Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Life&Culture | By Peggy Hughes

Amazon Echo Look Now Available Without an Invitation

Amazon Echo Look Now Available Without an Invitation

But beyond playing movies and shows and answering Alexa queries, the Fire TV Cube will also work as a universal remote. The growing app library provides over 500,000 movies and TV episodes from services like Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, SHOWTIME, NBC, and more. The Fire TV Cube supports HDR10 and Dolby Atmos but lacks Dolby Vision.

The Fire TV Cube will be available for pre-orders starting today and will cost $129. Prime members that order today or tomorrow can take advantage of a special introductory offer and grab the gadget for just $89.99 - a savings of $30. For a limited time, Amazon is bundling it with the Amazon Cloud Cam, the company's cloud-connected security system, for $199, and is extending $10 in Prime Video credit to customers who order by July 1.

The company says the box can handle commands like powering the TV on and off, changing the volume, switching to different inputs, and changing the cable channel.

Fire Cube TV uses remote control-style infrared signals and an HDMI physical connection to navigate among set-top boxes, sound bars and the TV itself.

Amazon's smart speaker is available in two versions - the full sized $180 (£145) Echo shown here, and a smaller, $50 (£40) version called the Echo Dot. With that in place, future Amazon Fire TV Cube owners will be able to simply say something like "change the channel to 14" and the set-top box will handle that, directly through your specific provider's cable box. And the device doesn't have the ability to communicate with bluetooth speakers, so, while the Fire TV Cube can turn the television into a music player, it stops short of managing other speakers throughout the home.

So, what is a Fire TV Cube and why do I need it?

As an Amazon Echo and a Fire TV (dongle) owner, I love the fact that I can control my TV with my voice. If that's not you, Amazon is now offering nice discounts on the Echo Dot and Echo Show, giving you two more ways to add Alexa to your home.

You can turn off the microphone temporarily, too. It might be a streaming device like one of those from Roku or an Apple TV. "And, it's just the beginning". Enjoy hands-free voice control-search, play, pause, fast forward, and more.

It's a potent little package in many ways.

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