Amazon had started delivering its video streaming devices almost four years ago. After that, Amazon has constantly added updates to its Fire TV products in order to match up with the trends of the consumer market. It started with flat Fire TV boxes, which were later turned into HDMI sticks and dongles. Later these Amazon TV products combined voice control. Amazon itself is responsible for this huge trend, thanks to increasing popularity of Alexa.
Voice first philosophy
This time Amazon is coming up something it thinks is going to be the next big thing in the home entertainment category. This device is the 4K Fire TV Cube. It is like a combination of Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and TV control centre which can use for other gadgets around your TV. Earlier you were required to use Alexa through the remote for the Fire TV. But this time Alexa comes built-in Fire TV. Amazon says the idea behind the Fire TV Cube was to apply the “voice first” philosophy to the gadget.
Bringing in two products together
Fire TV Cube is bringing in two impressive Amazon products together and trying to make them work together is a way we never imagined earlier. The Amazon Fire TV Cube is a cube-shaped box that you simply plug into your TV. It is programmed to run the basic and regular applications like Hulu, Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Prime Video, PlayStation Vue etc. You can also talk to Alexa to look for movies and shows, just like the Fire TV Stick and the Fire TV Box. You also get to access thousands of other third-party skills as well.
Alexa to control everything
With the launch of the Fire TV Cube, Amazon’s goal is to really let people have the voice experience in a manner that is useful, sensible, and makes the use if voice important. Their goal is definitely not to create a voice-enabled device. So this means that Amazon’s larger goal or strategy is to put Alexa at the centre of home entertainment and this way it gets to you using Amazon’s services. This way you will buy even more Amazon products.
The Amazon Fire TV Cube comes with eight far-field microphones inside it. This way designed in a way to accommodate the shape of the cube. The tech of the device will basically remain the same- beam-forming, echo-cancelling, noise reducing which is found in other Echo products as well. A demo of the Amazon Fire TV Cube was done last week in the Silicon Valley labs where it shows how it lights up other products of the house controlled by Alexa once you reach home and simply announce “Alexa, I’m home.”
Some old features
The Alexa features are pretty much the same and the ones that you would usually expect. You can Alexa to inform you about the weather, or tell a joke, or use any other skill. Skill is Amazon’s term for any voice-powered apps. The new thing about it is the connection to the TV or the Soundbar. It uses an HDMI to connect. It has a feature that lets you control multiple HDMI-connected devices using a common remote.
For people who own the Cube with a set-top box for a cable TV can use Amazon’s box to the device and make them work using Alexa. But the commands in this case have to be really specific. You can’t simply look up for a program or movie by name and then expect Alexa to search for it on the cable TV. Amazon Fire TV products also offer single sign-on for certain apps, just like the Apple TV. This means you can simply sign into your cable TV app and get an automatic sign in on other connected apps.
Most expensive Fire TV device
The interface is one of the most interesting things about the Fire TV Cube. There is a grid-like format and it offers neatly numbered content options. It lets you select a specific option from the list, instead of diving into a large group of content and finding the one you want. Because the Cube runs on FireOS, Amazon’s Android-based software, it will not run any content purchased through iTunes. Also, there will be no YouTube app, as a result of the spat between Amazon and Google. So the only solution to that is using the browser. Amazon Fire TV is priced at $119 and is the most expensive Fire TV device till now.