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The Fire TV Cube...

Discussion in 'IPTV Hardware' started by Rich, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. Jul 6, 2018 #1 of 15
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Very interesting device, here's a link: https://www.amazon.com/Hands-Free-A...=8-1-spons&keywords=fire+tv+cube+amazon&psc=1

    If you read the offering quickly the Cube seems like it does just about everything you could possibly want. But digging a bit deeper I found that it's kinda slow compared to the 4K Fire TV dongle. Kinda like a Fire TV stick. Not good. I dumped all my Fire sticks because they are so slow.

    Digging a bit deeper it appears that the best way to utilize the Cube would be with a smart TV of some sort. At the moment the Cube cannot control an ATV or The Shield. I do have smart TVs but I don't use those apps for streaming, I use the ATVs or, rarely, the FTV dongle. The reviews I read stated clearly if you use an ATV, FTV dongle or The Shield you will be disappointed. The Cube would be pointless if you use those devices.

    The Cube might be one of the truly great devices that handicapped folks (with a smart TV) could purchase. You can do just about everything by voice control with the Cube hooked up to a smart TV. Can't get past the "smart TV" thing, tho. I started to buy a Cube the minute I got the notification. Could have paid a lot less than it's going for now. Then I thought I might want to do the homework first. Right now I am disappointed. I'm certainly not gonna use the TV apps, I want to use the ATVs.

    But, Amazon always seems to be reading my mind and I have a feeling they'll upgrade the Cube so it can control the ATVs and other devices by voice. Then I might buy one...and use it in the same way I use my 4K FTV box and the FTV dongle...rarely.

    Rich
     
  2. Jul 6, 2018 #2 of 15
    fireponcoal

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    The reviews keep echoing a not quite ready for prime time sentiment.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
  3. Jul 6, 2018 #3 of 15
    Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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  4. Jul 7, 2018 #4 of 15
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    At least the reviewers did an unusually good job detailing what you can't do with the Cube. I was ready to buy one when I found a review that detailed what the Cube can do with an ATV...not much.

    Rich
     
  5. Jul 7, 2018 #5 of 15
    Rich

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    From that article:
    The Bad If you want to use a source device beyond Fire TV -- like your cable DVR, game console, smart TV, Roku or Apple TV -- you'll have to keep its remote on-hand. The included Fire TV remote can't control other devices and even lacks volume and mute keys. Many apps don't support voice yet.

    I read a lot of reviews about the Cube and I got the impression that the Cube will get better and might control other streaming devices. Right now it's not ready for prime time if you have a complicated system. Presently, it's just for "simple" systems such as a smart TV.

    Rich
     
  6. Nov 2, 2018 #6 of 15
    Rich

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    I received the new Cube two days ago. I have read what I could about the Cube. Not much info out there. Yes, it is definitely not a 2nd generation Echo or even a 2nd generation Dot when it comes to sound quality or skills. Only answers to "Alexa" which poses some problems if you have other Echo devices. Very limited device.

    But, and this is a big BUT, this thing might be one great little box! Let me first say that I've been at Amazon ever since I got the first HD Apple TV box. Every time I've had any kind of conversation with Amazon CSRs I've always brought the conversation around to the very basic remotes all the FTV devices used. Kept telling them they obviously copied the look of the Apple TV's remote, why can't you copy the functions of the ATV remotes? I wanted buttons to control the volume of my AVRs or soundbars. I wanted to be able to control the TV set to some extent from the remote as I do with the ATV remotes.

    Did all my griping have any effect? I have no idea. But (yup, another big BUT), they went way past what I wanted! I know Amazon tries to make there devices "dopey people friendly" and I like that. I could not see an easy install with the Cube, far too many things to go wrong what with controlling a TV set and an AVR I thought. Wrong again, it was so simple. Took about 5 minutes and I was up and running. The Cube's software led me thru the install with no problems at all. Dopey folks (like me) have reason to rejoice!

    My wife spent that 5 minute install glaring at me because I was, once again, introducing something strange into our TV viewing experience. Short story: The Cube has been accepted and she's using it today with very few problems.

    I'd forget about the comparison of the Cube to other Echo devices. What this little box does to a TV-AVR system is so good that it doesn't matter how poorly it compares to an Echo. The Echos cannot do what the Cube does...two very different devices. I still have an Echo in the same room, it's gonna stay there.

    Two days I've had it. Not enough time to recommend it to anyone...but I'm gonna. I would definitely recommend waiting until November 18th, the Cube will be on sale for ~ $60 on that date. I'm gonna buy at least one more then.

    What's so great? You don't need a remote! Well, you do need remotes for things other than the TV set and the AVR. The Cube does not work with D* equipment or BD players or the Apple TV boxes. The Cube does not work with a lot of apps. But it does work with NetFlix and AP. And we know Amazon never stops making these devices better, we'll see the Cube get smarter.

    Last night I was watching Making a Murderer on NF. I watched 2 episodes. Without picking up a remote! Just used voice commands. I had no idea what commands the Cube would take and ended up using commands based on remote buttons. That works well. For example, if you want to pause a show you can say, "Alexa pause". That's obvious. And is based on hitting the Pause button. To go back to playing I tried, "Alexa resume"...nothing happened. Tried "restart"...nothing. What button would I hit on the remote? Tried "play"...that worked. Why didn't I do that first? Dopey, I wasn't kidding.

    The Cube is easy and interesting. They have work to do. I'm sure it will get better and the next generation will come out and I'll be chucking this Cube in the garbage with the old Fire Sticks and Dots.

    Just think what these Cubes can do for folks that have problems.

    Simply put, I do believe the Apple TV's need to do some catching up with what the boxes and remotes can control. This seems to be a better box.

    Rich
     
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  7. Nov 5, 2018 #7 of 15
    Rich

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    I have had some problems with the Cube. Due, I believe, to Amazon updating the software of the Cubes. I've had to reset it to factory settings twice in two days. I do not think there's anything wrong with my Cube. It is a pleasure to use. The last two nights I've hardly had to use a remote at all. Which is difficult, I keep reaching for the remote. But a pleasure for sure.

    The Fire TV Cubes will be on sale November the 18th. I paid about $100 for mine, they will be on sale for ~ $60 then. I am gonna get one more.

    There is one more really annoying thing, the volume on the Cubes needs to be addressed. They are far too loud and that has nothing to do with how loud the AVR is. Needs to be fixed. The new Sticks are loud too. I see no way to change that on the Alexa app.

    Rich
     
  8. Rich

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    Both the Cube and the two 4K Fire Sticks are buggy. This is why I usually wait to get new devices. When they work they work well. The Cube has the most problems. It locks up easily and reboots randomly often. Software problems I think. I'm gonna get another Cube when they go on sale on the 18th of this month. Thought the Cube was gonna upset my wife but she likes it and wants one for the living room TV.

    Watching TV without a remote is...actually, it's kinda difficult. Can't stop reaching for the remote, have to position it so far away that I can't easily reach it.

    Comparing the Cube to a 4K ATV is interesting. The Cube's remote does not have a touchpad but it does just about everything else the ATV's remote does. I like the button setup on the Cube's remote better than the ATV's remote. Voice commands are now the same on both platforms. You can say something like, "go 40 seconds forward" on both and they will go that far forward. But you have to hold the button down on the ATV's remote, all you have to do with the cube is say "Alexa, go *****". Easier on the Cube. Actually, using the Cube is a lot easier.

    Rich
     
  9. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member

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    You know that the Dots can control the Sticks right? I watch NF, Hulu, AP etc. all with commands from my Dot to my Fire dongle ... no button pressing.
     
  10. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I have not tried that. Not sure I see what you mean. Can you elaborate? Just asked my son if he knew how to do that, he doesn't. Tell us how you set that up and that might put an end to this experiment. Thanx, Nick.

    Rich
     
  11. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member

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  12. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member

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    Did that help?
     
  13. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Immensely, thanx. I read your post yesterday and used the link. I ended up spending a couple hours talking to an Amazon CSR who helped me get my Echo devices properly setup. I now have an Echo and a Cube on the same TV set. I have compared them. Spent most of the rest of the day comparing them. I've only been using the Echo devices since the end of March, don't know much about them. What I'm thinking is the Cube is made specifically for controlling apps, TVs and AVRs. It seems to do that better than the Echo, especially controlling the the TVs and AVRs. I do see some things the Cube can do that the Dots and Echos can't, for instance if I see a highlighted dialog box I can say, "Alexa (Lexa works too) select." and the box is selected and I go to wherever I'm then directed. I cannot do that with an Echo, Dot or Stick.

    The Cube is faster than the Echo when inputting commands. The Echo has far better sound, the Cube's sound is terrible. Worse than a first generation Dot. The Echo devices are "smarter" than the Cube. The Cube has no options for sound yet. The Cube is very loud. No way to turn that down, yet. I have no doubt that Amazon will fix all these problems.

    Given a choice between any Echo device and the Cube I'll stick with the Cube. They are gonna be on sale for ~ $60 on the 18th of this month. I paid $119 for mine, I think it is worth every penny. It's easy to setup and does everything we could ask for.

    Rich
     
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  14. jimmie57

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    I don't have any of these things but my second son bought me a google mini.
    I can say, "hey google set volume to 40 percent" and it will change the volume.
    You have probably been all that already tho.
     
  15. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Yup, the Cube controls the AVR and will change the volume in a couple different ways. I have a Google Home unit along with all the Echo devices. The GH is a lot "smarter" than the Echos but can't do all the things an Echo can. You can have some interesting conversations with the Google mini. Conversations I can't seem to have with the Echos.

    Rich
     

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