Today, Amazon announced the Fire TV Cube, an interesting hybrid of its Fire TV set-top boxes and Echo smart speakers.
“We believe voice makes it easier for customers to control their entertainment systems and watch the TV and movies they care about,” Amazon Fire TV VO Marc Whitten said in a prepared statement. “And, it’s just the beginning. Amazon Fire TV Cube will only get better over time with the Alexa service always getting smarter.”
To be clear, the Fire TV Cube is not the first time Amazon has added Alexa digital personal assistant capabilities to its Fire TV lineup: Existing Fire TV set-top boxes and dongles also offer this functionality.
What differentiates the Fire TV Cube from its predecessors—aside from its unique cube shape—is that it’s truly a hybrid device. That is, it is both a Fire TV and an Echo smart speaker. So it sits there waiting for voice commands even when you’re not using the TV.
Priced at $120—it’s $90 right now for Prime members—the Fire TV Cube is now the most expensive Fire TV product. Amazon’s previous Fire TV flagship, the Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD and Alexa Voice Remote retails for $69.99, while the Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote is just $39.99.
From a specifications perspective, it appears to tick all the right boxes, with 4K Ultra HD and HDR video output, multi-directional infrared capabilities and 8 microphones, HDMI/CEC support, Dolby Atmos audio, and more.
Amazon Fire TV Cube is available for pre-order today and will begin shipping on June 21, Amazon says.
(Some of the links above are affiliate links.–Paul)