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Old 03-16-2020, 03:22 PM   #4081
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Old 03-16-2020, 03:30 PM   #4082
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Wow, I’m glad I bought a bunch of TP before the Great Corn Holio snagged it all from the store shelves!
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Old 03-23-2020, 05:03 AM   #4083
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Fire TV Cube

I just bought the Fire TV Cube (was down temporarily to $90). Had to buy HDMI cable separately, but it's a much better one than what came with the Fire TV box gen 1.

In the end, when I paired the Show 5 to the old fire tv, it played the sound for Amazon, Britbox and Acorn but Netflix was silent.

The new cube will not play sound from my TV but I was able to pair my gen 1 Echo and it plays audio for all shows, including Netflix. I have not set up the Alexa part of the cube, because I think it's going to mess with the Echo speaker I am using for audio. But when I talk to the Echo, the blue light comes on the cube as well.

I need a lot of streaming shows during this who-knows-how-long Trump Covid-19 virus pandemic. I'm in the epicenter, NYC.
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Old 03-23-2020, 10:38 AM   #4084
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Originally Posted by mlewis78 View Post
I just bought the Fire TV Cube (was down temporarily to $90). Had to buy HDMI cable separately, but it's a much better one than what came with the Fire TV box gen 1.

In the end, when I paired the Show 5 to the old fire tv, it played the sound for Amazon, Britbox and Acorn but Netflix was silent.

The new cube will not play sound from my TV but I was able to pair my gen 1 Echo and it plays audio for all shows, including Netflix. I have not set up the Alexa part of the cube, because I think it's going to mess with the Echo speaker I am using for audio. But when I talk to the Echo, the blue light comes on the cube as well.

I need a lot of streaming shows during this who-knows-how-long Trump Covid-19 virus pandemic. I'm in the epicenter, NYC.
Some of the Echo devices have really good mics and thus great hearing, others, like my Show 5, are nearly deaf. But whenever I have multiple Echos close enough together where they can all hear my commands, I find that using different wake words for each helps. Echos are supposed to be able to use a proximity capability to determine which is closest and thus have that one respond to your command, but that doesn’t always work well. i currently have my Echo Plus 2 and my new Show 5 both about 2 to 3 feet from my recliner, so I use "Echo" for the Plus 3 wake word and "Alexa" for the Show 5 wake word and that seems to work really well.

I gave up trying to use Alexa voice commands to control my Fire TV streaming. Thhat was always a major fail when I tried it. It rarely took me to the specific channel I requested, and it typically gave me a bunch of ads rather than specific shows I requested. So like that feature, but I’ve never been able to use it with much success.

Last edited by OtinG; 03-23-2020 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 03-23-2020, 01:04 PM   #4085
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OtinG View Post
Some of the Echo devices have really good mics and thus great hearing, others, like my Show 5, are nearly deaf. But whenever I have multiple Echos close enough together where they can all hear my commands, I find that using different wake words for each helps. Echos are supposed to be able to use a proximity capability to determine which is closest and thus have that one respond to your command, but that doesn’t always work well.
While I must say, I'm generally pretty happy with the way all the Echo devices work throughout my house, I am frequently bewildered at how I can some times near-whisper to the Echo in the bedroom with me, and the response will come from out the door, down the hall from the Dot behind the living room sofa. Some bizarre trick of acoustics? Tech issue? No idea.
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:06 PM   #4086
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While I must say, I'm generally pretty happy with the way all the Echo devices work throughout my house, I am frequently bewildered at how I can some times near-whisper to the Echo in the bedroom with me, and the response will come from out the door, down the hall from the Dot behind the living room sofa. Some bizarre trick of acoustics? Tech issue? No idea.
Maybe an inconsistency in the quality of mics they use. My Show 5 can sometimes respond quickly from three feet away. But then the next command gets completely ignored. There have been times when I reached over, picked it up, placed the top of it right next to my mouth, yelled into the mic, and it still took 3 or 4 efforts to get it to light up and respond! The Show 5 is fairly buggy anyway, though mostly those are just minor annoyances, so it could be bad firmware too. Amazon has a history of messing up the FW on devices.
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:23 PM   #4087
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Originally Posted by ApK View Post
While I must say, I'm generally pretty happy with the way all the Echo devices work throughout my house, I am frequently bewildered at how I can some times near-whisper to the Echo in the bedroom with me, and the response will come from out the door, down the hall from the Dot behind the living room sofa. Some bizarre trick of acoustics? Tech issue? No idea.
My Alexa devices behave surprisingly well. Yesterday was the first time in quite a while where I said "turn off the TV" (in the bedroom) and it turned off both the bedroom and downstairs TV. I have four Alexa devices in the house, one of which is on a separate account.
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Old 03-27-2020, 11:24 AM   #4088
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Anyone with a Show 5 and another Echo device (preferably one without a screen) notice something similar to this?
  • Echo Plus 2 set up with "Echo" as wake word.
  • Echo Show 5 set up with "Alexa" as wake word.

Speaking to my Echo Plus 2 a few feet away I said, "Echo, ask Brown Noise to loop."

(This is a command to have the Brown Noise skill play until stopped.)

The Echo Plus 2 runs the Brown Noise skill.

However, the Echo Show 5, which was showing the clock in its Home screen displays a visual screen for the Brown Noise skill. It doesn't play the sounds, the sounds are being played on the Echo Plus 2, but the Show 5 has taken it upon itself to display that the Brown Noise skill is playing on another device.

Speaking to my Echo Show 5 a few feet away I said, "Alexa, Home!"

The Echo Show 5 returns to the clock on the Home screen and stays there until morning.

I'm not sure if this is by design, are just another flaky annoyance with the Echo Show 5 Home screen. The Echo Show 5 constantly wants to leave the Home screen. It is as though it is looking for any reason to do that. It will flicker off momentarily every few minutes like it is going to show another useless Tip, but then flickers back on to the Home screen. It is a quick flickering, but annoying and noticeable. I do have ALL notifications turned off, but the Show 5 seems to go looking for something to notify me about anyway.
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Old 03-27-2020, 12:32 PM   #4089
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OtinG View Post
Anyone with a Show 5 and another Echo device (preferably one without a screen) notice something similar to this?
It hasn't happened to me yet.

Quote:
I'm not sure if this is by design, are just another flaky annoyance with the Echo Show 5 Home screen. The Echo Show 5 constantly wants to leave the Home screen. It is as though it is looking for any reason to do that.
Whoa! You have a runaway on your hands. Why is your Show 5 unhappy with her Home? Maybe if you heaped loads of praise upon her, she'd think twice about leaving Home


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Old 03-27-2020, 02:46 PM   #4090
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My Echo Loop has shipped and will arrive tomorrow or Sunday. Give me a few days and I'll write up a short review.

I received an email extoling the virtues of it and nothing surprised me except "Press and hold the button for 1 second to access Siri or Google Assistant". Since Google remains a good deal smarter than Alexa, that one by itself could be worth the expense.
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Old 03-28-2020, 01:11 AM   #4091
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My new Fire TV Cube worked paired with 1st gen Echo for five days. Tonight it would not connect. After I had it "forget" it, it would not pair. Ugh.

Now I have the Echo Show 5 paired for audio with the Fire TV Cube. Working so far. Sound is inferior to the gen 1 Echo. But I'll take it that way as long as it connects.

I didn't have it in me to talk with Amazon about this. They have yet to properly help me with this problem (we tried when I used the old Fire TV box.).
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Old 03-29-2020, 01:58 AM   #4092
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Originally Posted by OtinG View Post
Anyone with a Show 5 and another Echo device (preferably one without a screen) notice something similar to this?
  • Echo Plus 2 set up with "Echo" as wake word.
  • Echo Show 5 set up with "Alexa" as wake word.

Speaking to my Echo Plus 2 a few feet away I said, "Echo, ask Brown Noise to loop."

(This is a command to have the Brown Noise skill play until stopped.)

The Echo Plus 2 runs the Brown Noise skill.

However, the Echo Show 5, which was showing the clock in its Home screen displays a visual screen for the Brown Noise skill. It doesn't play the sounds, the sounds are being played on the Echo Plus 2, but the Show 5 has taken it upon itself to display that the Brown Noise skill is playing on another device.

Speaking to my Echo Show 5 a few feet away I said, "Alexa, Home!"

The Echo Show 5 returns to the clock on the Home screen and stays there until morning.

I'm not sure if this is by design, are just another flaky annoyance with the Echo Show 5 Home screen. The Echo Show 5 constantly wants to leave the Home screen. It is as though it is looking for any reason to do that. It will flicker off momentarily every few minutes like it is going to show another useless Tip, but then flickers back on to the Home screen. It is a quick flickering, but annoying and noticeable. I do have ALL notifications turned off, but the Show 5 seems to go looking for something to notify me about anyway.
One correction, in the above issue I was asking my Echo Plus 2 to run the Brown Noise skill but it was actually playing the skill on my Echo Show 5.

Issue resolved. After I realized the skill was playing on the Echo Show 5, I did more research and discovered the reason was because both devices were in a Group named “Living Room.” Apparently the Echo Show 5 was being used as the “preferred speaker” for that Group. I had not setup a “preferred speaker” for that Group, and I didn’t even know there was such a thing. Long story short, I did not want a preferred speaker for the Living Room group, so I simply removed the Echo Show 5 from the group and now whenever I ask the Echo Plus 2 to play something or run a skill it does so on the Echo Plus 2 rather than running it on another device. So problem resolved.

Although I’m glad there is a way to set a “preferred speaker” for a Group, I really don’t have a reason to do so. It was much easier for me in this case to place those two devices in different groups.
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Old 03-29-2020, 07:31 PM   #4093
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Using some of the “shelter at home” time to figure out how to create background images that work with my Echo Show 5 and its analog clock faces. Here are a few examples from photos I took over the past few years. (I do astrophotography as a hobby.)

You can set an Amazon Photos gallery to be used as backgrounds and the Show 5 will toggle through them. To do so, use the menus on the Show 5 to set which gallery you want to use.

You can also use the Alexa app on a smartphone or tablet to set a static image to use as the Show 5 background. To do so, open the Alexa app, select your Show 5 device, scroll down and select Home Screen Background, select Add a Photo from this Device, then follow the instructions.

The tricky part is getting an image to align with the clock faces, whether digital or analog. It is more challenging to get the images to work with the analog clock faces. If anyone is interested in how to format the image and lay them out, I’ll write up a little set of instructions and provide a link.

At any rate, it is nice to be able to personalize the Show 5 a bit.

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Old 03-29-2020, 07:49 PM   #4094
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Quote:
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Using some of the “shelter at home” time to figure out how to create background images that work with my Echo Show 5 and its analog clock faces. Here are a few examples from photos I took over the past few years. (I do astrophotography as a hobby.)
You did astronomy to your Show 5

Very cool
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Old 03-30-2020, 03:02 AM   #4095
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Can you switch the background for each day? Obviously the Sun background for Sunday, the Moon background for Monday, and Saturn for Saturday. The others are a little trickier, but how about

Tuesday: named for the Norse god of war, so use Mars
Wednesday: named for the king of the Norse gods, so use Jupiter
Friday: named for the Queen of the Norse Gods, so use Venus, as at least that's also a godess, not a god

Thursday's the really tricky one. Since the Roman god of thunder is also Jupiter. Hmm....
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