Amazon tosses Alexa into the Fire TV Cube

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Amazon's other voice-controlled Fire TV devices require a push of the remote's mic button or a separate Echo device with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant.

You'll be able to use Alexa to control playback, but also to search, with deep integration from some key services, including Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, ESPN and more - all without having to use a remote. And with Fire TV Cube, many Alexa responses are optimized for the big screen and accompanied with rich visual information, allowing you to view your smart home camera feeds, watch video flash briefings, view sports scores, see extended weather forecasts, and watch trailers for movies playing in nearby theaters. Getting enough Echo or Echo Dot speakers to respond to commands in every room along with Fire TV devices for each television can add up to a lot of gear, particularly when the overlap between "room with a TV" and "room where an Echo might be handy" is so large.

Enhancing the easy accessibility of Alexa in the Fire TV Cube are the array of eight far-field voice recognition microphones. The Fire TV Cube skips right past the hardware inside the "Full HD"-only Fire TV Stick and instead mimics the 60 Hz 4K capabilities of the Fire TV". While pre-orders don't seem to be live just yet, they should be available shortly over at Amazon.

The Fire TV Cube price is $119.99 and is now available for pre-order, shipping from 21 June. 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.

Advanced beam-forming technology combines the signals from the individual microphones to suppress noise, reverberation, content now playing, and competing speech.

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Amazon has launched the Fire TV Cube in the USA, with pre-orders starting immediately.

The new $120 streaming box, which launches on June 21, is similar to the "Pendant Design" Fire TV that Amazon released past year, with the same processing power and 4K HDR video support. With Sonos just announcing a soundbar with integrated Alexa, the Fire TV Cube looks like a way to make your existing setup better connected and all for an impressive price.

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.

As smart and useful as our TV sets have gotten, how we interact with them remains quite dumb. The Fire TV Cube is a nifty smart set-top box for anybody who wants to control their home theater system with Alexa.

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