Amazon announced new Echo and Fire products in September of last year, one of those being a new Fire TV Stick. Amazon positioned the new model as a replacement for the high-end 2015 Fire TV and the 2016 Fire TV Stick, but it lacked many of the features of the larger Fire TV, like external storage. Today, Amazon announced a new media box that sorta fills that gap - the Fire TV Cube.
The Fire TV Cube is a minor upgrade from the existing Fire TV Stick, with built-in microphones. It has the same far-field voice recognition as Echo devices, so it can hear commands from across a room. The Fire TV Cube also integrates with cable boxes from Comcast, Dish, DirectTV, and others; you can use commands like, "Alexa, watch ESPN" and "Alexa, switch to channel 31."
Besides the added microphones, there isn't much of a difference between the Cube and the existing Fire TV stick. It has the same under-powered 1.5GHz ARM CPU, the same 2GB RAM, the same voice remote, and the same Fire OS software (hope you don't like YouTube!). There is an included ethernet adapter and twice the internal storage (8GB vs 16GB), but still no external storage options.
You can pre-order the Fire TV Cube on Amazon. If you have Amazon Prime, it costs $89.99. Otherwise, it's $119.99.
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Today, Amazon announced Fire TV Cube, a hands-free 4K Ultra HD streaming media player with Alexa, allowing you to control your TV from across the room. Fire TV Cube uses multi-directional infrared technology, cloud based protocols and HDMI CEC, that—combined with Alexa—let you control your compatible TV, sound bar, A/V receiver, and cable or satellite box. Power your TV on and off, change the volume, switch to different inputs, and change the cable channel—all with just your voice. Even with the TV off, simply say “Alexa, play Billions on SHOWTIME” and Fire TV Cube powers on your TV and starts playback right where you left off. Plus, because the Alexa service is always getting smarter, Fire TV Cube is going to get even better over time.
Amazon Fire TV Cube makes it easy to use Alexa to find and watch your favorite TV shows and movies, hands-free from across the room
Amazon Fire TV Cube features a simple, guided setup for Alexa voice control of your devices, giving you easy access to the vast catalog of content currently available on Fire TV; including tens of thousands of channels, apps, and Alexa skills, as well as over 500,000 movies and TV episodes and thousands of 4K Ultra HD and HDR titles. Simply ask Alexa to navigate and control content in popular apps, including Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, ESPN, FOX NOW, SHOWTIME, STARZ, PlayStation Vue, CBS All Access, and NBC. Just say “Alexa, launch Netflix”; “Alexa, tune to CBS”; or “Alexa, find dramas.”
“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.”
Far-Field Voice Recognition
Amazon Fire TV Cube uses far-field voice recognition with eight microphones to hear you even from across the room. Advanced 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 your request, even next to your TV.
Live TV, However You Want It
Fire TV Cube lets you control your live TV hands-free whether it’s through your cable or satellite boxes; streaming apps like Hulu and PlayStation Vue; or HBO, SHOWTIME, and STARZ through Amazon Channels. Just say, “Alexa, switch to channel 31”; “Alexa, watch ESPN”; or “Alexa, tune to NBC.”
Amazon Fire TV Cube is compatible with set-top boxes from top providers such as Comcast, DISH, and DIRECTV, covering more than 90 percent of households with a cable or satellite subscription.
Easy Control of All Your Entertainment
With a content-forward user interface, Fire TV Cube makes it easy to find the movies and TV shows you love with a more natural way to navigate and search simply by using your voice, with phrases like “Alexa, find sci-fi movies”; “Alexa, play the trailer”; and “Alexa, show me more results.” You can even search for TV and movies by director or actor.
Always Getting Smarter
The Alexa service is always getting smarter with new features and hands-free voice functionality added regularly. Many of your favorite apps currently support enhanced in-app voice controls on Fire TV, giving you more ways to use your voice while navigating through content, and dozens more are expected by the end of 2018. And with Fire TV Cube, many Alexa responses are optimized for the big screen and accompanied with rich visual information, allowing you to view your smart home camera feeds, watch video flash briefings, view sports scores, see extended weather forecasts, and watch trailers for movies playing in nearby theaters.
Pricing and Availability
Amazon Fire TV Cube is available for pre-order starting today for $119.99 and ships with an IR extender cable and Ethernet adapter beginning on June 21. As an introductory offer, Prime members can pre-order Fire TV Cube on June 7 and 8 for a special price of $89.99—a $30 savings. Plus, for a limited time, customers can pre-order Fire TV Cube and Amazon Cloud Cam together for $199.98 – a $40 savings. Customers who purchase and register their Fire TV Cube by July 1, will also receive a $10 credit for Prime Video. And starting on June 21, Fire TV devices are eligible for unlimited access to tens of millions of songs with Amazon Music starting at just $3.99/month.
For more information visit www.amazon.com/firetvcube.
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit www.amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.