New Alexa Voice Remote stores power and volume functionality internally

Despite only gaining a few more buttons, compared to the previous remote, the new Alexa Voice Remote for Fire TV devices has quite a bit going on under the hood. I’ve started doing a bit of unconventional experimenting with the new remote and one of the things that I’ve learned is that the power and volume commands for the new buttons are stored internally on the remote, while other universal remote capabilities are transmitted through the Fire TV device.

As you’re probably well aware, the new Alexa Voice Remote has power, volume, and mute buttons so that it can directly control your home theater equipment. These buttons are programmed using the exact same “Equipment Control” options that were initially introduced with the Amazon Fire TV Cube. For modern TVs, the Fire TV or Fire TV Stick will automatically detect and configure the buttons with nothing more than a quick verification from yourself that they’re set up correctly.

If you don’t use a soundbar or AV receiver, all of the new buttons will control your TV. If you do have a soundbar or AV receiver, then you’ll be able to select whether you want the volume and mute buttons to control your TV speakers or your external speakers. Additionally, by default, with external speakers configured, pressing the power button on the new remote will turn on or turn off both your TV and external speakers simultaneously. If you prefer, you can set it so that pressing the power button only controls your TV’s power. Regardless of how you have it set, you can always say “Alexa, turn on/off the receiver/soundbar” to control the external audio device separately.

It’s worth noting that the remote’s power, volume, and mute button functionality is stored on the remote itself. This means that, once these buttons are configured, they will work independently from the Fire TV device that the remote controls. The Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, or Fire TV Cube can be completely unpowered/unplugged and the remote will still be able to control the power and volume of your TV and/or external audio equipment.

This is an important capability to have for people who like to keep their Fire TV Stick powered off, such as those who are powering the device through a USB port on their TV that is only powered if the TV is on. With the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K connected to such a USB port, you’ll have no problems using the Alexa Voice Remote to power on the TV while the Fire TV Stick is unpowered.

The new Alexa Voice Remote has several universal remote capabilities beyond just power and volume control. It can perform all the same tasks as the Fire TV Cube, which includes switching TV inputs and tuning directly to channels, by name or number, on a cable or satellite set-top box. These additional universal remote capabilities rely on using your voice and speaking to Alexa, so, unlike the power and volume controls, they do require that the Fire TV device be powered on.

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36 comments
  1. OG Charlie says:

    Wish they’d make the new remote compatible with Fire TV 2.

    • R C says:

      This. I just returned 3 of the new remotes because I could register them, but they stopped working on all of my FTV2 boxes…

    • Sab says:

      Amazon wont do that. The FTV2 would have enough CPU power to bring all new features to it, e. g. frame rade adaption. But thats not how capitalism works. Free upgrade via software for devices that have been long paid for? Youre expected to trash it and buy a new device.

  2. Mike Davis says:

    Can this remote switch inputs on a TV that does not have HDMI-CEC? It does not seem like it.

    • AFTVnews says:

      Yes it can, but you have to use your voice. You can press the mic button and say “switch to HDMI 2.” It will shoot out the needed IR commands out of the front of the remote. You can also add your devices, like a game console or media player, and switch by name by saying “switch to Xbox/Blu-ray/Roku/etc..” One advantage of adding the device, instead of just saying the input name, is you can have it switch both the TV and receiver/soudbar simultaneously if needed.

      • BobR says:

        I don’t think the remote is sending IR commands to switch inputs on my non-CEC TV. I have the remote paired to the Cube and set the equipment menu so that IR from comes from the remote for volume/power. I have the Cube in a cabinet so control the TV through the IR extender. If I unplug the IR extender, I cannot switch inputs with the remote using voice. Can you confirm that with the Cube commands other than volume, power and mute will not send IR via the remote (although that would be really cool)? Does the 4k stick really send IR commands via the remote for commands other than power/vol? I’d really like to know whether the remote/4k stick can power on a cable STB via IR (which my Cube can do)

        • AFTVnews says:

          Yes, the Fire TV Stick 4K really does send all commands, including input changing, via the remote. It has no other way.

          It makes sense for the Cube to use/prefer its internal IR blasters over the ones in the remote, since those will always be pointed at your devices.

          • BobR says:

            Got it, thanks. The Cube’s set up function assumes the Cube or its IR extender is in front of the TV. I couldn’t find any other way to set it up to force it to use the IR remote for switching inputs. I would have liked the option to not have to run the IR extender from the Cube to the TV (in my case) and just use the IR remote instead, which the 4K stick proves is possible.

      • Mike Davis says:

        Thank you. I’ll give it a try.

  3. Luthersman says:

    will it work with the shield tv

    • P. says:

      yes but the voice button doesn’t work correctly. I haven’t test it more

      You need to program the remote with a fire 4k/pedant/cube first to the tv. Do not unpair the remote otherwise the power and volume get erase.

      Go to the shield tv and pair the accessory. After you pair it with the shield tv. You can unpair the remote from the fire tv if you want to clean it up.

  4. Charlie says:

    I need to play with it but programming for my surround system means I couldn’t turn on the TV without turning on the system, but I’m just starting to mess with it.

    • AFTVnews says:

      There’s a “Power Control” setting that you need to turn off if you don’t want the receiver turning on when you press the power button on the remote. Be sure to also change the setting that tells it to control your TV speakers when pressing the volume/mute buttons , if that’s what you want to do as well.

      Pretty sure that by default it will power both TV and receiver on simultaneously, and set the volume buttons to control the receiver.

      • Charlie says:

        It does by default control both. If I change it not to turn on my “AV receiver” there is no Alexa control, so I don’t see any point in adding control for it. I’m sure I’m missing something, but…. I don’t want my surround system waking up when I turn on the TV and apparently the remote has to be set to which device’s (TV or receiver) volume it controls, so I’m back to wondering if there is any reason for me to add control for AC Receiver.

  5. Charlie says:

    Holy sh…. I just discovered 5.1 audio on Hulu using the Stick 4K. I was shocked to see my system light up DD, so I Googled it and found this
    https://help.hulu.com/en-us/surround-sound

    Will wonders ever cease. I am amazed they finally did this.

  6. Ice says:

    I’ve noticed that latency from when you click a button to the correspondijng action on the tv is faster, maybe like 15ms faster.

  7. hegemon13 says:

    I assume the voice remote that comes with the FireTV Stick 4k could be re-paired to a FireTV 3 pendant? I want the new stick for my theater, but I already have a Harmony setup in there. The pendant will move upstairs where the all-in-one remote would be beneficial.

  8. badbob001 says:

    Too bad there is no way to re-purpose the mute button to an input-change button.

    My TV can sense a signal over HDMI and will automatically switch to that input. But sometimes when I turn on my PS4, the TV will correctly switch to it but then a second later, switch to the FireTV Cube. I didn’t even touch the FireTV remote so no idea why the FireTV is active. The FireTV is set to not change to itself when turning on. Then I have to find the real TV remote to switch inputs.

  9. Bugs says:

    Will this remote work in india with the FTV stick2.Asking because the amazon echo in india still cant contrl the ftv stick(no video skill for alexa as yet)

    • H.E.C. says:

      Controlling FTV is not a skill, that’s built in feature. You just need to link the FTV with your Echo device using the Alexa app.

      • Bugs says:

        In the Alexa app settings menu there is no option for video, there’s only music and books option. The video part isn’t yet available in India.

  10. Gremlin says:

    What is the second remote in the picture which says Netflix on it ?

  11. badbob001 says:

    Aside from the new buttons, this remote has other improvements. The circle pad and center button presses deeper and is more satisfying to me. And the battery door is so much easier to take off compared to previous versions.

    The IR works even when the remote is pointed up, which facilitates holding up the remote to your face for voice commands.

  12. John says:

    For some reason, when I press power off
    it only turn off sound bar. TV is still on.
    I have to ask Alexa to turn off.

    Same goes on for power on.
    It only turn on sound bar.
    I can only utilized volume up and down for
    new remote. Oh! Add one more, power on the sound bar.

  13. John says:

    I see what’s going on now.
    Power button does not use hdmi-cec or IR infrared.
    But home button use hdmi-cec.

    I have LG TV, and I always have troubled using
    their remote control.
    It has to be precisely point at certain direction to be work.

    Amazon Power button work just like LG remote controller.
    Not using fire cube IR blaster.
    I don’t know why power button don’t uses IR infrared
    which came with fire cube.

    Just like before when old remote didn’t have power button.
    I need to use home button to power on. Use voice to
    Power off.

    I thought I wouldn’t need Logitech harmony
    with new remote and fire cube IR blaster.
    But I still need Harmony.

    • BobR says:

      I can confirm that Power and Volume on the new remote can output IR with the Cube. Check the Equipment controls Advanced settings volume and power buttons selection where you can choose whether the volume, power and mute buttons’ IR signal comes from either the new remote or the Cube. If you already have that set to the new remote, then perhaps since it works just like your LG remote, that’s just how it’s going to be.

      • John says:

        Thanks Bob.

        My devices are all visible,
        That’s why I set this to fire tv remote.
        But I try fire cube this time for ir setting.

        There here go.
        It works like charm.
        Now, I can press any direction long as
        I’m within IR blaster range.

        Wow, what a relief.

  14. John c says:

    Remote is a big improvement,but there are still several things it can’t do with your cable box,so you still need your cable remote,probably sometime in the future it will manage everything.

  15. John says:

    Wish they just enabled volume control within OS itself…that way TV and receiver volume are set it and forget it.

  16. Vlaves says:

    Does someone know if you can pair this remote to a Apple Tv?

  17. Kevin Newell says:

    Does anybody know if I could use this remote on the Toshiba FireTV. I currently have the remote with the netflix, hbo, prime video, etc buttons. The original remote broke and the replacement remote they sent the voice doesn’t work. So, if this works, I will give it a try. Thoughts?

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