Amazon is giving the IR blaster back to the masses with the new Fire TV Cube
Revamping your in-home streaming experience.
What you need to know
- Amazon has announced the third-generation Fire TV Cube.
- It features a built-in 360-degree IR blaster, and is the first streaming media player to feature Wi-Fi 6E support.
- You can pre-order the Fire TV Cube today for $139, and it will begin shipping in late October.
During today's Amazon event, the company unveiled the third-generation Fire TV Cube. The first iteration was first released in 2018, bringing 4K streaming, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos to your television sets. The Fire TV Cube 2nd Gen arrived about a year later and has been the only Cube available with support for Dolby Vision and an upgraded hexa-core processor. Today, the Fire TV Cube (3rd Gen) retains much of the same design, with a few key changes.
To keep in line with its predecessors, the 2022 Fire TV Cube still sports an LED strip that runs around the top edge of the streaming device. There are also still hardware buttons on the top, allowing you to quickly adjust the volume or invoke Alexa.
The first major difference you'll notice is that the outside of the Fire TV Cube (3rd Gen) is wrapped in fabric. This was done to give you another smart speaker in your living room, which can come in quite handy if you didn't already have one. But you will also be able to connect the Fire TV Cube with other Amazon Echo speakers to help create an immersive and Alexa-powered home theater setup.
Another change that can be found on the new Fire TV Cube is in the port selection on the back of the Cube itself. There are now two HDMI ports, a proprietary power adapter, a USB-A port, an Ethernet jack, and an "IR extender" port. With the dual HDMI ports, these aren't just a one-size-fits-all solution, as there is one labeled as "HDMI in" with the other labeled "HDMI out." Considering the rising popularity of the best soundbars, having dedicated HDMI in and out ports makes a load of sense, as you could even plug in your PS5 or Xbox (theoretically) and control everything from the Fire TV Cube.
Another feature that helps the Fire TV Cube (3rd Gen) stand out from the crowd of streaming devices is that it's one of the few options to feature support for Wi-Fi 6E. This new Cube is also capable of handling converting HD content to 4K with ease, thanks to the 20% boost in processing power over its predecessor.
Lastly, to go along with the Fire TV Cube (3rd Gen), Amazon is introducing an all-new Alexa Voice Remote Pro, but this one's a bit different compared to the current iteration. You still have the dedicated Alexa button at the top, along with four new buttons at the bottom, for quickly accessing Netflix, Prime Video, DirecTV, and Peacock.
Amazon even built-in a Remote Finder feature so you can find the remote when it's lost between the couch cushions. Plus, there are two programmable buttons at the bottom of the remote. These can be programmed to start an Alexa Routine or even launch a different streaming service.
The Fire TV Cube (3rd Gen) is available for pre-order starting today, with a $139 price tag. It will begin shipping to customers on October 25. The new Alexa Voice Remote Pro is priced at $34.99 and will be available sometime in November.
The Amazon Fire TV Cube has just received its first update since 2019, offering 20% faster performance, Wi-Fi 6E support, and even a built-in IR blaster.
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Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.