If you use Amazon’s Echo speaker and the Fire TV, today, it’s all finally coming together.
Beginning Tuesday, U.S. users will be able to connect their Echo devices to their Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Edition smart TVs.
What that means is that you can start issuing commands to your Fire TV without using the Fire TV voice-enabled remote. Instead, just as you’re used to with the Echo, once you pair your Echo device to your Fire TV device, you can simply speak commands within listening distance of the Echo device to control your TV.
Bringing the Echo’s far-field voice control to Fire TV now allows users to issue commands like ‘Alexa, open Hulu,’ and ‘Alexa, show me action movies.’
Bringing the Echo’s far-field voice control to Fire TV now allows users to issue commands like “Alexa, open Hulu,” and “Alexa, show me action movies,” in between telling their Echo to order groceries or order diapers.
And on Fire TV Edition smart TVs (smart TVs from Element and Westinghouse with embedded Fire TV systems) the new feature will let you control channels and pause playback when connected to an HD antenna. Additionally, the feature lets you tell your Fire TV Edition smart TV things like “Alexa, tune to NBC,” “Alexa, switch to HDMI one,” or “Alexa, turn on Fire TV.”
In a recent test of voice control systems for streaming media devices, I noted some of the deficiencies still apparent in searching for content using voice-control remotes. What I didn’t include in that report is the fact that, of all my voice control streaming media device tests, the Fire TV has performed the best. So adding Echo functionality to Fire TV is no small thing. This will significantly improve the smart home experience for those already accustomed interacting with the Echo and Fire TV separately.
And while the update rolls out today, because it’s an over-the-air update, some Fire TV Edition smart TVs may not get the update immediately, but will see it in the next few days.
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