Amazon has been positioning the Echo Show 15 as a family hub or control centre. This smart screen with speaker and Alexa digital assistance looks like a small TV, and it’s designed to be wall mounted in a central area. Now, Amazon has announced the Show 15 has new capabilities that are aimed at earning the Show 15 a bigger place in the core of your home. Echo Show 15 now has Amazon Fire TV built in, which adds not just video viewing on Amazon Prime, but a full slate of streaming channels including Netflix, YouTube and more. In a nutshell: Your Echo Show 15 now works as a full service TV.
Fire TV now on all Echo Show 15 devices with firmware update
Regardless of when you got your Echo Show 15, you’ll now have Fire TV on it, thanks to a firmware update that will make it backwards compatible with any device. The new Fire TV feature also means you can now use an Alexa Voice Remote control with your Show 15.
How to add Fire TV to Echo Show 15
How do I download Fire TV for Echo Show 15?
Getting this update onto your echo show 15 is pretty easy. If you’ve just purchased a brand-new device, it will either already be enabled, or will update itself when you turn on and initialize your device. If you already have an echo show 15 you can see if the update is available by going to Settings, Device Options, Check for Software Updates.
If you already use Echo Show 15, get started by downloading the latest software update. If you’re setting up your device for the first time, you will install the Fire TV experience during setup. From there, add streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Paramount+, and then log in to your subscription to begin streaming.
How to use Fire TV on Echo Show 15
Once you’ve finished your setup, you can access Fire TV saying, “Alexa, open Fire TV,” or “Alexa, open Disney+,” or “Alexa, play The Rings of Power.” You can also push the Home button on an Alexa Remote to go to the main menu.
You can navigate among the different streaming channels, or see what’s on. The first time you use a streaming app or channel you will need to log into your streaming service’s account (and some services like Netflix do charge a monthly fee), but after that you’re home free.
Watching TV on Echo Show 15
I was able to get my hands on an Echo Show 15 for a few days and I tried the fire TV viewing experience. For many years I had a small TV my kitchen and found it to be really handy for loading up TV shows while making dinner, or watching the news while I was starting my day. When old timey TVs fell out of favour, I got rid of it, but always missed the experience.
I can say that watching TV Amazon Echo Show 15 is fun and convenient. The screen quality is quite good for most TV viewing and I love the convenience of calling out to Alexa to load up shows while my hands are full, or grabbing the remote to make a fast adjustment. The 15-inch screen is actually just the right size for a kitchen, since chances are you’ll be watching it closer up.
The screen resolution is 1,920-by-1,080-pixels and it’s a touch screen. Given the multipurpose nature of the device, you’re not going to get 4K-level colour, resolution or brightness, but that’s not the point, either.
It’s amazing how quickly I fell back into some old TV viewing. When it was time to be a little more social, it was a quick swap on the Show 15 to playing music instead.
What channels are available on Echo Show 15 with Fire TV?
When Amazon first launched Fire TV on Echo Show 15, users could watch YouTube, YouTube TV, YouTube Kids, HBO Max, Disney+, and Prime Video in portrait mode. Now, in addition to those video apps, users also get shows and movies from Netflix, Hulu, Paramount+, NBC, Tubi, and Sling. Amazon are working to enable more video apps to play in both vertical and horizontal orientations as well.
How to use Alexa Voice Remote with Echo Show 15
The Alexa Voice Remote (3rd Gen) is an add-on for the Show 15, but I do recommend it based on my experience. When you want to surf around for something to watch, it’s a convenient way to launch and control content from Fire TV on your Echo Show 15.
The Home button will take you right to the main Fire TV interface, or use the Live TV button to see what’s unfolding now. There’s also quick launch buttons for popular channels.
You can also use the remote in your smartphone’s Amazon Fire TV app or Amazon has also created a virtual remote for Fire TV on Echo Show 15. The virtual remote will pop up on the screen so you can navigate and control video apps that aren’t touch-enabled.
How to get local news on Echo Show 15 using Fire TV
Open the Alexa app. Open More and select Settings. Select News, then select My News Channel or Flash Briefing. Select My News Channel and choose your primary news channel for long-form news content.
Overall thoughts on Fire TV on Echo Show 15
Overall this is a huge update to Echo Show 15 that makes it an even more valuable device. The interface is seamless and easy; whether you want to talk to your Show 15 or use a remote control, it’s easy to use, search and navigate. The screen resolution is good quality for up-close viewing and it makes it easy to keep something on in the background. I also highly recommend the convenience of adding on an Alexa Voice Remote for quick control too.