With that said, the set-top box can be asked to switch to a specific channel, whereby, the Fire TV Cube will initiate commands in communication with the cable box. Like Amazon's other Fire TV devices, the Cube's actual remote control still lacks volume buttons and the ability to talk to other devices via infrared, so if you don't feel like talking to the TV, you'll need a second remote to turn up the volume.
'And, it's just the beginning. The new device can also do typical Alexa tasks, such as playing "Jeopardy!" or fetching the weather, even when the TV is off.
The Cube can handle 4K UHD content and offers voice control for apps including Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, ESPN, Fox Now, Showtime, STARZ, PlayStation Vue, CBS All Access and NBC. While pre-orders don't seem to be live just yet, they should be available shortly over at Amazon. The set-top box starts shipping on June 21, but you can pre-order now. The (surprisingly pointy) box combines Amazon's existing streaming technology with Alexa, the voice assistant found in its massively popular Echo devices. Plus, for a limited time, customers can pre-order Fire TV Cube and the recently announced Amazon Cloud Cam together for $199.98. Remember, there are no particular key phrases you are required to use to command Alexa, it is a natural language understanding product.
The Fire TV Cube supports 4K playback, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos but doesn't support Dolby Vision playback. Advanced beamforming technology combines the signals from the individual microphones to suppress noise, reverberation, content now playing, and even competing speech to make sure Alexa clearly hears your request, even next to your TV. The Fire TV Cube, like an Echo speaker, will instead always be listening for voice commands.
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After making a request for, let's say, the Real Housewives of NY, the Cube will respond by serving up the user's cable, satellite box or some streaming apps. As its "Fire" name suggests, this is a device created to plug into your TV, but its enhanced Alexa capabilities go far beyond what the existing Fire TV is capable of.
Users can even search for TV shows or movies by actor.
You can actually change the "trigger" or "wake" word to something else other than Alexa on the Alexa app so you're less likely to accidentally record something and send it to someone.