Recently Amazon announced and released the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4k and one of the big updates (aside from 4k video support) was an updated remote that could not only control you Fire TV Stick but also control your television and other audio video equipment through IR. I was pretty excited about this and was going to order one to replace a Fire TV Stick in my bedroom when I found that you could order the remote separately and it would work with the previous generation Fire TV Stick. This was big for me as I have a television in one of the bedrooms that only has a Fire TV Stick connected to it that my son loves to use to watch his Sunday morning cartoons. Up until now, I have always needed to keep a second remote around for the television to control volume as I had already been using a SwitchBot to control power through an Amazon Echo Dot. I preordered the new Fire TV Remote the first day it was available and patiently (who am I kidding, not so patiently) waited for it to come.
- Similar in size and button layout as existing Fire TV Remotes
- IR works very well either straight on or off angle
- I can not see any way to teach the Fire TV Remote IR commands
The day had finally come and my Fire TV Remote showed up at my doorstep. I quickly unboxed it and got it set up. I was concerned when I first looked at the instructions included as they appeared to only cover pairing the remote to your Fire TV and made no mention at all about how to configure it to control other devices. Connecting the Fire TV Remote to your Fire TV Stick is very simple, all you need to do is:
- Select Settings from the Fire TV menu.
- Open Controllers & Bluetooth Devices.
- Select Amazon Fire TV Remotes, then select Add New Remote.
- Press and hold the Home button on your new remote for up to 10 seconds.
I got a confirmation that the remote was connected and I could use it to control my Fire TV Stick but still nothing about configuring a television. My worry was for nothing as it turns out when you exit the “Add New Remote” screen I was immediately prompted to set up other equipment. The Amazon Fire TV Stick quickly recognized that it was connected to a Samsung TV and all I had to do was confirm that I wanted to set the Fire TV Remote up to control this television. That was it I confirmed that volume and power controls were working and I was happy.
With setup out of the way, let’s take a look at the Fire TV Remote quickly. At first glance, it appeared to be pretty much the same as the previous remote (with the exception of the new buttons) but when I put the new remote next to an old one it is obvious that the new Fire TV Remote is smaller which is nice. It fits in the hand very nice and feels good. The Fire TV Remote is not too small that you need to worry about losing it although I am sure it will get lost many times in its life at my house that is mostly because my wife loses everything.
Over the last few days using the Fire TV Remote, I have not had any issues with it. The IR window is positioned on the front and wraps around to the bottom of the remote. It appears to work very well as I was able to complete many off angle commands which with this being used in a bedroom can come in handy.
In addition to being compatible with the last generation, Amazon Fire TV Stick to eh Fire TV Remote is also compatible with the Fire TV Cube and the Fire TV 4k. I tested the remote with my Fire TV Cube and had the same easy setup process and success in issuing commands so I do not have any worries there. I would however like the option to teach the Fire TV Remote commands from a remote for a device that it does not automatically discover. This functionality might actually be there but I am not able to confirm as all of the televisions I tired were recognized and worked with the default commands without issue.
While I am sure there is not a huge market for a stand-alone Fire TV remote and I am not sure a lot of people will see the need to upgrade it is nice to see that Amazon made the Fire TV Remote backward compatible with previous Fire TV generations. For me, the Fire TV Remote solves a problem and does so at a reasonable price so I am happy. It also makes control of my television easier which makes my wife happy so it is a win-win.
Do you have an Amazon Fire TV that could benefit from an upgrade to the new Fire TV remote? Let me know in the comments below.
I am passionate about the IoT and connected devices. Using connectivity to automate our lives will empower civilization to achieve greatness.