So you’re engrossed in your favorite show, and then something happens too fast. You frantically reach for your remote to rewind—it’s not there!
You spend the next 20 minutes searching before you find your remote. But you’re not in the mood anymore. Series marathoning ruined.
Don’t you just wish you could yell, “Stop!” and “Rewind!” at the TV and it’ll obey?
With the emergence of smart devices and smart assistants nowadays, voice-control is no longer confined to the sci-fi realm. Pair the Fire TV together with a smart assistant like the Amazon Echo and you can easily make watching TV a hands-free experience.
Wait, Fire TV Now Has Alexa?! So I Don’t Need To Connect Echo To Fire TV?
No, You Don’t Need To Connect Echo To Fire TV…
Amazon has now integrated Alexa with Fire TV, so all you need is an Alexa Voice Remote Control or your smartphone to control Fire TV.
Once successfully connected, voice commands to search for videos, starting applications or even accessing playback controls can be done by just tapping the mic button and talking into the mic of the remote control.
...But You May Still Want To
However, if you’re the type who wants 100% hands-free voice control, and/or have a bad habit of misplacing remote controls, and/or have remote-control swiping toddlers or furry companions in the house, then connecting your Echo or Dot to Fire TV might be a better option.
The Echo or Dot has a constant listening ability, so all you have to do is talk. No remote controls needed.
Minor problems include voice recognition not working every time, and incompatibility issues with other different services.
For example, Alexa may not be able to search for TV shows that aren’t offered through Amazon, although they could work through the web browser.
How To Connect Fire TV With Echo
Admittedly, the Fire TV and Echo aren’t exactly best buddies as of the moment. If you are the owner of a Fire TV and an Amazon Echo, Dot or any of the Echo varieties, do not despair! You can still pair the devices up for voice-control.
With the help of the IFTTT (If This Then That) web service, it is still possible to use the Echo to control your Fire TV.
The IFTTT truly is a smart device owner’s best friend, as it provides roundabout solutions for a lot of different problems that may arise with smart devices, or create amazing new possibilities, as in this case.
Basically, you’re going to rename some files and create action commands and triggers via IFTTT to make your Echo think it’s performing tasks.
It will take a bit of techie know-how, but if you’re willing to give it a try, here are instructions on how to do this.
This option is well worth exploring as your TV will virtually be hands-free with the Echo or Echo Dot’s constant listening ability.
The Tap is another story, but hey, you’re still less likely to misplace your Tap than your remote control. Or have it stolen by your sneaky fur babies.
Connecting the Echo also enables a myriad of different capabilities. For example, you can literally program your living room TV to automatically switch on when you tell Alexa to switch on the living room air conditioning. All it takes is just one command, and you can settle in on the sofa for an all-night long of TV binge.
Control Fire TV With Alexa (but no Echo)
Don’t own an Echo? You can still control your Fire TV with smart assistant Alexa. Here are two ways of controlling your Fire TV with Alexa.
The first way of controlling your Fire TV is by accessing Alexa with the aforementioned Alexa Voice remote.
Note that, for a few more bucks, you can get the new Fire TV stick bundled with the Alexa Voice remote. It’s well worth it. Or if you want higher quality than 1080p (4K anyone?), get the more expensive but more powerful Fire TV Box or the Fire Smart LED TV, both also bundled with the Alexa Voice remote.
To use the remote, you will just simply press the mic button on the top part, and then you can give commands to Alexa directly. “Alexa, rewind two minutes” or even “Alexa, order me a pizza.”
New skills are being added all the time, and it is fun watching your Fire TV acquire more and more capabilities over time.
No remote? Fret not. You can still access your Fire TV via your smartphone.
If you’re an Android user, you can download the Amazon Fire TV Remote App on Google Play, or on the App Store if you’re on iOS.
Setup is easy and straightforward. After downloading the app for your Fire TV, update the firmware of your unit, if needed, for you to have access to the Alexa full voice support.
Amazon has updated all devices with Alexa support. So if you own one of the earlier models of the Fire TV Box or Fire TV Stick, all you have to do is update your firmware.
Depending on your lifestyle and your budget, there are different ways to gain voice control of your Fire TV.
Whether you go for the remote control method or the 100% hands-free voice control method via Echo, you want voice-control. Convenience aside, let’s face it: barking orders at your TV is just plain awesome.
Although there are cons that come with this set up, it is still worth it as the pros definitely outweigh them.
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