Users were very pleased when Amazon announced that Fire TV and Amazon Echo pairing was about to become a reality. Although most Fire Sticks do come with an Alexa remote, being able to issue voice commands to control the TV is very convenient.
However, this pairing has too many limitations to what you can do. For example, it’s not yet possible to use one Amazon Echo speaker to control multiple Fire TVs at the same time.
Not all voice commands are accepted on all generations of Fire TV. The good news is that the pairing is very intuitive and it’s done automatically more often than not. Here’s what you need to know about pairing your Amazon Echo with your Fire Stick. We’ll also explain how to start issuing commands.
Link Your Fire Stick
One Alexa device can be used to control one Fire Stick at a time. Unless you have multiple devices, linking your Amazon Echo to your Fire Stick should happen automatically, as long as you’re using the same Amazon account to for both of them.
Using the Alexa App
Look for the blue speech bubble icon on your phone or tablet. If you don’t already have it, you can download the Alexa app from the Google Play Store or the App Store if you’re using an iPhone.
Log in with your Amazon account credentials.
Look for the menu button in the upper left corner. Tap the menu button and then select “Music, Video, & Books”. It should be the first entry. Wait a few moments for the feature to load.
Once the list loads, you should be able to find the Fire TV device. It should be the first option in the menu. Tap it and then tap on “Link Your Alexa Device”. This will prompt the app to look for available compatible Fire TV devices.
Select the device you want to control, from that list. Here’s how you can find out the name of the device if you don’t know it:
- Open the Fire TV device
- Go to Settings
- Select Device
- Select About
Tap “Continue” and then “Link Devices” to establish a connection between the desired devices.
What You Need Before You Can Control Fire TV with Alexa
The compatibility of the Fire Stick with Amazon Echo devices is not always so simple. For example, the First generation Fire TV Stick doesn’t even include an Alexa remote, which may make it difficult to issue commands even from an Amazon Echo speaker.
What kinds of devices can you use to control your Fire Stick? You can use both Amazon Echo speakers, or go for something like the Sonos Beam soundbar. Of course, a Fire TV Cube is easiest to use since it has a built-in microphone which can take voice commands.
What to Expect from Amazon Echo
Although it may be fun to use Alexa to control your TV, know that the digital assistant won’t work with every app. This means that you’re somewhat limited in what you can ask your Fire Stick TV to do.
Everything found on Amazon’s Prime Video service will work just fine. Alexa also supports Netflix, Hulu, NBC, CBS, Showtime, ESPN, PlayStation Vue, and a couple of other apps.
When you issue voice commands to your Amazon Echo speaker for shows within those apps or channels, the Fire Stick should comply. Here are some basic voice commands you can use:
- “Alexa, watch [TV show], on [specific channel]”
- “Alexa, play”
- “Alexa, pause”
- “Alexa, rewind”
- “Alexa, next episode”
It’s worth noting that you can skip to a previous episode or ask for a specific episode number. An Amazon Echo won’t have the same functions as a remote.
Searching is a very important feature for most people. Unfortunately, the pairing between an Amazon Echo speaker and a Fire TV stick has limited functionality. Apps like Hulu or Netflix may support searching for movies or genres. But you will need a Fire TV Cube for detailed searches.
The Fire TV Cube is optimized for controlling the TV with Alexa devices. It also allows you to control the sound system, as well as some cable boxes. This would allow you to control the volume, switch inputs, turn off the TV, switch between cable or satellite, and more.
What’s the Takeaway?
While a Fire TV Cube may not be necessary for the majority of users, it is an investment worth considering. It lets you use an impressive number of voice commands that go beyond basic searching and playback.
Also worth noting is that Amazon Echo and Fire TV compatibility only became a reality in 2017. Compared to Chromecast and Google Home, Amazon has a long way to go still, so any minor bugs in the system are to be expected.