Amazon's Fire TV Cube turns Alexa into your remote

Ruben Ruiz
June 8, 2018

Amazon promises that your Fire TV Cube will get smarter over time as new features and hands-free voice functionality are added regularly OTA.

Amazon on Thursday officially took the wraps off the Amazon Fire TV Cube, a 4K-enabled streaming media player with integrated Alexa smarts. As you might have already surmised, Alexa integration is part of the package, meaning that it the Fire TV Cube can function as another Echo-type device in your home. You can enjoy thousands of channels, apps, and Alexa controls.

As far as internal specs are concerned, the standout points are the eight microphones tucked inside the hardware, allowing for support for far-field voice recognition.

"We believe voice makes it easier for customers to control their entertainment systems", the company said in a press release. "And, it's just the beginning".

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The Amazon Fire TV Cube even supports 4K Ultra HD content up to 60 frames per second, HDR, and Dolby Atmos. Amazon's Fire TV Cube device measures 86.1 x 86.1 x 76.9mm (3.4 x 3.4 x 3.0-inches) and weighs 465g. The standard version comes with an IR extender cable, remote and an Ethernet adapter. It retails for $120, but Prime members can preorder it right now on the Amazon site for $89.99. Apps like Netflix Prime Video, HBO, Hulu and more will give you access to over 500,000 movies and TV shows. It will start shipping to customers starting June 21. For the past few versions of Fire TV, Amazon has made a streaming stick that plugs unobtrusively into the back of a set. It's compatible with set-top boxes from companies including Comcast, Dish and DirecTV, covering more than 90 percent of households with cable or satellite subscriptions, according to the company.

Are you keen to put Alexa at the centre of your home theatre setup? Plus, if you register the device by July 1, you'll be eligible for a $10 credit for Prime Video.

Prenner says to stay tuned on those fronts.

Fire Cube TV uses remote control-style infrared signals and an HDMI physical connection to navigate among set-top boxes, sound bars and the TV itself. While Apple's market share is holding steady at 15% according to Parks Associates, cheaper products from Roku and Amazon respectively make up 37% and 28% of streaming player usage among USA broadband homes.

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