After months of speculation, we finally have our first good look at Amazon's upcoming streaming player, the Fire TV Cube, which is set for release in the United States on June 21 - we expect it to appear in the United Kingdom and other markets in due course.
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. The (surprisingly pointy) box combines Amazon's existing streaming technology with Alexa, the voice assistant found in its massively popular Echo devices. Although there's a remote control if you prefer that option. 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.
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.
As smart and useful as our TV sets have gotten, how we interact with them remains quite dumb.
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Since it hooks up to your TV over HDMI-CEC, the Fire TV Cube acts much more like a universal remote, allowing you to control many of your home sound system - sound bar, A/V receiver, and cable box - with your voice.
The Alexa service is always getting smarter with new features and hands-free voice functionality added regularly.
Those infrared sensors mean that you can use the components of your home entertainment system independently of the rest, doing things like playing music through your soundbar while leaving the TV off. You can only get the full experience on select Android phones, Amazon Fire devices, and Amazon ...
The Fire TV Cube is now available for pre-order in the USA for $119.99 and ships with an IR extender cable and Ethernet adapter starting June 21. Though if you are a Prime member you can pre-order you can get it for $89.99. Moreover, if you buy the device and register it by July 1, you will get a $10 credit for Prime Video.