Amazon is killing the TV remote

Danny Woods
June 8, 2018

The new Fire TV Cube from Amazon.com extends the company's efforts to become the nerve center of your house by combining its entertainment ambitions more fully with its push into the smart home. It's pretty great. Up to this point, however, I needed two Amazon smart devices working together to do this - an Echo ($100) and a Fire TV ($70) - but that's changing today with Amazon's newest smart device: the Fire TV Cube ($120). Then imagine that control plugged into your TV so you can control everything plugged in there with your voice as well.

It's possible to talk to Alexa and ask for shows and movies to be brought up on the TV - that's also possible with the Fire TV stick and Fire TV box - but the Fire TV Cube can work as a full-featured Echo device as well. "And, it's just the beginning".

In addition to working with your cable subscription, the Fire TV Box will also allow you to navigate apps from many content providers via voice commands.

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The Amazon Fire TV Cube features eight microphones embedded deep within to listen to user's commands.

The Fire TV Cube will be available for pre-orders starting today and will cost $129. Right now, Prime members can save $30 when pre-ordering the Fire TV Cube. You'll find advanced beam forming technology to help suppress noise and enable the device to zero in on your voice even with "competing speech" in the background. With Sonos just announcing a soundbar with integrated Alexa, the Fire TV Cube looks like a way to make your existing setup better connected and all for an impressive price.

The Fire TV Cube will be an interesting test for full-blown streaming boxes, which have fallen out of favor as most consumers opt for cheaper streaming dongles that can fit behind a television. 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. The Fire TV Cube goes on sale Juen 21st 2018. Just say, "Alexa, switch to channel 31"; "Alexa, watch ESPN"; or "Alexa, tune to NBC". Many Alexa apps are now optimised for big screens, so rich visual information will be a quick command away - quickly accessing your smart home camera feeds, video briefings, sports scores, weather forecasts, trailers for movies playing locally, and so on.

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