Amazon has announced a new Fire TV accessory called the Fire TV Blaster. This is a $ 34.99 IR blaster designed to let you control hardware like your TV or cable box using Alexa in tune with your existing Fire TV setup.
The added IR blaster gives you even more control over your TV settings via Alexa, allowing you to switch inputs and control things like power, volume, and playback through Echo voice controls.
The $ 35 accessory gives other Amazon Fire TV hardware similar functionality to the TV control that Amazon's IR-Blaster equipped with the Fire TV Cube already offers, but at a lower cost (and not required by customers to redesign their entire setup). Amazon already offers IR-enabled Alexa Voice Remote with its newer hardware, but the Fire TV Blaster offers several more features, such as cable management, as well as the added hands-free convenience so you don't have to pick up the remote first.
The hardware is pretty simple: it's actually a small box with an IR blaster and the necessary Wi-Fi hardware to communicate with other Fire TV products. There is also an additional port for attaching an IR extender to transmit the signal to hard-to-reach locations. There is no built-in speaker or microphone; these features are still managed by your regular Alexa device.
Amazon warns that the Fire TV Blaster is not a standalone device. To use it, you will need a compatible firewall device, an Echo smart speaker and a compatible TV / soundbar / receiver, which the company promises will have more details on this support page. (It doesn't seem live yet.) Amazon says the Fire TV Blaster is not compatible with the Fire TV Edition's TV or audio tapes.
Fire TV Blaster is available for pre-order and is expected to ship on December 11th, either on its own for $ 34.99 or as part of a $ 79.99 package that includes a Stream Stick Fire 4K sticker and Echo Dot.