Amazon adds new Fire TV Blaster to boost Fire TV home theater control

CNET Technology 2 weeks ago

Have a Fire TV Stick and want to have Alexa control your home theater set up? You soon will be able to. On Tuesday Amazon announced a new Fire TV Blaster, infrared (IR) transmitter that can be used to control your TV, cable box and speaker with Alexa as opposed to using traditional remote controls. 

Not a standalone device, the Blaster requires an Echo smart speaker or display and either a Fire TV Stick 4K, third-generation Fire TV or Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote in order to control your TV. 

For those that have a smart speaker and one of the aforementioned Fire TVs, Amazon says that by adding the Blaster you'll gain "hands-free voice control to your existing TV, soundbar, cable or satellite box, and receiver" continuing to add that it'll even allow you to "control power, volume, and playback and switch between inputs" using just your voice. 

Amazon's Fire TV Blaster.

If your Fire TV Stick came with an Alexa remote, adding the Fire TV Blaster will allow you to control your devices without having to press the microphone button. There are no microphones built-into the Blaster, however, which is why the company requires pairing with an Echo.

Amazon has incorporated IR control into some of its products in the past, including the Fire TV Cube, but it has not added the functionality into its Fire TV Sticks. Those who have a Cube won't necessarily need this device unless you want to expand the IR control to reach devices hidden inside a closet or cabinet. 

The Fire TV Blaster similarly won't work with Amazon's own Fire TV Edition televisions or soundbars.

Available for pre-order now, the Blaster will be released on December 11 and retail for $35. 


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