A recent update to the excellent Amazon Fire TV Cube means it now supports webcams, effectively turning the device into a kind of Amazon Echo Show complete with video calling. There are a few quirks to overcome to get everything working, but here I’ll take you through everything you need to know.
This guide is for the second-generation Fire TV Cube, which is the only model sold in the UK; in the US, the first-generation device isn’t supported.
1. Update your Fire TV Cube
First, you need to be running the latest firmware for your Fire TV Cube. Go to Settings, My Fire TV, then select About. If there’s an update waiting, you can select Install Update; otherwise, you can select Check for Updates. If your Fire TV Cube needs updating, it will restart and install the update.
2. Connect your webcam
You require a webcam that’s compatible with the system, which equates to a model with at least a 720p resolution that’s capable of shooting at 30fps. It should also be a model that has UVC support, so you can simply plug and play. For this guide, I’m using the Logitech C310.
You’ll notice that the back of the Fire TV Cube has a micro-USB connector only, and webcams have full-sized connectors. As such, you’ll need an adapter. I’m using UGREEN’s Micro USB 2.0 to USB 2.0 OTG. Plug in the adapter and then plug the webcam into it.
3. Make a video call
Now you’re ready to make a video call. You can test it by calling yourself, assuming you have a second Alexa device in your home (the app on your phone counts). You’ll need your name in your contacts book first, and you can find out how to do this by following my guide on how to make Alexa outbound calls.
To make a video call, rather than a voice call, you need to speak to your Fire TV Cube and say, “Alexa, video call <name of contact>”. Alexa will then make a video call to your Alexa devices – including your phone – where you can answer.
You’ll notice that your Fire TV Cube doesn’t have a video feed, since it turns this off by default. To turn on the feed, you can either say “Alexa, turn on video” or you can press the menu button on the remote (the one with three lines) and then select the video option on-screen.
When you’re done with the call, you can hang-up from either device, either using your voice or by using the on-screen controls.