Amazon Fire TV Cube can now do Two-Way Video Calling via USB Webcam

Amazon has added the ability to place and receive two-way video calls on the 2nd-gen Fire TV Cube. The capability was briefly mentioned earlier this year at Amazon’s new devices event and now it has arrived. By connecting a USB webcam to the Fire TV Cube, you can have an Alexa video call with any other Fire TV Cube 2 or an Alexa-enabled device with a screen, like the Echo Show 5, Echo Show 8, and Echo Show 10. Video calls with a Fire TV Cube can also be placed to and received from anyone with a phone or tablet through the Alexa App.

To use the new feature you’ll need a webcam that is compatible with the USB Video Class (UVC), which most webcams are. Amazon says the camera needs to have a resolution of at least 720p and 30 fps, but recommends a 1080p camera with a 60-90 degree field of view (FOV) for the best experience. Use of a 4K webcam is not recommended. A few webcams that Amazon recommends for use with the Fire TV Cube are the Logitech C920 (1080p, $100), Logitech C922x (1080p, $120), Logitech C310 (720p, $50), Aukey PC-LM1E (1080p, $50), and Wansview 101JD (1080p, $25).

Since the Fire TV only has a micro USB port, you’ll also need a micro USB to Full USB OTG adapter in order to connect the USB camera. Any OTG cable should work, but a few that Amazon recommends are these from StarTech, UGREEN, and CableCreation. Note that you will not be able to use the Ethernet adapter that came with the Fire TV Cube if you use one of these micro USB adapters to connect a webcam. If you want to use both Ethernet and a webcam simultaneously, you’ll need to use a micro USB adapter that has both Ethernet and Full USB ports, like this Smays Ethernet Hub.

Once you have a webcam and micro USB adapter, you can find your Fire TV Cube in the Devices tab in the Alexa app on a phone or tablet and enable Communications. From there you can also enable Drop In for the Fire TV Cube if you’d like. Once everything is connected and enabled, you’ll be able to place calls on the Fire TV cube hands-free by saying “Alexa, call [NAME].” If needed, you can import contacts from your phone through the Alexa app.

If a call comes in on your Fire TV, just say “Alexa, answer” to pick it up. All calls begin with video turned off and you’ll need to say “Alexa, video on” to enable your camera feed. You can also do this with your remote. To adjust the volume, say “Alexa, volume up/down.”

Video calling for the 2nd-gen Fire TV Cube is rolling out now to devices and will continue over the coming weeks. There’s no word yet on if the 1st-gen Fire TV Cube will gain this functionality in the future and it doesn’t seem like this will be coming to other Fire TV models, like the Fire TV Stick. Video calling on the Fire TV Cube 2 is available to customers in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and Spain.

13 comments
  1. c ag says:

    Thanks for the instructions on how to set up our Telescreen.

  2. TechyChris says:

    Awesome new feature I’m going to check this out tonight! My wife is a school teacher, back in April, I came across a promotion from Logitech for free remote learning equipment. I submitted her credentials, a week later there was a box at my door with a Logitech usb HD webcam, full size headphones w/mic and a set of speakers. I looked everything up on Amazon easily over $200 worth.
    The webcam should work with my Cube 2. There is still some good in this world…

  3. Neil Fellows says:

    Its a great start, I just wish it worked with Zoom or similar rather than restricting itself to other Amazon devices / App.

    • Brantome says:

      Amazon announced that Zoom would be coming soon, so this is at least a first step

      • Zoom calling is already available on Echo Shows, which might be what you’re thinking of, since I don’t think they have said it will be coming to Fire TV.

        • Stan LaMuth says:

          I’ve been waiting for this to be enabled on the Echo Show . Could you please do a post on how to do this ? We bought echo shows for all our family members and would live to do full family calls Via Zoom

          • Brantome says:

            Yeah, not aware of Zoom having been released on echo shows, just that there was an intention for it to be available by the end of the year. Not seen it announced as available anywhere tbh

  4. Brantome says:

    No update on the Zoom website since Aug 19 when it was announced that it would first available on Show 8 by the ‘end of 2020’

    https://blog.zoom.us/category/product/rooms-workspaces/

  5. Michael says:

    Hi there,

    does anybody have the OS version / patch level for the Fire Cube 4K which introduces this new feature?

    • Brantome says:

      Hi, I thought it might be the new 7.2.2.9 which I haven’t yet been able to update to, but I plugged in one of the recommended webcams on my current 7.2.2.4 version, restarted the cube and it picked up the camera no problem. Works rather well…

  6. Anthony Rossetti says:

    They really should consider adding this feature to at lest the 4k fire TV sticks , if not all fire TV devices
    if not i hope that there will be a hack or a work around to get it working

    Google has now put DUO in the Android TV play store
    and it can work on the new chrome cast with Google TV, a mi box 3 or 3 s ( i have it set up on my mi box 3), and all nvidia shield models

    looks like now there is some competition however the implementation of DUO
    on android TV is really half assed, no incoming calls and no google assistant voice control at all

    It looks like Amazon has done it much better and it is much more polished

    but Google has two advantages right now as i see it

    1) ability to run on a wider range of devices

    2) DUO is already installed on most android phones and easier to use,you don’t have to have the person your calling download,install ,and setup the Alexa app and calling features it pretty much just works
    besides the stupid invite thing

  7. Dave says:

    The echo fire does not use the web cam Mic just its only built in Mic. Can it use the web cam Mic?

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