Amazon's Fire TV Blaster Adds Alexa Voice Control To Your Home Theater
You might already yell at your TV on occasion, like when the referees miss a blatant pass interference call against your football team. Amazon has something a little different in mind, though. Its new Fire TV Blaster encourages talking to your home entertainment devices, though not out of anger for frustration—it adds Alexa voice control to your various gadgets.
The Fire TV Blaster is basically an infrared blaster. Provided you already own a Fire TV device and Echo smart speaker, the Fire TV Blaster levels up your home entertainment by bringing Alexa voice control into the fold. As such, this is a companion device and does not work on its own. It requires a Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, Fire TV Stick 4K, and Fire TV (3rd gen), and any Echo speaker or smart display.
If you have the proper hardware in place, the Fire TV Blaster is can work with your home entertainment setup to adjust the volume, change channels, and other tasks by way of issuing voice commands.
"Similar to universal remotes, Fire TV Blaster uses infrared (IR) to help TVs, soundbars, satellite and cable boxes, and A/V receivers work together wirelessly," Amazon explains.
One word of note—this is not compatible with Fire TV Edition televisions or soundbars.
The Fire TV Blaster is a clever way of bringing Fire TV Cube features to people who already own a Fire TV stick and do not want to upgrade. In that respect, it's a cheaper upgrade path—the Fire TV Blaster by itself sells for $34.99 on Amazon, and $79.99 when bundled with a Fire TV Stick 4K and Echo Dot (3rd gen). In comparison, a Fire TV Cube runs $119.99.
Another benefit here is cutting down on having multiple remote controls. I'm personally a big fan of Logitech's Harmony Elite universal remote, but that's also a pricey gadget—it carries a $349.99 MSRP.
The Fire TV Blaster is available to preorder now and will ship on December 11, 2019.