(Pocket-lint) - Amazon has introduced a new voice-control feature for Fire TV users.
As of 1 August, if you own one of Amazon's Fire TV media players, as well as an Echo device, you can control that Fire TV from your Echo using just your voice. That's right. No more remote required. The company has announced that it is officially launching the ability to pair Echo devices with Fire TV and Fire TV Stick devices. Doing so will allow you to say something like, “Alexa, open Netflix.”
You can also say, "Alexa, show me a horror movie". Alexa will launch apps, play any show or movie by title, actor, or genre, and control video playback. This feature got a limited rollout in early July, but now, it's available for all Fire TV hardware, including all generations. Here's what you need to know about the new feature, including how to pair your Fire TV device to your Echo device.
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How to pair Fire TV to Echo
According to Amazon, if you only have one Fire TV registered to your account, Alexa should complete the linking process automatically. Just say a request that includes Fire TV to your Alexa device (for instance, "Alexa, show me action movies on Fire TV"), and that device will be paired to your Fire TV. However, if you have more than one Fire TV, then you need to use the Alexa app to pair.
- Open the menu, and select Music, Video, & Books.
- Select Fire TV.
- Select Link Your Alexa Device, then follow the on-screen instructions to select which of your devices you'd like to link.
- Select Link Devices to confirm that you want to link your selected devices.
- You can view and manage your linked devices from the Alexa app at any time.
Amazon said you can link multiple Alexa devices to the same Fire TV, but each Alexa device can only be used to control a single Fire TV. Also, to link your Alexa and Fire TV devices, they must be registered to the same Amazon account.
How to control your Fire TV with Alexa
You can instruct Alexa to switch the input channel, play a movie, search for apps, control playback, launch a game, and return to the home screen. Amazon has listed a few voice commands you can say on its support page as well as in its press release. For instance, you can say, “Alexa, watch Bosch” or “Alexa, show me action movies” or “Alexa, go home” or “Alexa, open Hulu”.
Which devices can you use?
You can use any generation of the following compatible devices:
- Echo Dot
- Echo Look
- Echo Show
- Amazon Tap
- Compatible Alexa-enabled third-party devices
- Amazon Fire TV
- Fire TV Stick
Is that it?
Nope. You can also use Alexa via an Echo to control TVs with Amazon’s built-in software, like the Element 4K Fire TV Edition. So, if you own a Fire TV Edition Smart TV, you'll be able to control TV settings, too. And if it's connected to an HD antenna, you can do things like change the channel, control live TV, and launch the channel guide. Amazon said this functionality will launch “in the coming week".