Alexa Fire TV Control Is Coming…and Kind Of Here Already

Last week numerous outlets reported that Alexa Fire TV control—controlling your Fire TV device using voice commands issued to an Echo, Echo Show, Dot or Tap—is coming, but this new Fire TV / Fire TV Stick functionality appears to have been delayed. Never fear: LME’s got you covered with a tip for partial Fire TV control you can use while you wait!

 

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Per AFTVnews and Neowin, the latest Fire TV software update is supposed to add Alexa voice control functionality such that you can link an Alexa device (e.g., Show, Echo, Dot, Tap) to your Fire TV device. Once linked, you can control video playback and some menu navigation functions on the Fire TV device via voice commands spoken to the linked Alexa device.

Both outlets reported this new feature was revealed in Amazon’s software update changelog for Fire TV devices. I don’t see it there as of this writing, but I generally trust AFTV so I assume Amazon elected to pull the feature after last week’s posts about the change. I suspect it will be released in due time.

 

In The Meantime, You Can Connect Fire TV to Your Alexa Device Via Bluetooth

Connecting your Fire TV device to an Alexa device will pipe the audio from your Fire TV device to the Alexa device’s speaker, and it will enable video pause control via an Alexa voice command spoken to the Alexa device.

This can actually be pretty useful in situations where you’re sitting closer to the Alexa device than you are to the TV and want to hear the TV audio better without turning up the volume on the TV set. Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show and Echo Tap all support incoming Bluetooth connections, but the sound quality on a Dot won’t be great. If a Dot’s all you’re working with, you can improve the audio experience (and keep the TV audio all to yourself) by plugging headphones into the Dot.

How To Connect Fire TV to Alexa Devices Via Bluetooth:

1. On the Fire TV device menu, navigate to Settings > Controllers and Bluetooth Devices > Other Bluetooth Devices > Add Bluetooth Devices.

2. Put the Alexa device in Bluetooth pairing mode by saying, “{wake word}, pair.” On the Show, you can use the on-screen Settings menu or the voice command to activate pairing mode. Alexa will confirm pairing mode is activated.

3. Back on the Fire TV screen, Locate your Alexa device in the list of available Bluetooth devices and select it to connect.

That’s it. Now your Fire TV audio will be played through your Alexa device’s speaker, and you can use the volume up and down controls or voice commands on that device as per usual.

To pause video playback say, “{wake word}, pause.”

Pretty cool! Provided you’re watching an Amazon video (versus using a third party app like Netflix or HBOGO to stream video on the Fire TV device), the Pause command kind of doubles as a Stop command since a paused Amazon video on a Fire TV device will go to the screen saver after a few minutes, and then to sleep, and in another 30 minutes the Fire TV device will shut down.

Easier than fumbling for that itty bitty Fire TV remote when falling asleep with the Fire TV on, but remember that the television the Fire TV device is connected to will still be on—unless it also has an auto-off feature.

 

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Get the Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote (UK visitors – click here) and you can start using Alexa commands and features with the included voice remote’s pushbutton control instead of the wake word right now. Then, when the software update finally comes, you’ll be all set to take advantage of the new Alexa device voice control functionality too! Currently rated 4.5/5 stars and priced at $39.99.

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