I wanted to talk to my TV from the moment I set up my first Echo Dot. Can you blame me? The number of remotes I need drive me crazy – I have a remote for the TV, one for the speakers, one for my streaming box, and another for my blu-ray player. I would have figured out how to control everything using one remote if I were more tech savvy .
Enter Logitech Harmony, which allowed me to turn on and turn off my TV. I programmed it to be able to do the same to Netflix and Sling TV. It brought my husband more frustration than automation – although he had eventually gotten used to using the voice commands instead of the remote. The hub was very limited and, for the most part, I still needed to use all of my remotes.
I decided not to get one for my second TV because of its limitations.
Amazon Fire TV Cube
The early iterations of the Fire TV tempted me because of the promise of being able to use Alexa on the remote. A remote was still required.
I pre-ordered the Fire TV Cube before Amazon launched it. This geek happily explored what it can do for a few hours.
So how is it different from Logitech Harmony?
- It can turn up or turn down the volume of my speakers
- I can ask it to search for content
- And search for content within certain streaming applications
- I can go from turning on my TV up to choosing a show/movie to watch just by using my voice
- Plus, it controls my smart home and basically serves as my other Echo device in another room
I will not lie. I still get frustrated and revert to using the Fire TV cube remote. It’s not perfect. But it’s definitely an improvement!
The remote has a minimalist design and is easy to use. It doesn’t have a 101 buttons to stumble on.
You need to discover the voice commands to use. Alexa always has helpful hints available on screen though.
I am happy with this interface and will recommend it to my friends who are into smart home technologies!