How can you control your Amazon Fire TV box or stick using the Alexa voice assistant, and can you do it through your Echo speaker?
Amazon has come a long way from its simple delivery service beginnings. Now the retail giant has made its way past the front door and into our homes with the Fire TV streaming device and smart Echo speaker. But it’s the Amazon Alexa artificial intelligence that's really making a splash and practically becoming an extra family member.
Now you can control the Amazon Echo speaker using voice alone. thanks to Alexa. With her smart home connectivity, you can control a host of others things using that voice control interface around your digs too. Plus of course your Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick can now be controlled using Alexa, so you can perform smart searches and the rest.
But what about controlling your Fire TV with your Echo? Echo and Amazon Fire TV sadly don’t play nice right now, but there are some workarounds to help you take more control.
Since Fire TV and Fire TV Stick have Alexa built-in, the use of an Echo might seem redundant to control them. However, there are situations where it could be useful. If you start listening to music on your Echo speaker, it’d be nice to say “Play on Fire TV” so when you head to the next room the music is still playing. Or even to get a show up and running, so it’s set to go when you sit down in the next room.
Control Fire TV using your Echo
It is possible to use Echo to control your Fire TV, if you want. It is done by tricking the Echo into carrying out tasks by renaming files and using IFTTT.
This is really quite complicated though. Essentially you’re going to need to setup a host of actions and triggers that lead to the end results. While setup is tough, the actual result appears to be super simple.
Essentially this process involves renaming MP3 file data, to trick Alexa into saying what you want and carrying out the actions you need. Check out the whole guide on how to do that here. Oh, and good luck.
Control your Fire TV using Alexa
Now that Amazon has added Alexa voice controls to Fire TV and the Fire TV Stick, it’s much easier to talk to them directly with voice controls. For this you will need the microphone-toting remote, which comes bundled with the old Fire TV box or the brand new Fire TV Stick, freshly launched by Amazon in the UK.
Don't own that remote? Never fear. Alexa support is also now built into the Fire TV remote control app, downloadable right now via Google Play or the App Store. Just update your Fire TV and download that app and you'll have full Alexa voice support.
Alexa allows you to play music, videos and more, but we love the fact you can control your TV with voice. So tell Alexa to pause, skip back ten minutes, find action movies and the like and it will do it all right away.
Did you also know that you can now get Alexa on any Android device?
How to upgrade older Fire TV devices with Alexa support
If you have an older Fire TV or Fire TV Stick then you too can get smart voice controls. You simply need to update the firmware. This update should pop up automatically when ready, or can be grabbed via the Fire TV settings menu.
Once updated, you should have Alexa voice controls via your mic remote or the app. Simple.