Do you know that you can control your TV with your voice? Well If you own any of the Amazon Echo speakers and a Fire TV you can control your TV with Alexa.
This feature is fantastic if you are someone like me who finds it hard to remember where you left the TV remote. Now you can tell Alexa to turn on your TV or change the channel, and it will do just that, without you lifting a finger. Cool right?
In this post, I will be reviewing and guiding you guys on how to use Alexa to control your TV. We will be going over three methods you can use to achieve our primary goal.
How To Link Your Fire TV With A Echo Speaker
If you own a smart TV with inbuilt Fire TV or you have an external Fire TV, you can link it with your echo speaker. The setup process for this is straightforward.
By default, if you have only one fire TV device in your living room. You can easily link your echo speakers and the fire TV device with just your voice by telling Alexa to play a movie.
Example: “Alexa, watch the family guy” and Alexa with then pair up with the only fire TV device linked to your Alexa account.
If you have multiple echo speaker set up, you can link them to the Fire TV. This feature is handy when you have multiple speakers set in your living room. You can give the command to the closest speaker near you.
But if you have multiple Fire TV devices, then you will need to go the Alexa app and pair your speakers and the Fire TV. And here is how to pair them together.
How To Pair Your Fire TV To Alexa:
- To start the process, you will need to have the Alexa App installed.
- Open the App and click on the sidebar menu
- Then tap settings
- Go to the TV And VIDEO tab and click Fire TV.
- Then follow the following prompts
- Then select link devices and you are done.
After linking the devices, confirm that you can now use Alexa to control your Fire TV. If you ever want to manage your devices. You can do all that from the Alexa app at any given time.
If your TV support HDMI-CEC Feature, then you can give a command to Alexa to your Fire TV that will then switch on your TV (on if it’s on Standby) and Change the HDMI input to the Fire Tv’s input.
Some of the command you can give your Fire TV with are Alexa includes:
- Alexa, change the channel to Fox.
- Alexa, pause.
- Alexa, skip forward.
- Alexa, resume.
- Alexa, rewind 15 seconds.
- Alexa, watch American Dad.
- Alexa, search for Comedy movies. And so on.
If your smart TV comes with an inbuilt Fire TV, then most times you should have a little more control and access to some of the TV’s settings. With this amazing feature, you can replace your regular TV remote with your voice.
How to use Alexa and the Logitech Harmony hub to control your TV
Lets say don’t have a smart TV which supports Alexa or the Google Assistant, or an in-built fire TV. You can still control the TV with your voice by linking Alexa with the Logitech Harmony hub.
This give you the ability to control your TV( thinks like volumes, power on and off and changing settings) as well as content accessing features (like “Alexa watch American Dad”).
The linking process of these devices is simple. To set up your own just following the steps below:
- Open the Alexa app.
- Then tap on the sidebar icon.
- Locate skills and then search for Harmony.
- Then tap on the blue Harmony icon to activate the harmony skill.
- Go to the SELECT ACTIVITY page to choose your commands and the devices you want Alexa/harmony to work with.
- You will then be taken to a page. Tap the Link Account button to complete your set up.
You can take your harmony integration a bit further, by linking it with the IFTTT app. Connecting you Alexa/harmony to the IFTTT app opens up opportunities to a lot more Automations with your TV. You can create a scene that dims your lights whenever you start a movie and so on.
To link your Alexa to the IFTTT app, follow the steps below:
- First, download and open the IFTTT app.
- Tap on the page icon at the bottom right of the App.
- Then go to the Alexa section and add Alexa to your Services. If you were unable to find Alexa, search for it, and it should appear.
- After adding Alexa as a service, now scroll down till you see the TV ON/OFF APPLETS and enable it.
How to control your TV with Alexa using The Fire TV Blaster
Another way of controlling your TV with Alexa voice controls is by linking it with the Amazon Fire TV Blaster. Just like the Logitech Harmony hub, it gives you the ability to turn on your TV, increase or decrease the volume, change channels as well as HDMI inputs.
The blaster works like a hub. Where you connect the cables going to your TV, when you give Alexa a voice command, the blaster receives the command, processes it and send the signals to your TV.
To use the Amazon Fire TV blaster, you need to have a Fire TV or a Fire TV stick and an echo device, which means that this device can’t work on its own. Although I would have loved it if t could.
If you have a smart TV that comes with Alexa, then I won’t recommend you get the Fire TV blaster. Because most TVs give you the ability to replace the remote control with your voice commands fully. So getting the Fire TV blaster may not give you the extra voice controls you think on some smart TVs. You can get the Fire TV blaster for $36 from Amazon.
We all know that with Alexa we can do tons of things with our voice, And adding the ability to control our TV with Alexa takes comfort to another level.
For my setup, I decided to use the Fire TV method. Because I hardly have the time to watch movies. So whenever I sit down, I only give one or two voice commands, and I am okay.
This situation may be different for you if you watch a lot of movies and have multiple HDMI inputs, in that case, you may need to get either the Harmony hub or the Fire TV blaster.
I will personally lean towards the harmony hub side because it supports other voice Assistants while the Fire TV only works with Alexa.