Today Amazon is expanding its stable of Alexa-enabled devices with the Fire TV Blaster, a new infrared controller that integrates into the company’s smart home ecosystem. Aimed at controlling home theater appliances that may lack built-in smart capabilities, it’ll be launching next month with a $35 price tag. Head below for a closer look.
Amazon Fire TV Blaster brings IR control to Alexa
As for the latest in-house device to launch from Amazon, its new Fire TV Blaster looks to take on the likes of Logitech Harmony and other competition. Integrating into the broader Alexa ecosystem, you’ll need one of the company’s Fire TV sticks or an Echo to command the new entry.
So what does Fire TV Blaster do? Well, it’s primarily geared towards living in your home theater, offering up control of traditionally non-smart devices. This can cover everything from speaker and AV receivers to TVs, cable boxes, and more. Anything that relies on an IR signal for control can be commanded by Amazon’s latest.
Not only will this bring several new devices into your Alexa smart home setup, but it’ll also remove the need for multiple remotes. Dealing with the hassle of home theater controllers has allows the smart remote market to grow over the past few years. But now Amazon is looking to mix things up with an affordable Harmony Hub-like option.
Amazon Fire TV Blaster will be officially available starting next month on December 11th. It’s currently available for pre-order for $34.99 at Amazon. You can also bundle it with the latest Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick 4K for $79.99, down from the $135 list price of all three combined.
Smart home theater remotes have been popping up more and more frequently as time goes on, but Amazon’s new approach looks to leave the competition dead in the water. Instead of flash touchscreen like we’ve seen from other company’s this year, the Fire TV Blaster is simplifying things by relying on IR. The technology is far from new, but it’s about as tried and true you’ll find.
At the $35 price point, I can see it being a huge hit. But I think that all comes down to how the setup process is for controlling devices. Usually, getting it so an IR transmitter sends the correct signal is a significant pain. But if Amazon has managed to solve this, then we may have a new king of the home theater remote on our hands. Hopefully, it has learned a lot from the Fire TV Cube.
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