.
Tips for managing cloud content like organizing folders, bookmarking, renaming, etc.
Troubleshooting login problems, missing files, buffering, crashes, and other common issues.
Comparison of the pros and cons of cloud versus local storage. Using both together balances speed and capacity.
Hopefully this guide gave you everything needed to successfully integrate cloud storage for superior streaming. Give one of the recommended providers a try to massively expand your media library!
Let me know if you have any other questions. I‘m always happy to help fellow cordcutters get the most out of their streaming devices and apps.
Enjoy effortlessly accessing virtually unlimited media content from the comfort of your couch!