Post Updated 5/17/19 – Today’s tip is one of those things that’s always been available to owners of Alexa devices with Bluetooth capability (which is most of them), but it may not have occurred to many consumers: you can pipe the audio from your Bluetooth-capable TV, computer, gaming console, streaming device or cable box to any Bluetooth-capable Alexa device that has a speaker.
How Is This Useful?
Here are just a few examples I can think of:
1. Partner wants to sleep, you want to watch TV in bed. Set the Alexa device on the nightstand right next to your side of the bed, and you can keep the volume low yet still be able to hear.
2. You’re doing chores or cooking while watching a talk show or some other program where being able to see isn’t so important that you must stay glued to the set, but every time you get up to check your food, fetch the next load of clean laundry for folding or whatever you must either pause the TV or crank the volume up so you can still hear it.
3. I like to leave the TV on during that last 20 minutes or so before I get drowsy enough to fall asleep but because the TV’s on the opposite side of the room from my bed, finding a TV volume level that’s high enough to hear but not so high that it keeps me wakeful is a challenge. With the Echo on my nightstand, problem solved: I can turn the Echo’s sound down lower than I’d be able to on the TV, and still hear it.
4. I have a relative who’s hard of hearing, but the hearing of everyone else in his house is fine. He’s always blasting the TV at high volume so he can hear it from across the living room, annoying anyone else in the house who isn’t watching along with him. If the audio were piped to an Alexa device sitting on a table right next to his easy chair, he could keep the volume down to a bearable level for the household.
5. You like to stream video on your computer or gaming console, but the quality of sound coming out of your computer’s/console’s speakers is poor.
There are probably many other scenarios where this capability would come in handy.
How Do You Do It?
Here’s the easy how-to.
1. Go to the Settings > Bluetooth menu on your video streaming device, cable box, TV, gaming console or computer and ensure Bluetooth is turned on and set in discoverable mode. Remember, this only works if the device you’re using to get your video can connect to other devices via Bluetooth.
2. Wake the Alexa device you want the TV sound to come out of and say, “Pair”.
3. Select the Alexa device when it appears on your TV, console menu or computer screen in the list of available Bluetooth devices.
In the case of my Fire TV device, all I had to do was go to Settings > Controllers and Bluetooth Devices > Other Bluetooth Devices, then say, “Alexa, pair” to my Echo. Presto! All the sounds my Fire TV stick used to send to my TV’s speakers now come out of the Echo.
That’s it, you’re done! Now when you watch video on the paired device the sound will come out of your Alexa device!