Amazon Fire TV is Now Remote-Free with Alexa Voice Control
Fire TV owners have already been able to control the TV sets with voice command via remote control. Now Amazon just made it smarter and easier by officially rolling out the ability to pair Echo devices with Fire TVs. In other words, starting from August 1st, you'll be able to control your Fire TV from your Amazon Echo device through Alexa, Amazon's intelligent voice-controlled assistant.
After pairing those two devices, you can choose specific shows, change channels, adjust volume and open apps directly from the smart home hub with voice control instead of remote. According to Amazon, you can ask Alexa to "launch apps, play movies or TV shows by title, actor or genre, and control video playback with commands such as 'Alexa, play,' 'Alexa, pause,' and 'Alexa, fast forward'." You can even tell Alexa to "Go home," without needing to add "you're drunk".
People who have one Echo can "pair" it with their Fire TV after asking Alexa a question that includes Fire TV. People who have more than one must use their Alexa mobile app to connect the correct Echo to their TV. It'll work similarly to Amazon's Alexa Voice Remote for the Fire TV, just without the actual remote.
Marc Whitten, Vice President of Amazon Fire TV said, "These new Fire TV features are the latest way that Alexa is making it simple for you to enjoy and control your living room entertainment. This is just the beginning and we'll continue to create new ways to simplify the way you interact with your TV — we can't wait to see what customers think."
This new functionality of Fire TV is potentially handy for those instances when your hands are otherwise indisposed, such as when you're cooking dinner and don't get chance to use the remote control.
For now, the update is compatible with all generations of Fire TV and Fire TV Stick in the US only, with Amazon making no promises as to if and when it will be rolled out further afield.
In addition, Amazon said consumers will soon be able to view and control live video feeds from smart security cameras that work with Alexa from their Fire TV.
More Fire TV Tips: How to Stream iTunes Movies to Play on Amazon Fire TV
According to research data, Amazon Fire came in third after Roku and Google Chromecast on the list of most-used set-top boxes. Specifically, Fire TV had nearly 36 million users compared to 39 million for Roku, and 37 million for Chromecast. Apple TV came in fourth with 22 million monthly users.
One important reason why people like using Fire TV and other media streamers is largely tied to the online streaming functionality they provide. Take Fire TV for example, we can easily stream various online channels, including over 200,000 TV episodes and movies, millions of songs, and hundreds of games from Amazon Instant Video Prime, HULU, Netflix, etc. to our HDTV for watching. But here comes the problem. Although Amazon Fire TV supports a huge collection of online channels, it lacks support to iTunes, one of the largest and most popular online digital stores in the market. So it's not a perfect device for iTunes users to stream their movies to TV. That's why most iTunes users have to use Apple TV to get the job done.
As you need to know, movies sold in iTunes are encrypted with DRM technology, due to which you can only watch iTunes videos on Apple's devices. However, things getting changed with the development of some third-party iTunes video tools, which will help you easily convert the iTunes movies to Amazon Fire TV compatible formats. If you are looking for such a solution to stream your iTunes movie purchases and rentals to Fire TV, you are suggested to try DRmare M4V Converter, the fastest lossless iTunes DRM remover that can bypass DRM protection from iTunes videos for playback on any device.
You can read this guide: How to Play iTunes DRM Movies on Amazon Fire TV to see the details on converting iTunes movies to Fire TV.