Amazon's Fire TV Cube has been a fantastic addition to my arsenal of smart home devices. The sheer utility it brings to the table for such a low price is incredible.
Its ability to make a non-smart TV smarter than most smart TVs is the main USP of the product and it delivers.
But being a TV nerd with many non-smart TVs lying around, I have always wondered if I could hot-swap between multiple TVs with a single Fire TV Cube.
Seeking an answer, I researched through the depths of the internet to find an answer to this question and maybe even dig up methods to achieve the same.
Unfortunately, a single Fire TV Cube can't boot individually across multiple TVs. But with an HDMI splitter or a wireless HDMI extender, one can attempt to mirror the screens across multiple TV screens without issues.
Can One Fire TV Cube Be Used Across Multiple TVs?
Fire TV Cube being an external accessory connects to the HDMI port of the TV to relay Amazon's popular Fire OS onto the TV.
Since HDMI is a universal input used to relay signals, a plugged-in Fire TV cube can be used on any TV by just plugging it in and connecting to the internet.
Amazon doesn't lock in the Fire TV cube to a specific TV and works just like a normal cable TV set-top box or a DVD player.
Hence there is no pairing process required and the Fire TV Cube can be easily hot-swapped across multiple devices.
Unfortunately, this is where the drawbacks of implementing such a simple plug-and-play system like in cable TV set-top boxes on the Fire TV Cube come into play.
Since there is no pairing program, the Amazon Fire TV Cube can only run on a single device at a time and does not support multiple logins.
This means that one might need to invest in multiple Fire TV Cubes in order to run Fire OS on multiple TVs.
Amazon Account Restrictions
There is also the factor of Amazon account restrictions, as the Fire OS purely runs on the account, just like Apple ID governs the use of most Apple products.
Unlike other services, there are no restrictions on how many fire TV devices one can own under a single Amazon account.
But most Amazon Fire TV Cube consumers use it to stream media and the restrictions each streaming service has pre-set still stand.
Amazon's Prime Video allows up to three devices that can view content simultaneously. The inbuilt profile system for Prime Video has nothing to do with the device restrictions.
Also, the same movie or TV show cant be played across more than two devices simultaneously.
Similarly, the Netflix device support depends on the subscribed plan for the month, with a max of 4 devices supported per account for the most premium plan.
Possible Solutions to Using One Fire TV Cube On Multiple Screens
In short, one needs to get multiple Fire TV Cubes at the rate of one Fire TV cube per TV to reap the intended benefits of using Fire OS across all TVs.
But there are some hidden hacks that can be implemented to somewhat simulate a multi-screen experience with a single Fire TV Cube.
But hacks like this always come with unintended consequences and might make one question the utility of such a setup instead of just shelling out for an extra Fire TV Cube.
Nonetheless, these are hacks and are supposed to be viewed with an open mind.
Use an HDMI Splitter
For any Fire TV Cube running version 184.108.40.206 and above, Amazon has bundled in an option to switch TV inputs directly using Alexa or from the menu.
This is a much welcome addition, and something this hack incorporates to relay the Fire TV Cube experience across multiple TVs.
First, one needs an HDMI splitter which is used to split the input of one HDMI input across multiple HDMI outputs, which can be connected to multiple TVs.
In order to connect to other TVs, one needs to purchase extra HDMI cables. But that's an inexpensive deal compared to buying multiple Fire TV Cubes.
One positive aspect of this is that now those multiple TVs can bypass the streaming service restriction and play the same media across the TVs while only filling in for one slot.
You can also adjust the display resolutions to match the perfect resolutions for all your screens for the most optimal viewing experience.
But it does come at a cost of the TVs just effectively-being mirrored across the TVs instead of each TV having its own mode of UI navigation.
Also, one might need to deal with the hassle of multiple cables running around the house too, making cable management an absolute nightmare.
Nevertheless, the signal relayed will be strong thanks to the wired connections and two or more rooms can enjoy the Fire TV Cube experience at the same time.
Use a Wireless HDMI Extender
If the cable management aspect is too big of a deal-breaker, one can simply deal with it by using a Wireless HDMI extender which essentially provides the same experience.
Just plug in the wireless HDMI transmitter adapter to the TV and the other wireless receiver end to another TV.
Then plug in the Fire TV Cube to the transmitter end with a single HDMI cable and the setup is ready.
The signal from the Fire TV Cube will be relayed to the TV it is directly connected to, as well as to the wireless receiver which is connected to the other TV.
This setup works very similarly to the wired HDMI splitter setup, but now the need for extra HDMI cables is gone and the setup is much cleaner.
It also achieves the same benefits the HDMI splitter setup had, with mirroring the screen across the other TV. But this setup does have its fair share of downsides.
Only a single other TV can be connected with this setup, rather than the multiple that can be connected with the HDMI splitter setup depending on the splitter's configuration.
Also, since the whole setup is wireless, there can be signal drops across to the wireless end.
If the wireless transmitter faces too many obstacles in between the receiver, the signal can drop and cause issues, unless it is in the specified close proximity.
But all in all, it is still an effective wireless solution that results in a much cleaner setup.
It is unfortunate that there isn't a method to use a single Fire TV Cube on multiple TVs with a unique boot across each TV screen.
It makes sense for Amazon to make such a restriction, as Fire TV Cubes are generally underpowered computers, and connecting across multiple TVs will hog the system down.
It also doesn't make sense monetarily for Amazon to introduce such a feature onto their Fire TV Cube lineup, just to satisfy the cravings of a select demographic of users.
But the beauty of technology is that no matter how small the tech enthusiast community is, they usually find ways to utilize what they have to its maximum potential.
In the case of Fire TV Cube, despite being restricted it is still possible to implement hacks that can get around a lot of preset restrictions like the ones mentioned in this article.
All being said, this just shows how innovative the Fire TV Cube is and cements the fact that the future looks promising for Fire OS devices running on a TV.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can you use a Fire TV Cube on a Smart TV?
Fire TV connects to the input port of a TV and therefore can be connected with any TV, including a smart TV. The smart features will depend on the input source selected.
Can Dolby Atmos work with Netflix on the Fire TV Cube?
Amazon Fire TV Cube natively supports Dolby Atmos, but unfortunately, Netflix is yet to implement support for Dolby Atmos with Fire TV devices.
Can the Fire TV Cube control all smart home devices?
Fire TV Cube, unfortunately, can only sync with other smart home products rated to be used with Alexa and cant be used to control Apple Homekit devices.