Alexa Shortcut Panel arrives on Fire TV devices with quick access to Smart Home, Weather, Library, and News

Amazon Fire TV devices have gained a new feature called the Alexa Shortcut Panel. When you tap the microphone / Alexa button on your remote, the shortcut panel appears in the bottom third of the screen with buttons that provide access to the Smart Home Dashboard, which was recently revamped, the Weather, your video Library, and to News, which launches the Fire TV News app. Read more ›

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All the Fire TV device Code Names and the Movie/TV Characters they’re named after

Like many companies, Amazon uses code names to reference devices during their development, and Fire TV devices are no exception. Fire TV code names are more entertaining to learn than most because nearly all Fire TV models, and their remotes, are named after TV characters. I’ve been tracking Fire TV code names for a while, from the very first Fire TV box to the most recent Fire TV Stick 4K Max that was just released, so here are all the code names of Fire TV devices and what inspired the name. Read more ›

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Spotify app on Amazon Fire TVs now displays moving Lyrics

Spotify has updated its Fire TV app with the ability to display full-screen lyrics that move in sync with the playing song, like a Karaoke machine, as spotted by a Reddit user. When playing a song with available lyrics, a new button appears in the lower right corner of the screen labeled “Show Lyrics.” Selecting it switches to the full-screen view shown above with lyrics being highlighted and scrolling up as the song progresses. The background color of the lyric screen changes color to match a dominant color found in the album art of the song that is currently playing. If you’ve been using Alexa to play your Spotify tunes on your Fire TV, perhaps give the actual Spotify app a try if the new lyric feature sounds appealing. A tip is to leave the app by pressing the HOME button on your remote and then press the PLAY button to resume your music in the background. This allows you to use other apps or browse content while music from the Spotify app continues to play.

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How to diagnose and fix a slow, unresposive, or sluggish remote on your Fire TV Smart TV

Fire TV Smart TVs, like those made by Toshiba, Insignia, Pioneer, or even Amazon’s own Omni and 4-Series TVs, can end up in a weird limbo situation where the remote control isn’t fully paired but most remote functions still work. The result is a remote that works but feels strangely slow or delayed. A symptom, for example, is pressing and holding a direction button to scroll through a long list, but instead of quickly zipping through the list, the Fire TV steps through each item slowly, one by one. Here is how to figure out if your remote controller is in this limbo mode and how to fix it. Read more ›

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Fire TV’s Smart Home Dashboard has been Redesigned with Denser Information

Amazon first launched a Smart Home Dashboard on Fire TV devices a little over a year ago. The dashboard has never really been emphasized or highlighted by Amazon, even though it has existed for quite a while. It always felt more like an experiment than a primary feature, but now the Smart Home Dashboard has been overhauled with a new look that shrinks controls and icons to provide a much denser view of your smart lights, plugs, security cameras, and more. Read more ›

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Fire TV Stick 4K Max will act as an eARC Audio Hub between your Home Theater Equipment and Echo speakers

Much like what was just announced for the Omni and 4-Series Fire TV Smart TVs, Amazon has announced that the Fire TV Stick 4K Max will be gaining support for Alexa Home Theater groups this month. This allows audio from the Firestick to be sent wirelessly to compatible Echo devices for a better home theater audio experience than your TV’s speakers can provide. However, when the feature arrives on the Fire TV Stick 4K Max, it also comes with an extra capability that allows you to hear not only the Firestick’s audio through Echo speakers, but the audio of all of your home theater devices, like cable boxes, game systems, and Blu-ray players. Read more ›

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Amazon’s own Fire TV Omni & 4-Series Smart TVs to gain Airplay 2, HomeKit, Alexa Home Theater support, and more this month

Amazon has announced that its line of Fire TV Smart TVs, the Omni Series and 4-Series, will be gaining several new features “over the coming weeks.” One of those features is Apple AirPlay 2 support, which allows iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Mac owners to easily mirror and cast their screen to the TV. Along with AirPlay 2 will come support for Apple Homekit, which allows for basic control of the TV through Apple’s voice assistant Siri. Amazon also says its TVs will also gain support for Alexa Home Theater groups, which allows you to use Echo devices as wireless speakers. The list of compatible Echos is, unfortunately, smaller with these TVs than with other Fire TV models, and includes only the Echo Studio, Echo (3rd & 4th Gen), Echo Dot (4th Gen), and Echo Plus (2nd Gen). Lastly, only the Fire TV Omni is also getting access to Zoom video calls soon, when you connect a USB webcam. These features are expected to be available later this month.

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Your Fire TV Stick 4K Max might be switching down to 1080p without you realizing it

The Fire TV Stick 4K Max is a great new device, but if you picked one up during the ongoing $34.99 sale and think the picture looks a bit soft, then you might be facing a bug that some people are experiencing. If you have a Fire TV Stick 4K Max connected to a 4K TV, take a second to check that it is actually outputting in 2160p resolution because some devices, including mine, seem to be switching down to 1080p even though they’ve been set to use the best resolution. Read more ›

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Toshiba’s flagship Fire TV Smart TV, the first with full-array local diming, will also come in 65″ and 75″ sizes — Full Specs Revealed

Toshiba’s new flagship Fire TV Smart TVs, the M550 Series, technically first became available about a month ago through Best Buy but now it’s also available through Amazon and, so, is getting an official reveal. Along with the 55-inch size (model 55M550KU) that has already been available for purchase, we now know that there will also be 65-inch (model 65M550KU) and 75-inch (model 75M550KU) sizes coming soon. We also now know all the various techinical specifications like CPU, GPU, RAM, and storage details. These are the first Toshiba TVs with hands free-voice control built in and the first Fire TV Smart TVs from any manufacturer with full-array local diming. Read more ›

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How to Ensure your Fire TV or Firestick is ACTUALLY displaying HDR or Dolby Vision video

Did you know that it’s possible for your TV to indicate that you’re watching HDR10 or Dolby Vision video but your Fire TV is actually streaming plain old standard dynamic range SDR content? This is due to how most streaming services ramp up and down the type of content that you’re receiving based on available bandwidth and connection speed. If you ever find yourself questioning whether what you’re watching is actually in HDR or Dolby Vision, here is how to tell on a Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube, or Fire TV Smart TV. Read more ›

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