Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has announced Fire TV Cube, a 4K/UltraHD streaming media player with Alexa, featuring voice control of compatible TVs and other devices. Fire TV Cube uses multi-directional infrared technology, cloud based protocols and HDMI CEC, that - combined with Alexa - permit control of compatible TVs, sound bars, A/V receivers, and cable or satellite boxes. Capabilities include powering the TV on and off, changing the volume, switching to different inputs, and changing the cable channel via voice inputs. Even with the TV off, simply say "Alexa, play 'Billions' on SHOWTIME" and Fire TV Cube will power on the TV and start playback where the user left off.
Amazon Fire TV Cube features a guided setup for Alexa voice control of devices to provide access to content including tens of thousands of channels, apps, and Alexa skills, as well as movies and TV episodes, and 4K/UltraHD and HDR titles.
"We believe voice makes it easier for customers to control their entertainment systems and watch the TV and movies they care about," said Marc Whitten, vice president of Fire TV. "And, it's just the beginning. Amazon Fire TV Cube will only get better over time with the Alexa service always getting smarter."
Amazon Fire TV Cube uses far-field voice recognition with eight microphones. Beamforming technology combines the signals from the individual microphones to suppress noise, reverberation, content currently playing, and even competing speech to make sure Alexa clearly hears requests, even next to the TV.
Amazon Fire TV Cube is designed to be compatible with set-top boxes from providers such as Comcast, DISH, and DirecTV.
Amazon Fire TV Cube is available for pre-order for $119.99 and ships with an IR extender cable and Ethernet adapter beginning on June 21.