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Nov162020

How to control your TV with Alexa - October 2020 Update

Category: Smart DNS Proxy

Just a word of warning - there will be lot of “Alexa” keyword here, so you should put on your headphones or mute your Echo devices.

In our previous video, we showed you how to connect your Echo devices to your Firestick. But the features were quite limited. Thankfully, after the October 2020 update, Amazon lets you do much more. For example, now you can control Netflix on your Firestick with your Alexa, security cameras, and if you have smart TV that supports HDMI-CEC, you'll also be able to power it on from your Alexa now! Sounds fun. Here’s how to do it.

Before we begin, make sure to subscribe to Smart DNS Proxy and press the bell icon, we make videos on Firestick, Echo Dot and everything related to streaming! 

With that said, let me quickly show you how to connect Fire TV to an Echo speaker. In simple words, it’s a two-step process. First you need to add Echo and Firestick to the Alexa app on your phone. And then you need to link the two devices, so that they can talk to each other. Let’s see how. 

All you need to carry this out is an Echo Dot, both Echo Dot 4 or any previous Echo device will work, as long as they are updated.

Next, you will need a Fire TV stick. We tried it with both Firestick 2020 as well as Firestick 2019, and it worked on both of them.

Once you have both of them, you need to open the Alexa app on your smartphone and add your Fire TV stick and Echo Dot to the same Alexa account. It’s important to have your Fire TV stick and Echo device connected to the same Alexa account and same Wi-Fi, for them to talk to each other. To do so, in the Alexa app, go to the Device option and tap on the + sign on the top, from here you can add your Echo devices and Fire TV stick etc. I’m assuming most of you have already done that. Once you do, it’ll show up on your All Device categories, for instance it’s called Smart DNS Proxy Echo Dot and Smart DNS Proxy Firestick.

Now, that you have added both products to your Alexa account, you need to link them. In order to do so, you have to go to the Alexa app, choose More from the bottom left and then Scroll down to TV & Video and select Fire TV. Next, choose the Fire TV you want to link.

Then choose the Echo speaker you want to control that Fire TV. 

However, in my case, I noticed that simply using a command will also automatically pair an Echo device to it. For example, "Alexa, I need to watch 'The Boys' then the Dot will instantly pair up with the only Fire TV it can find in your Alexa account. If there are multiple Fire TV sticks, then it’ll connect to the one that’s in the same room. 

Okay, now that you have pair your Echo with your Fire TV stick, let’s take a look at some old and new commands that are available for Alexa.

"Alexa, play “Stranger Things”

Earlier, you could only play shows from Prime Video but now there is support for Netflix as well. Other commands such as “Alexa, pause, fast forward, rewind” that used to work last year, work perfectly fine as well. For example, most YouTube videos I see recently, have some form of sponsorship in the starting like Skillshare or Wix, now nothing against the sponsorship, but If I’m already using these service, it’s just chore to sit through same ads every time, so I use Echo to skip to that portion, by saying:

“Alexa, skip 20 seconds forward”

Another big update is, mimicking what you might want to see with Echo, show up on your TV. For example:

“Alexa, show me my security camera”

Earlier, you could see footage from your Alexa compatible security camera (like ring camera or TP link) on Echo-only show devices, now it also works with any TV with Fire TV stick plugged in.

You can also ask other things that you asked Echo before, such as:

 “Alexa, what’s the weather like"

or "Alexa, show me my shopping list"

And this will show you your current shopping list. And not just that, you can also add and remove items from your shopping list like: “Alexa, add hand sanitizer to my shopping list”, etc. Just like it worked on Echo show, but this time, you don’t have to buy a separate Echo show device.

Moreover, if your TV supports HDMI-CEC, then you can ask Echo to control other devices attached to your TV like soundbar, switch HDMI input etc. For example:

 “Alexa, turn off the TV”

 “Alexa, turn up the soundbar volume”

Unfortunately, in my case, it didn’t work, as my TV doesn’t support HDMI-CEC.

Overall, these were few things you could do before the Alexa upgrade but after the October update you can control a lot more devices and services. That’s quite an upgrade in quality of life.

What else is a quality of life upgrade? Well, unblocking geo-restricted content on sites like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max with Smart DNS Proxy for approximately $5 a month with a 14-day free trial.

Thank you for reading and watching.

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