One issue with the 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube that was causing a bit of headache among enthusiasts was Amazon’s decision to cut power to the device’s USB port when the Cube went to sleep. Among other issues, this prevented the use of faster external Ethernet adapters to remain functional while the Fire TV Cube was not being used. Amazon has now informed me that this issue has been corrected through a recent software update. I tested it and, sure enough, the USB port on the Fire TV Cube 3 now remains powered while the device is asleep.
You can connect just about any HDMI device to the HDMI IN port on the 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube, as discussed here in my article all about how the new port works. While Amazon seems to expect cable and satellite TV set-top boxes to be the most common things connected, I expect game consoles will be commonly connected as well. Connecting a game console to the Fire TV Cube makes it very convenient to jump between gaming and streaming, however, be aware that the HDMI IN port adds some additional input latency and there’s an important setting you may need to adjust to reduce that latency. Read more ›
In an unexpected move, Amazon has added support for NTFS USB drives to the 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube. This is surprising because no Fire TV device in the past has ever supported NTFS formatted storage drives. Whether they were a Fire TV, Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Stick, or Fire TV Smart TV, they all only supported FAT32 drives out of the box and required some complex manipulation to support any other drive format. Read more ›
One great change with the 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube, compared to both previous models, is the inclusion of a full-sized USB-A port whereas the old models used a micro USB port. This eliminates the need to use an OTG cable for connecting the vast majority of USB drives and peripherals. The other change Amazon has done with the new Cube’s USB port, which is unlike the past models, is cutting off all power to the port when the Fire TV Cube goes to sleep, whereas the older Cube models kept the port powered all the time. This change can be beneficial to some for automatically turning off external devices when the Fire TV Cube isn’t being used, but it’s proving to be an annoyance for others, such as those using external Gigabit Ethernet adapters for additional wired network speed. Read more ›
One of the big changes on the 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube, compared to the last two models, is the addition of an HDMI IN port on the back that lets you connect any HDMI device to the new Cube. Amazon hasn’t said much about the new port, other than saying it’s for cable and satellite TV boxes. In reality, you can plug any HDMI device into it. Here is everything about how the port works with the Fire TV Cube and what you can do with a device connected to it. Read more ›
The 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube is far from the first Fire TV model to officially supports external USB media, but it is the first to include a built-in media player app from Amazon that can display videos, photos, and play audio files. This is the same app found on nearly all Fire TV Smart TVs, but this is the first Amazon has included it on one of its stand-alone Fire TVs. While it’s certainly not going to replace full-fledged media players like Plex, MrMC, or even VLC, it’s definitely handy to have for quick and simple access to your media files. Read more ›
With all new Fire TV models, there are always people wondering if anything has been done to thwart sideloading apps and, thankfully, it’s all business as usual with the 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube. Developer options are present and behave just as they do on other Fire TV models, although, as you’d expect, they follow the new behavior where developer options are initially hidden and must be revealed. My Downloader app works just fine and you can enable the option to allow it to install unknown apps just fine and use it to sideload APKs on the Fire TV Cube 3. My button remapping utility also works fine to remap the app shortcut buttons of the Fire TV Cube’s remote. However, everything isn’t perfect because there is one old sideloading issue that has resurfaced on the new Cube. Read more ›
When the Fire TV Stick 4K Max launched, it introduced a new setting that allows you to fully disable all HDR, as opposed to only being able to choose from HDR being always on and HDR being adaptive. This setting is handy for those with quirky TVs, AVRs, or HDMI switches that don’t behave correctly with HDR signals. Thankfully, the Fire TV Cube 3 also has the same option to disable HDR. Now if only Amazon would add it to older Fire TV models, like the 2nd-gen Fire TV Cube.
See all my 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube coverage here.
The 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube is the first Fire TV to come with an option that Fire TV users have literally been asking for since the original Fire TV debuted in 2014. In its display settings is finally an option to make the Fire TV Cube output no video signal when it goes to sleep, as opposed to outputting an all-black video feed, which is what all prior Fire TVs do. The “No Signal” option, which is on by default, for the new “Sleep Mode Behavior” menu will finally allow your TV to automatically turn off when the Fire TV goes to sleep. Read more ›
The new 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube has been released and it has some big shoes to fill to take over the flagship Fire TV spot from the much loved 2nd-gen Fire TV Cube. Amazon has tossed around some lofty claims of being 20% faster than the outgoing Cube and twice as fast as the very impressive Fire TV Stick 4K Max, but can the new Cube hold up to those claims? I’ve run it through a few popular benchmark utilities to gauge its raw performance and, spoiler alert, as you can probably already tell from the title of this post, the results are impressive. Here are benchmark comparison scores for the new Fire TV Cube 3 against the older Cube 2, the latest Nvidia Shield TV Pro, and many other Fire TV and Google/Android TV streaming devices. Read more ›