Amazon Fire TV Cube gets video call features

Mike Wheatley

Amazon has made good on its promise to bring video call support to its Fire TV platform. Starting this week, two-way video calls are being rolled out to all 2nd generation Fire TV Cube devices in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S.


To take advantage of the feature users will need to find a third-party webcam and pair this with their Fire TV Cube, which will then be able to make and receive video calls to or from any other Alexa device that’s fitted with a screen.

So, users will be able to call friends and family who also own a Fire TV Cube, an Echo device such as the Echo Snow, or even a smartphone that has the Alexa app installed on it, Amazon said in a post on its Fire TV blog.

The external video camera will need to meet certain minimum requirements, such as UVC support, 720p resolution and 30 frames per second. However, Amazon says people will enjoy a better experience with a 1080p resolution camera and a 60-90 degree field of view. It says not to use a 4K webcam at this time. Users are also advised to sit between six and 10 feet away from the TV.

Amazon has recommended several web cameras that should work perfectly for video calls, including the Aukey PC-LM1E, Logitech C920, C922x and C310, and the Wansview 101JD.

The webcam does however need to connect to the Fire TV Cube through a Micro USB to USB adapter, so if you don’t own one of them you’ll have to purchase one first.

Messaging and calling options must then be enabled in the Alexa app on your phone, and than it’ll ask you to import your contacts to the TV.

To make a call, simply say “Alexa, call Mike’s Echo”, or something similar, depending on who they want to call. Alexa can then be used to control aspects during the call, by saying “Alexa, video on” or “Alexa, volume up”, for example.

Video chat has been a key feature in many of Amazon’s smaller devices and so bringing this feature to the Fire TV Cube is a logical step. But it remains to be seen how many people will actually use it. One big sticking point is that Amazon doesn’t have the same communication ecosystem as Google’s Nest Hub Max has with Google Meet, or Facebook’s Portal, which can tab into Messenger and WhatsApp. With Amazon, users will be strictly limited to calling other Amazon device owners, for now at least.