Amazon Fire TV Cube is the Firestick, Dot Mashup Ready to Dominate the Living Room
Sonos has been riding the rumors of a June 6 launch for a few weeks, finally unveiling their smart speaker soundbar hybrid. Wasting no time, Amazon has also unveiled their Fire TV Cube, a smart, um, smart cube that is essentially a bunch of IR blasters housed in an Amazon Alexa.
While they are definitely two entirely different products, their goal is actually the same. Dominate the living room. The middle oval on the Venn-diagram between these two products is TV control. Both products can power televisions on and off (with a reliance on the wildly underutilized HDMI-CEC spec), change the volume, jump to programs, and a slew of other commands.
But where the Amazon Fire TV Cube stands out - besides the fact that it is not a smart soundbar - is its ability to be a universal remote. The set-top box will have all the functions of an Amazon Firestick, but it can also control all the other accessories connected to the TV. And while IR blasters are, if nothing else, finicky it is still another great idea from Amazon. It's a realistic product that is utilizing a commonly accepted method of input for Comcast, DirecTV, Dish, and a host of set-top boxes. Amazon is also aiming for it to control more complex equipment like game consoles, but that is still down the line.