As part of your device event september 2022Amazon has announced a new version of its streaming device Fire TV Cubepriced at $140. It’s the first streamer we’ve seen that includes an HDMI input in addition to its HDMI output, allowing you to display content from devices like cable or satellite boxes or Blu-ray players, while controlling those devices via Alexa or the included remote.
And speaking of that remote, it’s also been given an upgrade: The $35 Alexa Voice Remote Pro now includes backlighting and a remote search feature, both of which are absent from the remote that Apple includes with its Apple TV 4K. .
Now sporting a completely cloth-wrapped exterior like the company’s line of Echo speakers, the third-generation Fire TV Cube also has Wi-Fi 6E support and “Super Resolution Upscaling,” the latter of which takes whatever content you want. not be 4K like 1080p HD and greatly improves how it looks on a 4K TV.
The biggest benefit of HDMI input is that it simplifies interactions with your other devices. The Fire TV Cube has always included a voice-command remote, but it was a bit clunky. It involved sending infrared commands to your external devices like your cable box and TV and using them to trigger channel changes and HDMI input selection. Now, you can say, “Alexa, tune into ESPN on cable,” and it will appear within the current Fire TV interface, without the need to switch inputs.
Another improvement is the addition of a full-size USB-A port on the back of the device. In the past, if you wanted to connect a webcam or USB stick, you needed a MicroUSB to USB-A adapter, also known as a on-the-go cable. Now you can connect these devices directly. Speaking of ports, there’s also an Ethernet port for wired connections, so there’s no need to plug in an adapter if you don’t want to rely on Wi-Fi.
The new Alexa Voice Remote has a built-in speaker that allows you to respond to the remote finder’s command with an audible beep. You can ask Alexa to find the remote, or you can use the dedicated Remote Finder button in the Fire TV app on your mobile device. The remote also includes a motion-activated backlight, something we’ve only seen on the 2019 Nvidia Shield TV.
The remote also has two customizable buttons that you can program to create one-touch shortcuts to apps, channels, or anything Alexa can do. For example, you can choose to program a button for Alexa to dim the lights, check the weather, or start an Alexa routine for movie night.
The Alexa Voice Remote is compatible with most Fire TV streaming media players, Amazon Fire TV smart TVs, and smart TVs with Fire TV built-in.