Meet Amazon Fire TV Cube, the answer for your Xbox TV & OneGuide woes
Xbox One S, meet the potential cause for your demotion to input 2: the Amazon Fire TV Cube.
The Amazon Fire TV Cube’s name is deceptive. It’s both a new version of the Fire TV set-top box and an Amazon Echo. A finely tuned set of microphones listen for your commands and can hear you over your favorite movies and television shows. If you want to watch something on Netflix, you ask Alexa to play it for you. Say “turn to ESPN” and the Fire TV Cube can do that too. The same goes with movies and music from your favorite apps. The Fire TV Cube supports 4K video and HDR for better-looking visuals on TVs that support them. It also has Dolby Atmos Audio support.
Yes, you can do some of this today with an Amazon Echo Dot and an Amazon Fire TV. However, the Fire TV Cube bundles all this functionality into one package for $89.99. What’s more, the Fire TV Cube has infrared and HDMI-CEC control technology. It can use these features to turn your TV on, change the channel or adjust your speaker system’s volume. That’s something on a few devices do today, including the Xbox One, Xbox One S and Xbox One X.
Contrast the ease of giving Alexa a command and having it followed to with I’m putting up with to leave the Xbox One S as my go-to entertainment hub. The Xbox One S doesn’t have nearly as large a library of video and music apps the Amazon Fire TV does.
Cortana voice commands barely work. I’d waited patiently for Cortana to pick up more skills, but settled on an Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick when I realized that an influx of new skills was never coming. Microsoft is slowly phasing out TV features too. The OneGuide has been relegated to the Entertainment area, and you no longer get a curated, detailed look at what’s airing without opening apps because the Channels feature that used to do this is gone.
Let’s not forget that I’m only able to continue using voice commands because I had a Kinect and Kinect adapter from a previous Xbox One. You can’t get either of them today.
If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, you can pre-order the Fire TV Cube today for $89.99 and get a $10 credit to use on videos. The box will arrive on your doorstep June 21st.