How to control your TV, cable and satellite box with the Fire TV Cube

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Amazon’s Fire TV Cube is only a few weeks old, but it’s quickly become one of our best home gadgets. It’s as if Amazon poured the best parts of its Echo and Fire TV Stick into a Magimix, poured the contents into a cube-shaped mold, and the Fire TV Cube was born.

As we noted in our review, the Cube brings Alexa into the living room in a way we’ve never seen before, and while it’s by no means perfect, it offers more than a few glimpses into the living room. future of television.

Read it: Everything you need to know about Fire TV

But what makes the Fire TV Cube so interesting is how it puts the living room together. Not just the Fire TV platform. The Cube can be used to control your TV, sound bar, AV receiver, cable box or satellite receiver – all with the power of voice. For newer devices with HDMI-CEC, you will be able to ask Alexa to switch between them without any further modification. For older devices, the Cube has a built-in infrared blaster.

When you turn on your Fire TV Cube for the first time, you will be walked through an installation process where you can set up your TV, AV receiver, and sound bar. Cable decoders and satellite receivers will have to be added later.

If you didn’t set them up during the initial setup, or if you’ve added / changed some gadgets in your living room since getting a Fire TV Cube, you don’t need to restart the whole process. Instead of…

1) Go to Settings

2) Select Equipment control > Configure the equipment again

3) Follow the instructions to configure each device in turn

The Fire TV Cube can control cable boxes and satellite receivers from the following providers: Comcast (Xfinity), At & T U-Verse, DISH, Spectrum (Charter, Time Warner Cable, Bright House), Cox / Cox Contour, DirecTV, Verizon Fios, Centurylink Prism, Frontier Fios, Mediacom and Optimum (Cablevision / Altice).

However, there is no guarantee that your box is compatible, so go to the Fire TV Cube product page and click on “Check if your television, audio equipment and cable / satellite box work with Fire TV Cube” in Top of the page.

Checked that out? Awesome. To add your cable box or satellite receiver, you need to go to a specific section. So if you think you are compatible then follow these steps.

1) Go to Settings

2) Select Equipment control > Manage equipment

3) Then you want to press Add equipment

You will then be asked to provide your postal code, followed by your TV provider. After that, it should be able to automatically detect what you are using and then ask you which TV input your satellite or cable box goes through. (Important note to note: If your box is in a cabinet, use the IR extension cable provided in the box to give it visibility.)

It should then switch to this entry. Now that’s the important point: Alexa will ask you to press the fast forward button on your remote to confirm that it has been activated. Why do we say important? Because we actually didn’t hear Alexa when it flipped over, as the sound going through the satellite receiver drowned it out. Press the fast forward button and it will attempt to return to Fire TV.

You should then receive an acknowledgment that Alexa can now pass to your satellite or cable box. If you want to add a games console, you must also go through the Add equipment road.

Are you having trouble switching? Sometimes your TV inputs have different names than what the Fire TV Cube shows in its list of options. Try a few different entries to see if you can find the one that works. If that still doesn’t work, try “Alexa, change entries,” which will cycle through them.

Control your TV with the Fire TV Cube

Once configured, there are many ways to use Alexa to control your TV and all connected boxes. Remember, with the Cube you can talk to Alexa just like you would an Echo, that is, by calling “Alexa” at the Cube followed by your command, or you can hold the mic button on the remote. pressed. The second method takes an extra ounce of effort, but you don’t have to say “Alexa” either – just bark your command into the controller.

Once you’re ready, here’s how to use Alexa on the Fire TV Cube to watch TV.

“Alexa, switch to satellite / cable” – This will go on live TV, picking up the last channel you were on.

“Alexa, go to channel 47” – This will cause the Fire TV Cube to switch to your cable or satellite input and go directly to the channel you requested. If you know your channels, this is a nifty shortcut.

“Alexa, tune in to NBC” – Even better than the option above, you can ask Alexa to access the channel by name. Want to switch to another channel after that? You don’t need to go back to Fire TV; just ask Alexa to “Switch to ESPN” or whatever you want and it will. Alexa should mute the TV while you speak, so that she can hear what you are asking.

Bonus tip: Commands like “watch”, “set to”, and “go to” are all interchangeable when you ask Alexa to change channels.

“Alexa, come home / switch to Fire TV” – Use it to switch back to Fire TV. Otherwise, just press the home button on your remote.

Whenever you want to manage your boxes, go to Settings > Equipment control > Manage equipment, where you can reconfigure these devices or assign them to a different entry. This is handy if you want to use your Fire TV with a different TV, but don’t want to start the entire setup process over again.

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