I must admit, I pretty much forgot about the Amazon Echo Show 15's best feature until the NFL season started. I wrote about it last September when the software update was first announced, but then it somehow slipped my mind when it finally arrived.
That was last December, when Amazon issued an over-the-air update to the Echo Show 15 that turned it into a Fire TV device. You can even use a Fire TV remote to control things.
On Sundays, I like to sit on the couch and watch football. But, I also like to cook, which means frequent trips to the kitchen to check on my roast, Sunday sauce, or whatever I have cooking on the stove.
That means I either have to crank the volume on my living room TV to hear what's happening, or press pause until I can get back to that well-worn divot on my divan.
Fire TV on the Echo Show 15 changes all that. While I can't get every NFL game on the device unless I were to subscribe to NFL Sunday Ticket, I can get a fair number through ESPN+, Amazon Prime Video, and Paramount Plus. (Sadly, Amazon didn't add support for its Fire TV Recast, its now-discontinued mini-DVR for over-the-air channels).
I suddenly remembered the feature this past Sunday. I was watching the Eagles/Pats game, but also had to attend to the needs of my daughter, who kept requesting snacks and milk from the fridge; I was also responsible for making dinner. As I was hustling back to the living room from the kitchen, I happened to glance up at the Echo Show 15, and remembered that it could now double as a TV. A few taps later, and I no longer had to rush between rooms.
I also happened to be watching via the Echo Show 15 on Monday night when Aaron Rodgers went down after only four plays as the Jets quarterback. Ouch.
While the Echo Show 15 isn't going to win any best TV awards for its resolution or audio quality, its 15.6-inch display is the perfect size for my kitchen, so I can keep up with what's happening on the field while preparing dinner for my family. And there's still plenty of room left on the wall for my daughter's artwork.
When it's not being used to stream sports, the Echo Show 15 silently cycles through some of our favorite family photos — one reason why it's on our list of the best digital photo frames. It's also really handy for when we need to set kitchen timers when boiling eggs, or look up the weather for the week.
Currently, you can get the Echo Show 15 with a Fire TV remote for $279, or for $215 without the remote.
Amazon is scheduled to hold its annual hardware event next week on September 20, where it debuts its newest Alexa-powered devices. Given that the Echo Show 15 is two years old, there's a chance that it could be replaced with a newer model. If so, you might be able to pick up the original Echo Show 15 for even less. But even if it remains at the same price, it's still a great cheap TV for those who like to cook, but don't want to miss any of the action.
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Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.