For time immemorial, Amazon Echo and Amazon Fire TV products have been kept separate. Just like when you pile a bunch of food on your plate and do your damndest to keep the mashed potatoes from touching anything else. But with the launch of Amazon’s latest product, that is no longer true.
It’s called the Amazon Fire TV Cube, and it’s essentially a full-featured set-top box. Inside, Amazon has compacted both an Amazon Echo smart speaker — with Alexa — and a Fire TV streaming box. The result is essentially a comprehensive Amazon product, with everything the company has to offer, in one small little cube. It’s also pretty damn cool.
What Is the Amazon Fire TV Cube?
The Fire TV Cube includes all Amazon entertainment devices crammed into a single, attractive… cube.
We know by now that Amazon is no stranger to unique, quirky devices — refer to the the Amazon Echo Show or Look, for instance. But the Amazon Fire TV Cube certainly takes the cake.
At its most basic, it’s a cube, which you plug right into your TV.
Similar to other streaming devices it can run all the usual apps, like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, PlayStation Vue, and more. It also has Alexa built-in, like the Fire TV, so you can search for movies, music, and shows or access Alexa Skills.
But it’s more than just a set-top box with voice search features. It’s doubles as a full-featured smart speaker, always listening for Alexa’s wake command. You can talk to it and interact with Alexa regardless of whether or not your TV is on or off. There are a whopping eight microphones total, just to make sure Alexa hears what you’re saying clearly.
The Fire TV Cube also syncs up with other home theater devices, making it an universal remote too. It connects with nearby devices through HDMI (CDC) allowing you to power up additional equipment with voice commands. A built-in IR blaster also allows it to operate as a remote. For example, you can connect it to entertainment boxes from Comcast, Dish or DirecTV and then use your voice to control the related gear. Telling Alexa to tune to a particular TV channel is now possible through this device.
How awesome is that?
It can also do just about everything else the Amazon Echo devices can do, including syncing up with other speakers around your home.
The Fire TV Cube is $119.99 for everyone or $89.99 currently as a pre-order special for Prime subscribers. The release date is set for June 21st.