The Peacock streaming service from NBC has just gone live, but Amazon Fire TV devices aren’t included.
NBCUniversal and Amazon are currently at odds about a number of money-related problems, such as how to divide advertisement sales, and it doesn’t appear that they’ll be working it out anytime soon, much as they were when HBO Max launched in late May. NBCUniversal is currently in a legal dispute with Roku over related problems, but Peacock isn’t yet available on that website.
The good news is that there is a workaround for Fire TV users: simply sideload the Android TV version of the Peacock app onto your Fire TV computer. The setup is a bit of a pain, but the software itself is great.
Peacock customer service representatives are now recommending Fire TV customers to sideload the Peacock app if they want to use the service on certain platforms, as of March 25, 2021.
On your Fire TV Stick, Fire TV streaming box, Fire TV Cube, or Fire TV Edition television, here’s how to get Peacock up and running.
Turn on Fire TV sideloading
You’ll need to permit “sideloading” on Fire TV first, which enables you to install software from sources other than Amazon’s official Appstore.
Begin by downloading the Amazon Appstore’s Downloader app. You can install it remotely using your web browser, or you can use your Alexa remote to check for “Downloader” on the Fire TV itself.
After you’ve installed it, go to Settings, pick “My Fire TV,” and then “Developer Options.”
Turn on both “ADB Debugging” and “Apps from Unknown Sources” in this menu. Simply press “Turn On” when you see the scary message about the security risks of unapproved software. After you’ve installed Peacock, you can still switch off “Apps from Unknown Sources.”
You may see an option for “Install unknown software” instead of “Apps from Unknown Sources” on some newer Fire TV devices. If that’s the case, select this option and set Downloader to “On” in the next menu.
Download and install the Peacock app
In the next step, we’ll download the app from APKMirror, a third-party website. The actual APK installation file is available here for reference, but we’ll simply install it using a short connection in the Downloader app.
When prompted, open the Downloader app and press “Allow.” Select the URL bar, then type 81025 into it.
Wait for the “Setup” menu to pop up. It will either be a full-screen prompt or a pop-up like the one shown below, depending on your Fire TV system. Choose “Install,” then “Open.”
If you don’t open the app right away and it isn’t in your Recents list, it can be found at the bottom of your full apps list, which you can reach by long-pressing the home button and select “Apps.”
You can create a new account or sign in with the one you already have once you’re within the app. If you have an Android computer, I recommend creating an account first because you’ll be entitled to three free months of Peacock’s Premium service thanks to an NBCUniversal-Google partnership. Soon after signing up, you should receive an email with a bid. (Signing up via Fire TV can also get you the deal, as this is technically the Android TV edition of the app, but I haven’t checked this.)
Last but not least, before you restart your Fire TV, the Peacock app will not be able to play any videos. To do so, go to Settings > My Fire TV > “Restart” and select it.
The same disclaimer applies here as it does with the sideloaded edition of HBO Max: Once Amazon and NBCUniversal settle their differences and formally launch the Peacock app, you’ll want to uninstall this one and reinstall the official version to get the most current updates.