Amazon is looking to solve the problem of TV voice control with the $34.99 Fire TV Blaster. As an Echo can only do so much and a Fire TV Stick can do about the same. The solution is what feels like the Fire TV Gadget. It’s a small black box with an IR blaster, a power port and the necessary connectivity components.
You might be thinking that sounds similar to the technology in the Fire TV Cube ($119.99; amazon.com) which lets you control TV elements with Alexa, and you’d be right. Once it’s paired, you can control your TV with Alexa from any connected Echo that’s paired with a Fire TV Stick. Just ask Alexa to turn the TV on or off, switch the input, adjust the volume, mute or unmute and even select a channel.
The big thing to note is that there are no microphones are built into the Blaster. So an Echo or easy access to an Alexa Voice Remote will be a requirement.
The Fire TV Blaster at $34.99 should make users happy, especially ones who don’t want to go for the Fire TV Cube and prefer the form factor of the Stick. And this small accessory extends Alexa’s control beyond the Fire TV Stick to control the TV itself.
Amazon’s Fire TV Blaster is up for preorder at $34.99 and will launch on Dec. 11. For $79.99, you can bundle the Fire TV Blaster with a Fire TV Stick and 3rd Generation Echo Dot. And yes, that would make it a great holiday gift. We’ll be back in December with a full review.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed price at the time of publication.