Alexa Fire TV Control Is Here!

It’s official: Alexa Fire TV Control is here!

UK readers – sorry to say, Alexa functionality hasn’t yet been added to Fire TV devices outside the US, but hopefully once all the kinks are worked out it’ll be coming your way, too.

 

Trying To Watch TV

 

Set Up
Per Amazon, all of the following devices are compatible for Alexa control of Fire TV:

Echo
Echo Dot
Echo Look
Echo Show
Amazon Tap
Compatible Alexa-enabled third-party devices
Amazon Fire TV
Fire TV Stick

I’ve set it up with my Show and Fire TV stick (2nd generation), and it works! Setup was super-easy. Just open the Alexa app, select Music, Video & Books from the main menu, and select the Fire TV option on the Music, Video & Books page. From there you’ll be guided to select the specific Fire TV device if you have more than one, and to link a specific Alexa device to it. Some notes from Amazon:

1. 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.

2. To link your Alexa and Fire TV devices, they must be registered to the same Amazon account.

Once I’d selected the Fire TV stick in my bedroom and selected the Show for linking to it, availability of the new functionality was immediate.

 

Available Alexa Commands
So what can Alexa do, once you’re all linked up? Amazon’s prepared a handy little table.

To do this on your Fire TV … Say this to your Alexa device…
Switch to the input channel for your Fire TV “Watch Fire TV”

Note: This requires a TV that supports HDMI CEC. With HDMI CEC enabled, Alexa can power on your TV and switch to the HDMI channel for your Fire TV using the device’s HDMI connection. To learn more, go to Fire TV Settings Basics.

Play a movie or TV show “Play [title] on Fire TV.”

“Watch [title].”

Search for movies, TV shows, apps, and games “Search for [movie / TV show / app] on Fire TV.”

“Find [genre] on Fire TV.”

“Show me titles with [actor].”

Control playback of movies and TV shows from Amazon Video “Pause.”

“Stop.”

“Play.”

“Resume.”

“Rewind [timeframe].”

“Fast-forward [timeframe].”

“Go back [timeframe].”

“Jump forward [timeframe].”

“Next / Next Episode”

Note: If you’re also streaming media on your Alexa device, when you say things like “Stop” or “Pause,” Alexa may first try to control playback for that (instead of taking action on your Fire TV). You can add “on Fire TV” to the end of your voice command to specify that you want to control your Fire TV.

Launch apps from Your Apps & Games “Open [app] on Fire TV.”

“Launch [app].”

Return to the Fire TV Home screen “Go Home”

I think my favorite feature here is the ability to search by genre. The results include movies, music and apps – pretty much whatever is normally available on the Fire TV. Searching by actor is pretty cool too, and the ‘next episode’ command will be useful to binge watchers.

 

Regarding That Note About HDMI CEC…
CEC stands for Consumer Electronics Control, and it’s a technology built into many recent-model TVs that allows devices connected to your TV through HDMI ports to communicate back and forth with your TV. For example, if CEC is enabled and the attached Fire Stick receives a command to do something (like an Alexa command to “watch Fire TV” for instance), the TV will automatically switch its input to the Fire TV.

This article from HowToGeek explains how to enable it on your TV. My bedroom TV, purchased in 2012, doesn’t have it. =’/

 

Click here for Amazon’s full help topic on using your Alexa device to control your Fire TV.

 

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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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