When Amazon officially announced the new Fire TV Cube, the device made headlines as the Fire TV and Echo speakers were put together in a shiny black box. The fact that the Fire TV Cube would be able to control a TV was almost a footnote, and the description of these capabilities was often limited to turning the TV on and off and raising and lowering the volume. It turns out that the Fire TV Cube is more advanced than that. Too much.

The Fire TV Cube puts Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant into the Fire TV, but thanks to the HDMI CEC and infrared amplifier, the Fire TV Cube lets you use your voice power for your entire entertainment system (even if it’s complicated). Is perfect for On paper, it looks great. In practice, it is much better than we expected.

You won’t throw the remote into the trash can and say goodbye forever, but the Fire TV Cube will allow you to stuff those button-loaded sticks in the drawer and forget about days at a time. This is why the Amazon Fire TV Cube is our favorite streaming box – and it comes from the powerful Roku fan.

Amazon cleverly packaged the Fire TV Cube in a fully recycled packaging without being full. In the box, you will find cube wrapped in plastic and further protected by plastic film.

If you throw away the plastic before reading the setup alert printed on it, make sure you want to set the Fire TV Cube in a visible place (do not place it behind the cabinet door or behind the wall mounted TV ), And speakers at least one foot away from any space so that the built-in microphone at the top of the cube can easily distinguish between voice commands, TV programs, or music.

In the cube box, you’ll find an Ethernet adapter (if you have a better solid Internet connection to use, but built-in Wi-Fi), a power cord, an expandable IR blaster with a generous length cable, and A Fire TV controller with battery.

Yes, Cube, which touts voice commands as its primary feature, still benefits from having a remote control from time to time. Also, not everyone uses audio for everything – sometimes you just want one tap to get the job done.

Yes, Cube, which states voice commands as a primary feature, still benefits from having a remote control from time to time. Also, not everyone uses audio in everything – sometimes you just want one tap to get the job done.

If you use amplifiers or A / V receivers, the setup process is a bit more complicated, but the Fire TV Cube does a great job of helping you figure out how to connect your equipment. During the setup process, it seemed as if Amazon had assumed that we were going to connect the Fire TV Cube directly to the A / V receiver. A bunch of tests were run to make sure it could switch on and off the TV and receiver, control the volume, etc., and the system worked.

However, we currently have our sources directly connected to our TV, with an audio signal going to our receiver using HDMI ARC, and with that arrangement, we need to make some changes to the settings menu to make sure Had to do that while using the Fire TV cube, the receiver switched to feed HDMI 2. ARC. We believe that something similar can happen if speakers are used in a similar configuration.

What Amazon is not asking you to do is run across all applicable hardware and run HDMI CEC (Consumer Electronics Control). We had to turn on the LG E8 OLED TV’s HDMI CEC and HDMI ARC and the Anthem MRX-1120 A / V receiver to make sure everything ran smoothly. Some TVs (many Samsung devices, for example) are enabled automatically with CEC, but others do not, so dig through your settings menu to be sure.

From there, it is up to you which other devices you want to connect to the Fire TV Cube. We have added a Blu-ray player and PlayStation 4 console, but if we have a cable box or satellite receiver, you can bet that after we controlled the cable / satellite box and access live TV those people Pair that Fire TV Cube has to offer. He is the best.

We’ll get out on a limb and assume that you’re familiar with the basics of Fire TV and Amazon Alexa, simply because we can make the Fire TV Cube special (there are many). However, if you need a refresher, here is our review of the third generation Fire TV and the latest Amazon Echo speakers to get you up-to-date on speed in an instant.

It is as impossible to describe the Fire TV Cube as Echo and Fire TV monolithic as it is shorthand. The Fire TV Cube can do many things that cannot work with an Echo speaker outside of the Fire TV hardware control.

If you’re in the wire-cutting business, we’ve got great news: Amazon Fire TV Cube works with PlayStation Vue and Hulu Plus Live TV.

One of the most notable changes to the Fire TV platform we saw during Cube Testing was how Amazon placed apps on the home screen or through search in a more equal playground. It used to be that if you search for House of Cards, Amazon will offer its premium Prime Video option on clear free availability on Netflix.

With Fire TV Cube, if you ask him to play House of Cards, Ozark, Handmaid’s Tale, or any other original show from competing services, he will go straight to the right app and (provided you have a subscription) show. Start playing If you order a show unavailable for free for one of those services, which Fire TV Cube will show you what your options are, then what you want is still not available on Amazon’s Prime Video service.