If you've been using a Fire TV Stick or a Fire TV, and wished you had the hands-free device controls of the Fire TV Cube, Amazon's got a stocking stuffer ready for you. And only you.
That's the Fire TV Blaster, an infrared-based companion device for existing Fire TV setups that's available for pre-order now for $34.99, shipping on Dec. 11 to the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Germany.
After pairing it into your Amazon devices, you can go beyond controlling just your content with your voice. Amazon notes the following hardware is supported: Echos with Fire TV Sticks, the Fire TV Stick 4K and the 3rd Gen Fire TV (and when it comes time to master those devices, check out my how to use the Fire Stick guide).
Yes, it's cool to draw up another episode of Amazon Prime's Fleabag with your voice, or ask Alexa to rewind a few minutes when you forgot to pause to answer your door for delivery. But voice controls for your actual entertainment hardware — TV, cable box, soundbar and A/V receiver — takes it to the next level.
Measuring 1.5 x 2.2 x 1.5 inches, this small, rectangular box looks like it will blend in with most entertainment areas. While it's got a blue dot to signal Alexa's activation, it doesn't share any of the fabric material seen in other Echo devices, looking more like a smaller Fire TV Cube.
Personally, I can tell you it's worth it, as I still try and keep my Fire TV Cube plugged in, even though I don't use many apps on the device (the programs I want are mostly on Roku and Apple TV). This expands the list of ways you can control your TV with Alexa on its own, so you can switch the HDMI input on your TV, change volume or control your cable box.
At the end of a long day, those tricks can make it easier to slip into a relaxing mood — especially when you can't find the remote.