"It's a new paradigm for how you control your TV", says Jen Prenner, Amazon's global head of marketing for Fire TV. You can switch channels by saying, "Alexa, switch to channel 15", or, "Alexa, switch to ESPN". Another plus: since it's created to hook up to a TV, users can easily control and view smart camera feeds.
There is an IR extender cable, and Ethernet adapter, PSU, voice remote, and AA batteries in the box alongside your Fire TV Cube. Amazon says it's working with those services to integrate voice commands. This allows you to utilize Amazon's Alexa voice assistant in new ways and access visual content via your voice commands.
As an Amazon Echo and a Fire TV (dongle) owner, I love the fact that I can control my TV with my voice.
And just a reminder, if you're thinking about buying the Fire TV Cube it's worth double checking that with an Amazon professional that it'll work with your current soundbar/speaker/receiver setup. It's Amazon's answer to the Apple TV, the Roku Ultra, and other high-end streaming devices.
Other highlights include access to thousands of apps from the Amazon App Store - such as streaming services HBO, Showtime, and Starz - through Amazon's a la carte Amazon Channels service. Simply ask it to play music, read the news, control your connected house or even tell a joke, and Alexa does as you ask. At the moment, the Cube supports cable boxes from Comcast, Dish, and DirectTV. The Fire TV Cube will begin shipping on June 21. Last year, Parks Associates found that Amazon's $40 Fire TV Stick made up 81% of all Fire TV devices owned in USA broadband homes.
Similar to Amazon's existing Fire streaming sticks, the Cube supports popular video apps, such as Netflix and Hulu. Let us know in the comments. Then imagine that control plugged into your TV so you can control everything plugged in there with your voice as well.
"You'll never guess how we came up with the name", Marc Whitten, vice president for Fire TV, deadpanned in an interview. "We think this is enough of a game-changer that customers are really going to like it".