Review Amazon Fire TV Cube vs. 4k Fire TV 3

hey everybody if flan saipin and we’re taking a look today at the amazon firetv cube this is the latest TV box from Amazon that was rumored for a while and a lot of folks were excited when they heard about this because they thought maybe this one would be more powerful than the fire TV three we got at the end of 2017 it is not it is the same guts as the fire TV 3 but they added some additional functionality to basically give you an echo dot that is able to work like other Amazon echo devices when the TV is off so for example I can ask it what time is it so I’ve got that functionality here when the television is off there’s a speaker built-in it’s got the far-field microphones but otherwise it is the Amazon fire TV 3 inside so it’s not a very powerful device it’s powerful enough to do all the video watching that you might want to do with it but it is slower than last year’s Amazon fire TV too so if you’re interested in how it works as a TV box I’m going to point you at that other video because it’s the same functionality this one does offer some cool functions related to the voice control that we’re going to explore in this video so we’re going to be taking a look at all of those features here in just a minute but I do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that I paid for this with my own funds all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own nobody is paying for this review and no one has reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before I uploaded it so let’s get to it now and see what this device is all about so let’s take a closer look now at the hardware this is 120 dollars as you see it compare that to $79 on the amazon firetv 3 what is the extra money get you in this one just the voice control the processor the RAM and the GPU and everything are all the same it’s got the AM logic s 905 Z it’s got the Mallee 450 GPU 2 gigs of ram and 16 gigabytes of storage again it’s not going to appeal to enthusiasts and I talked about why it won’t in my other review and I definitely suggest you check that out if you want to look at Cody and Plex performance it really is not something I’m going to recommend to people

that are looking to drive a lot of high-end video but if you’re a consumer looking to just do some streaming services like Amazon and Netflix in 4k with HDR and in some cases at most this is going to be fine but there are better more powerful devices out there for people that need that horsepower on the back here we’ve got our power cable that goes in there HDMI out is here this is an infrared blaster right here and it connects up to this little cube here on the other end of the cable and one of the cool things about the voice control on this that you’re paying extra for is that it will turn on all of your stuff when you issue it a command which we’re going to try out in a few minutes and if you’ve got an older television it will be able to communicate with that TV over the cube here with remote commands you can either use what’s programmed into its database or program your own remote into it and I found it worked pretty well I’ll show you how it all came together in a little bit for most TVs that have an HDMI port that were made probably in the last six or seven years or so it should be able to control everything through the HDMI port but this is here for devices that you are using that don’t have that support right here is a microUSB port and what they give you in the box which I thought was a great thing to include is an

Ethernet adapter and yes I got to get a new cable there this is my preferred way to use TV boxes by connecting them directly to your Ethernet network that’s the best way from a performance standpoint to use them it also those supports wireless AC so if you have a fast wireless network it should work fine with that as well but it was nice to see this this little box in the box because it’s usually an added cost with the other fire TV device and that is it from connectivity again lacks a lot of the stuff that I know my enthusiast friends will want to see on the top here you’ve got the basic echo dot commands so we have the mute button here just in case you don’t want it continually answering to you when you issue the trigger word your volume up and down for that internal speaker and then you can push this button to have it listen for you without having to issue the trigger word the speaker on this is enabled when your television is off when the TV comes back on the audio will flow through the television so let me get this thing booted up now and you can see all these voice commands work so let’s take a look first at a very simple voice search on here and I do suggest if you have an echo device to mute it now I have to use the a word a few times here for demonstration purposes so we’re going to say Alexa show me some science fiction movies and now it should pull up a list unfortunately this search doesn’t seem to be working too well because it’s not giving me a lot of movies here it’s giving me a TV series here another TV series there but it is showing me stuff that’s on Netflix in addition to Amazon which is something that we haven’t always seen out of the Universal Search on these Amazon devices but still this is not an accurate result even though I do

appreciate that it’s giving me more than just Amazon as an option if I go back to the main menu here and do a traditional universal search science fiction movies it’s going to give me something a little more accurate I think let’s hit that one there and there you’ve got actual science fiction movies as opposed to a science fiction series but most of these movies are living inside of Amazon’s store and not anywhere else so search isn’t so great on this but there are some other things that I thought were really pretty cool and one thing this device can do is turn on and control all of your devices with a single command so what I did a little earlier was I configured it with my 4k television over there along with my home theater receiver and I did this Alexa play Star Trek The Next Generation and you can see after I asked it to play Star Trek The Next Generation it began turning on everything finding Star Trek The Next Generation in this case on Amazon’s ecosystem they’re in the prime video thing and it started playing an episode for me with that single command which I thought was pretty cool you can ask it for what show you want to watch it finds it and plays it and it also appears smart enough to know where to look for stuff so for example if I ask it Alexa play Voltron and Voltron is something that’s only on Netflix so what it’s going to do is load it up on Netflix so if it’s not on Amazon’s video system it’s going to go somewhere else to find it here and in this case it was able to get it up on Netflix so as more apps support this I think this might be a really useful feature especially if you got some old show that just popped to mind and you want to just watch it you can ask for it and generally those

shows will come up and start playing for you which I thought was a very useful feature now the set up process for controlling your TV I found to be very simple if you have a newer TV that supports the HDMI CEC protocol the cube will detect what it is and should be able to do everything with just a couple of clicks to get it all set up and working and usually those clicks are just validating that the commands are being issued properly it took maybe two or three minutes tops to get that working it also worked with my home theater receiver so you saw in that example a few minutes ago it was able to turn on the receiver and the television and when I set up the receiver it was able to not only turn it on but also get it to select a proper input that the fire cube here was on so it was a very automated procedure issued that one command to watch that show I wanted to watch and everything just came up and started working I found it worked most of the time although there were a few issues where the receiver came on but the television didn’t turn on and I had one instance where the TV turned off and the receiver was saying and saying on so it wasn’t perfect in its control so there might be some tweaks they need to do along the way here but generally it was working as advertised I was also impressed with how it

worked with older televisions I had an old TV and a Ryan TV that I bought probably on liquidation at some point along the way that doesn’t have that hdmi cec feature and I was able to control it via the infrared blaster that we looked at at the outset here and that process was a little bit longer because the IR commands that were in the database on the cube here didn’t work with that television so after it exhausted itself after six different tries it then said take out the TV remote and it trained it manually so I pointed the remote at the IR blaster here I hit the power button it detected what I pushed and then use that to turn off the television likewise it was able to learn the volume commands and the mute button from those and pushes as well and then it was all working just fine and that old television I was able to turn on and work very similar to how some of my more modern TVs did so I think if you’ve got an older set there’s a very good chance this will work with it without any issue so I think if you are attracted to this notion of asking for a show and having it just turn on everything and be ready to go you’ll have it here and you can also control some of the volume commands and mute it with your voice too there’s a few other cool things you can do with this so if you’ve got music in your Amazon account you can play the music back and get the lyrics flowing by as well with a voice command so that was kind of neat I can also have it show me the studio camera and this

is going to pull up my d-link camera that I’ve been playing with over the last couple of days some of these commands do take a while to issue here as you can see it’s saying waiting from ID link to activate here but in a second or two I’ll be able to tune into a compatible security camera there so that was kind of a neat thing and you can see James working away there on one of our other computers and then I can also get the weather by asking it show me the weather and in this case I’ll get a visual to what I would normally just get as an audio command on the speaker thing so if it was disconnected from monitor I would just hear it but with the monitor on you get a nice visual and the sound will pipe through the monitor although right now I have it muted for copyright safety purposes here on the channel so in summation I think this is a novelty and you’re paying an extra $40 for that novelty which is the voice command it does work very well it was turning on all my stuff and finding the show that I want to watch but I’m not sure that’s worth a $40 price premium over the Amazon fire TV 3 that has the exact same guts as this one and that is my biggest disappointment with this it’s a very low powered TV box for the price and I was hoping expecting perhaps something a little bit more especially given that a lot of us who

were fans of the Amazon fire TV – were disappointed that the TV 3 was a step backwards in performance this is kind of a sidestep with a bit of voice control bolt to the top of it really nice product well constructed and works well but Amazon just isn’t doing it for me on these TV boxes lately not only do we have some of the performance issues that we talked about in the prior video but it’s also not playing well with YouTube either so if you have kids that like to watch YouTube the experience on here is not good they don’t have an official YouTube app you’re using web browsers and web wrappers to watch YouTube content and it’s really not a good experience right now but if you live a lot in Netflix and on Amazon and you like the voice control I suppose it’s kind of fun to have that built in but again you’re going to be paying 120 bucks for that privilege and you can get the same experience without the voice 480 with the TV 3 until next time this is LAN Simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the lon TV supporters including gold level supporters the black eyed and blues music our podcast Chris Alec Retta Tom Albrecht and Kalyan Kumar if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to LAN TV slash support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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