Amazon announced new Alexa features today that will make it easier for users to control their Fire TV when watching movies, TV shows, and more, all through simple pairing and voice-controls. Now users will be able to pair any Fire TV with any Echo device and easily control your Fire TV. Users can ask, and Alexa will start a show, help you find a good movie to watch, control playback, and more. In addition, you will soon be able to view live video feeds from your supported smart home camera right from your Fire TV.
“Alexa is built in the cloud and always getting smarter, and these new Fire TV features are the latest way that Alexa is making it simple for you to enjoy and control your living room entertainment,” said Marc Whitten, Vice President, Amazon Fire TV. “Simply ask Alexa to play your favorite show, or keep an eye on your kids’ playroom during movie night, right from the comfort of your couch. This is just the beginning and we’ll continue to create new ways to simplify the way you interact with your TV—we can’t wait to see what customers think.”
Getting started is pretty easy. If you have only one Fire TV, your Echo device will pair as soon as you ask Alexa a question that includes Fire TV, for example “Alexa, watch The Grand Tour on Fire TV” or “Alexa, show me comedies on Fire TV.” If you have more than one Fire TV, use the Alexa app to pair your devices. Then, simply ask, and Alexa will launch apps, play movies or TV shows by title, actor or genre, and control video playback with commands such as “Alexa, play,” “Alexa, pause,” and “Alexa, fast forward.” Here are some of the other things you can say to control your Fire TV hands-free:
You can test it out by saying “Alexa, watch Bosch;” “Alexa, show me action movies;” “Alexa, go home;” or “Alexa, open Hulu”.
In addition to playing shows and movies, launching apps, and controlling video playback, you can also pair your Echo device with your Fire TV Edition smart TV and control TV settings including volume and input switching.
When connected to an HD antenna, you can also change the channel, pause and resume over-the-air live TV playback, and launch the on-screen channel guide with voice commands including: “Alexa, turn on Fire TV;” “Alexa, tune to FOX;” “Alexa, tune to NBC;” “Alexa, switch to HDMI one;” “Alexa, mute the volume on Fire TV.”
Coming soon, Amazon will also enable you to use your Fire TV to view live video feeds via Alexa from your compatible smart home cameras by simply saying “Alexa, show my kitchen camera.”
You will be able to see who’s at the front door or check on a sleeping baby in the nursery. Smart home camera support on Fire TV works with a range of devices from companies including Ring, Arlo, Nest, EZVIZ, Vivint Smart Home, Amcrest, Logitech, and August.
Far-field control of Fire TV is available starting today for customers in the U.S. on all generations of Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. Customers in the U.S. with the new Fire TV Edition smart TVs will have far-field control within the coming week. Smart home camera support is coming soon on all Fire TVs and second generation Fire TV Sticks in the U.S.