Amazon today announced the Fire TV Cube, a cube-shaped box that combines the power of three into one: a Fire TV, an Echo smart speaker, and a universal remote.
The Cube is equipped with IR blasters on its glass-covered four sides, meaning that it can send commands to most devices present in an average TV setup. Support for HDMI-CEC is also included, meaning that the Cube can control a setup via that as well, provided that the other devices support that standard. Amazon is also bundling a separate IR extender with the Cube, making it possible to reach devices hidden away in cabinets and such.
It’s possible to talk to Alexa and ask for shows and movies to be brought up on the TV – that’s also possible with the Fire TV stick and Fire TV box – but the Fire TV Cube can work as a full-featured Echo device as well. It’s always on and listening for the wake word with its eight built-in microphones and will respond to queries like an Echo would, with its built-in speaker.
Alexa on the Cube is slightly more capable though, as the IR blasters allow it to control devices that haven’t traditionally been within its reach. This means that it’s possible to ask Alexa on the Cube to “tune to CBS,” prompting it to send commands to the cable box and switch to that channel. At the moment, the Cube supports cable boxes from Comcast, Dish, and DirectTV.
The Fire TV Cube supports 4K playback, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos but doesn’t support Dolby Vision playback. It costs $119.99, with pre-orders starting today, but Prime members can pre-order it for a discounted price of $89.99 until tomorrow. The Fire TV Cube will begin shipping on June 21. Amazon is also giving a $10 credit for Prime Video to customers who purchase and register their TV Cube by July 1.