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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Linked by Dan Moren

Amazon’s merging the Fire TV with the Echo

AFTVnews has the scoop on two new Fire TV models coming from Amazon this year, but it’s the high-end model that’s going to get the attention:1

The second new Fire TV is a cube shaped set-top box that will be Amazon’s new flagship model. It has far-field microphones, a built-in speaker, and an LED light bar that give it the same functionality as an Amazon Echo Dot for hands-free Alexa interaction and control. It also has an IR emitter which allows it to control your television and other A/V equipment.

Given Amazon’s position in the smart speaker market and its pretty successful set-top box, it makes sense it would be the first to try combining these two great flavors into one device. Google and Amazon have both been moving in this direction for a while now—the remaining question is how well it works.

The addition of an IR emitter is a nice thought too. Right now, I use the Harmony Hub to control my A/V setup by voice, but it’s still somewhat limited in what it can control, and it would be nice to have one less random box on the shelf. (Really, it’s always felt like a bit of a stop-gap.)

Controlling your TV setup by voice is here, and it isn’t going away.

(via Joe Steel on Twitter)


  1. Speaking of leaks, this reads to me as a deliberate leak from Amazon, not least of all because it’s a day before Apple announces the 4K Apple TV update it’s rolling out—which has itself already been leaked, and will probably seem a bit underwhelming comparatively.  ↩