Amazon packs voice control and TV into Fire TV Cube
It was inevitable, but Amazon has finally done it: combined its Echo voice control technology with its 4K TV offering to ramp up its video streaming capabilities.
The next stage of Amazon’s push to dominate the entertainment world is here… in the form of the Amazon Fire TV Cube.
Simply plugging in the Cube via HDMI to a TV will soon give users access to a number of apps and streaming services (such as Netflix) just like the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Fire TV 4Ks had previously. Amazon is pushing that the Cube’s built-in Alexa voice control – the assistant stays on ‘always listening’ mode – is the key selling point for those looking for something a bit fun and too tired of pressing a series of button to watch what they want.
By constantly listening (something that may turn off some), the Fire TV Cube supports owners giving commands such as “Alexa, turn on my television,” or ones even as specific as saying what TV show you want to watch or genre. Eight far field mics are packed into the small cube to pick up commands and also "suppress noise, reverberation, content currently playing, and even competing speech,” according to Amazon.
The cube features four buttons – one for activating Alexa, volume up, volume down and one to mute Alexa (the only way to control volume, in addition to using your voice).
Dolby Vision isn’t currently supported, but HDR10 is packed into the Cube, as well as Dolby Atmos. In addition to the absence of Dolby Vision, the Cube also disappoints for those looking for Bluetooth and multi-room capability.
The Amazon TV Cube will come with a regular remote (with an IR blaster on each side & an extender).
It will be released in the US first, before heading across the pond later in the year. It is priced for pre-order at $120 (around €100/£90), and will be available for Prime members at discounted price.