It leaked a couple of weeks ago, but now the feature has officially been released. Alexa devices, like the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, can now control the Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Edition televisions. You can ask an Alexa device to control playback, open apps, start movies or shows, and find content. Owners of Fire TV Edition televisions have even more control which include switching inputs, changing tuner channels, and controlling the volume and power.
If you have just one Fire TV, you’re supposed to be able to simply make a request and add “…on Fire TV” to link your Alexa device with your Fire TV. If you have multiple Fire TVs, Fire TV Sticks, or Fire TV Edition televisions, you’ll need to go into the Alexa app and link your Alexa device with a specific Fire TV. This is done by selecting “Music, Video, & Books” from the Alexa app’s menu and then selecting “fire TV” under the “Video” section.
When linking Alexa devices with a Fire TV, each Alexa device can be assigned to control only one Fire TV, but multiple Alexa devices can be set to control a single Fire TV. So if, for example, you have 5 Alexa devices around your house and 2 Fire TVs, with one in the living room and one in a bedroom, you can set your bedroom Alexa device to control your bedroom Fire TV, and then set all other Alexa devices to control the living room Fire TV. This way if you ask to play a movie while in the bedroom, the bedroom Fire TV will react, but if you ask to play something from anywhere else, the main living room Fire TV will react.
Once linked together, you can use the Alexa device to control playback of what is currently playing on the Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, or Fire TV Edition television by saying “Alexa, pause/play/rewind/fast-forward.” If you have multiple devices that can accept these commands, you can specify you want to control the Fire TV by adding “…on Fire TV” to the end of any command. You can also ask to start playing specific content by saying “Alexa, watch [movie/show name].”
In addition to controlling and starting content, you can also ask Alexa devices to launch apps by saying “Alexa, open [app name].” Also available is searching by saying “Search for [query] on Fire TV.” The last command that is available for all Fire TV devices is to simply say “Alexa, go home” to load the Fire TV home screen.
Amazon’s Fire TV Edition televisions have even deeper integration with Alexa devices than the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. With the televisions, you can use Alexa devices to control power by saying “Alexa, turn on Fire TV.” You can also control the volume by saying “Alexa, mute the volume on Fire TV.”
The current input of Fire TV Edition televisions can also be controlled through an external Alexa device by saying something like “Alexa, switch to HDMI one.” Lastly, Alexa can also be used to control the built-in tuner. Since the television is aware of the channel names thanks to its program guide, you can ask to change to a specific channel by saying “Alexa, tune to NBC/CBS/[channel name].“