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Amazon Fire TV Cube Sharpens Alexa’s Skills for Watching 4K

Amazon Fire TV Cube

Combines Features of an Echo, Fire TV, and Remote Control into one Voice Controlled Device

Amazon announced Fire TV Cube, a hands-free 4K Ultra HD streaming media player with Alexa, allowing you to control your TV from across the room. Priced at $120, the question becomes should you buy it or get almost the same functionality using an Amazon Echo Dot with a Fire TV dongle. The answer depends on your TV model and whether you’ve completely cut the cord or are still tethered to a cable/satellite box. So you’ll want to check compatibility first.

Fire TV Cube uses multi-directional infrared technology, cloud based protocols and HDMI CEC, that — combined with Alexa — let you control your compatible TV, sound bar, A/V receiver, and cable or satellite box. Power your TV on and off, change the volume, switch to different inputs, and change the cable channel — all with just your voice. Even with the TV off, simply say “Alexa, play Billions on SHOWTIME” and Fire TV Cube powers on your TV and starts playback right where you left off. Plus, because the Alexa service is always getting smarter, Fire TV Cube is going to get even better over time.

Highlights

  • Ask Alexa to find and watch your favorite TV shows and movies, hands-free from across the room
  • Use your voice to play, pause, and resume content within your video apps, including Netflix
  • Use your voice to check the weather, listen to the news, control compatible smart home devices, and more — even with the TV off
  • Made possible with eight embedded microphones and the advanced beamforming technology pioneered in Echo devices
  • Controls streaming content and Comcast, DISH, and DIRECTV cable/satellite boxes

Ask Alexa
Amazon Fire TV Cube features a simple, guided setup for Alexa voice control of your devices, giving you easy access to the vast catalog of content currently available on Fire TV; including tens of thousands of channels, apps, and Alexa skills, as well as over 500,000 movies and TV episodes and thousands of 4K Ultra HD and HDR titles. Simply ask Alexa to navigate and control content in popular apps, including Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, ESPN, FOX NOW, SHOWTIME, STARZ, PlayStation Vue, CBS All Access, and NBC. Just say “Alexa, launch Netflix”; “Alexa, tune to CBS”; or “Alexa, find dramas.”

Far-Field Voice Recognition
Amazon Fire TV Cube uses far-field voice recognition with eight microphones to hear you even from across the room. Advanced beamforming technology combines the signals from the individual microphones to suppress noise, reverberation, content currently playing, and even competing speech to make sure Alexa clearly hears your request, even next to your TV.

Live TV, However You Want It
Fire TV Cube lets you control your live TV hands-free whether it’s through your cable or satellite boxes; streaming apps like Hulu and PlayStation Vue; or HBO, SHOWTIME, and STARZ through Amazon Channels. Just say, “Alexa, switch to channel 31”; “Alexa, watch ESPN”; or “Alexa, tune to NBC.”

Amazon Fire TV Cube is compatible with set-top boxes from top providers such as Comcast, DISH, and DIRECTV, covering more than 90 percent of households with a cable or satellite subscription.

Easy Control of All Your Entertainment
With a content-forward user interface, Fire TV Cube makes it easy to find the movies and TV shows you love with a more natural way to navigate and search simply by using your voice, with phrases like “Alexa, find sci-fi movies”; “Alexa, play the trailer”; and “Alexa, show me more results.” You can even search for TV and movies by director or actor.

Always Getting Smarter
The Alexa service is always getting smarter with new features and hands-free voice functionality added regularly. Many of your favorite apps currently support enhanced in-app voice controls on Fire TV, giving you more ways to use your voice while navigating through content, and dozens more are expected by the end of 2018. And with Fire TV Cube, many Alexa responses are optimized for the big screen and accompanied with rich visual information, allowing you to view your smart home camera feeds, watch video flash briefings, view sports scores, see extended weather forecasts, and watch trailers for movies playing in nearby theaters.

Pricing and Availability
Amazon Fire TV Cube is available for pre-order starting today for $119.99 and ships with an IR extender cable and Ethernet adapter beginning on June 21, 2018. For more information visit www.amazon.com/firetvcube.

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