Amazon Fire TV Cube now supports video calls to Echo Show and Fire tablets

fire tv cube
(Image credit: Amazon)

The Amazon Fire TV Cube has got a neat new feature, enabling support for two-way video calls with other Alexa-enabled devices – such as Echo Show smart displays, Fire tablets, and even smartphones featuring the Alexa voice assistant.

The Fire TV Cube doesn't have a screen, of course, but it is used in tandem with your television display to replicate the video calling capabilities of its Amazon Echo Show devices, and to watch their Ring security camera video in full-screen by saying “Alexa, show me [Ring device name]”.

Up to this point you've been able to use the speaker/streaming box hybrid to make audio calls, but this is the first time Amazon has attempted to bring video calling to its flagship streaming device.

The feature will begin rolling out to customers over the coming weeks in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Some assembly required...

That said, however, what makes the whole process tricky is that the Amazon Fire TV Cube doesn’t have a full-size USB port on it, which means you’ll need to supply your own adapter, and if you were using that port for an ethernet adapter, you’ll need to buy a new adapter that has both a USB and ethernet ports. 

Once you get the adapter you’ll need a webcam that supports either a 720p or 1080p resolution with UVC support and at least 30 frames per second video. Amazon isn't recommending 4K cameras at the moment, but it does recommend that the webcam you pick has a 60-90 degree field of view (FOV).

The end result means you'll be able to use your Fire TV like a regular Amazon Echo Show when it comes to video calling, but it does require a bit more effort than the smart displays that come with the feature right out of the box. 

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.