Fire TV Cube Preview: Everything you need to know
The new Fire TV Cube will allow you to power on and control your TV, sound bar and cable box with voice commands, Amazon announced today.
The new 4K streaming box went on pre-sale today at a discounted rate of $30 off for Prime subscribers. After Friday, June 8th, Prime subscribers will have to pay the full price of $119.99. The Alexa-enabled Fire TV will ship with an IR extender cable and Ethernet adapter beginning on June 21.
Amazon says the Fire TV Cube will give you more control over the tech connected to your TV than ever before.
5 Skills on new Fire TV Cube
- Some the new voice commands allows users to:
- Power your TV on and off,
- Change the volume,
- Switch to different inputs,
- Change the cable channel: (Comcast, Dish, DIRECTV)
Even with the TV off, users will be able to just say “Alexa, play Billions on SHOWTIME” and Fire TV Cube powers on your TV and starts playback right where you left off.
Amazon also suggested in its announcement today that Fire TV Cube’s smart-home chops will only get better over time “because the Alexa service is always getting smarter.”
“We believe voice makes it easier for customers to control their entertainment systems and watch the TV and movies they care about,” said Marc Whitten, Vice President of Fire TV. “And, it’s just the beginning. Amazon Fire TV Cube will only get better over time with the Alexa service always getting smarter.”
Fire TV Cube will have easy setup
Amazon says the Fire TV Cube will have a simple, guided setup for Alexa voice control of your devices. A quick search can give you an idea of the types of devices that Alexa already controls – from light bulbs to thermostats.
But really most people will likely want the Fire TV Cube to navigate their living room entertainment by just using their voice instead the remote control included with the device.
With the Fire TV Cube, users will be able to 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.”
Amazon says dozens of more skills are expected for the Fire TV Cube by the end of 2018. Many Alexa responses have already been optimized for the big screen and accompanied with rich visual information. That includes 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.
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 make sure Alexa clearly hears your request, even next to your TV.
Live TV, However You Want It: Cable or Cord Cutting
Amazon Fire TV devices have been a favorite of cord cutters for a while now, but the new Fire TV Cube is giving new voice commands is aiming to attract cable subscribers as well.
Fire TV Cube lets you control your live TV hands-free through your cable or satellite boxes, including Dish, Comcast and DIRECTV.
Like with the current Fire TV devices, you’ll also be able to use your voice to command 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 Search Controls
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.
Details on ordering Fire TV Cube
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. As an introductory offer, Prime members can pre-order Fire TV Cube on June 7 and 8 for a special price of $89.99–a $30 savings.
Plus, for a limited time, customers can pre-order Fire TV Cube and Amazon Cloud Cam together for $199.98 – a $40 savings. Customers who purchase and register their Fire TV Cube by July 1, will also receive a $10 credit for Prime Video. And starting on June 21, Fire TV devices are eligible for unlimited access to tens of millions of songs with Amazon Music starting at just $3.99/month.