Amazon’s New Fire TV Cube Combines a 4K Streaming Box, an Echo, and a Universal Remote
Amazon has unveiled the latest entry into its Fire TV lineup with the Fire TV Cube. The device offers similar capabilities to the original Fire TV and Fire TV Stick but adds certain functionality that proves Amazon wants to control your entire living room.
For starters, the Fire TV Cube is a 4K UHD streaming box that gives you access to the same content you’re used to seeing. You can enjoy Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, ESPN, Showtime, Starz, and more like you normally would in high resolution.
That’s just the first capability. The Fire TV Cube also includes Amazon Alexa so you can control your TV with your voice. But that’s not all: Alexa also works on the Cube just like it would on an Echo. You can do things like ask for the weather, check your calendar, and get your daily briefing all thanks to the streaming box. Plus, any visual content you’d normally find on something like an Echo Show will be displayed on your television. The device uses eight far-field microphones to recognize your voice from across the room and will feed you responses like a normal Echo would.
And then there’s the third thing: the Fire TV Cube triples as a universal remote. Instead of fiddling around with a typical TV remote, you can connect your IR-equipped peripherals to the Cube and control them all with your voice. This means you can say “Alexa, watch Stranger Things on Netflix” while your television is off to power on your TV and pull up Netflix. You can also control things like your sound bar, A/V receiver, and cable or satellite box.
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.
For convenience, Amazon will bundle the Fire TV Cube with an IR signal extender in case you have a peripheral inside a cabinet. The company says cable boxes from providers such as Comcast, Dish, and DirecTV are all supported.
As if this weren’t all enough, Amazon says the Fire TV Cube will continue to be improved over time as future software updates roll out, adding even more capabilities to the device.
“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.”
As for pricing and availability, Amazon says the Fire TV Cube is available now for pre-order at $119.99. it’ll launch on June 21st. For Prime members, Amazon will discount the Cube by $30 if you pre-order on June 7th or 8th. You can also purchase the Cube with a bundled Amazon Cloud Cam for $199.98.