Amazon unveils almost hands-free streaming TV device Fire TV Cube

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Fire TV Cube is the first hands-free streaming media player with Alexa, delivering an all-in-one entertainment experience.

'And, it's just the beginning.

Standard Alexa features available through Fire TV Cube include smart-home controls, a built-in speaker for weather and news updates, and access to third-party Alexa skills. And it also works like an Echo, answering your queries and controlling smart home devices in your house. It can turn on the television automatically over HDMI-CEC and then automatically navigate itself to the particular content, even if it is within a non-Amazon app, such as Netflix or Hulu, as long as the app integrates with Alexa. For comparison's sake, the Echo Dot has a regular price of $50 (currently $40) and the Fire TV costs $70, but neither can do the Cube's IR magic.

As far as internal specs are concerned, the standout points are the eight microphones tucked inside the hardware, allowing for support for far-field voice recognition. As an introductory offer, Prime members can preorder Fire TV Cube on 7 June and 8 June for $89.99. Amazon Prime members can pre-order Fire TV Cube on June 7th and 8th at a special price of $90 and it can also be pre-ordered together with the recently announced Amazon Cloud Cam for USA $199.98.

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"Like a trustworthy best friend, Alexa helps you nail your look every time", said Linda Ranz, director of Echo product management.

The new $120 streaming box, which launches on June 21, is similar to the "Pendant Design" Fire TV that Amazon released previous year, with the same processing power and 4K HDR video support.

After making a request for, let's say, the Real Housewives of NY, the Cube will respond by serving up the user's cable, satellite box or some streaming apps. At that time, Amazon teased the Amazon Fire TV Cube with a holding page on its USA storefront which simply said: "What is Amazon Fire TV Cube?"

Users can even search for TV shows or movies by actor. Just say, "Alexa, switch to channel 31"; "Alexa, watch ESPN"; or "Alexa, tune to NBC". The Fire TV Cube is a nifty smart set-top box for anybody who wants to control their home theater system with Alexa. The Fire TV Cube is able to communicate with all these devices - and control - because it has four IR blasters built into its four sides.

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