Amazon's new Fire TV Cube controls your home and your television

Irene MckinneyJun 08, 2018

The new $120 streaming box, which launches on June 21, is similar to the "Pendant Design" Fire TV that Amazon released a year ago, with the same processing power and 4K HDR video support.

The device, available for purchase starting June 21, lets users adjust the volume on compatible TVs, switch inputs, change the channel and power on and off by using their voice. You can check out the full list of features for the Fire TV Cube below, then it's decision time. Enjoy hands-free voice control-search, play, pause, fast forward, and more. Since its powered by FireOS, you can also install thousands of other apps from the Appstore.

The device - which will cost $120, but will be made available for $90 to Prime subscribers who pre-order it - is scheduled to be released June 21.

Amazon has unveiled the latest addition to its Fire TV lineup.

The Fire TV Cube features far-field voice recognition with eight microphones to provide advanced Alexa voice control.

It all sounds rather ambitious, but at launch (which is due for June 21st in the U.S. with a United Kingdom release yet to be announced) the functionality will be more limited, restricting Alexa to more modest controls like volume and input selection. With Alexa's help on devices like the Amazon Echo, Echo Show, and others, you can control connected thermostats, light bulbs, and other products. Amazon's other Fire TV devices require you to keep a separate remote handy. That said, with the hardware that's packed into the box, we're sure that future firmware updates will bring similar rapid developments such as those that have been seen with the Amazon Echo smart speakers. This means that it's possible to ask Alexa on the Cube to "tune to CBS", prompting it to send commands to the cable box and switch to that channel.

Apart from that, the Cube works both as a Fire TV and as an Echo device. Even if you need 4K HDR video support, you only have to pay $70 for Amazon's Fire TV Pendant, Roku's Streaming Stick+, or Google's Chromecast Ultra. It is, however, still less than the $150 Apple TV. While previous versions of the Fire TV could be controlled by voice, they required people to push a button on the remote control to issue commands. "We think this is enough of a game-changer that customers are really going to like it".

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