How to Connect Alexa to your Projector

We all know that projectors offer a fantastic way of getting a large screen experience, movie theater experience for watching your favorite TV shows and movies.

We also know that Amazon’s Alexa service is an increasingly flexible and versatile service allowing us, among other things, to control and interact with a number of home devices.

Wouldn’t it be great to leverage the power of both Alexa and Projectors together?  Well to do that you need to know how to connect Alexa to your projector.

This article will explore a few ways of being able to do this.  Let’s get into this.

How to control your projector with Alexa instead of a remote

This section of the article will show you how to control your projector with Alexa instead of using the projector’s remote control.  The method below will allow you to switch your projector on or off, switch the source input, turn the volume up and down, etc.

Please note that you do not need a projector compatible with Alexa for this to work.  This method extends Alexa’s capabilities to what is otherwise a dumb projector.

Prerequisites for using Alexa with your projector 

There are two things required to get this to work.  These are:

  1. Amazon Echo Dot
  2. Broadlink RM Pro+ Universal Remote

Amazon Echo Dot

You don’t need a full Amazon Echo for this to work.  We would recommend purchasing the cheapest Echo device on the market, the Amazon Echo Dot, as we only need the simplest solution to interface with Alexa.

If you already have an Amazon Echo Dot or Amazon Echo device then this will do.

Broadlink RM Pro+ Universal Remote

Broadlink RM Pro+ Universal Remote is used to simply replace your handheld projector remote.  As the Broadlink device is an Infra-Red (IR) transmitter that also can join a WiFi network and interface with Alexa, you can use this to send IR signals to the projector that otherwise would have come from the projector remote.

Step 1 – Install Broadlink App to your phone or tablet

If you are based in the US, download the Broadlink e-Control app to your phone or tablet.

Or if you are based in the EU, install the Intelligent Home Center For EU app on your phone or tablet:

Step 2 – Connect the Broadlink RM Pro+ to your home WiFi

Next, connect the RM Pro+ appliance to your home WiFi.  To do this, follow the following instructions:

  1. Power on the Broadlink RM Pro+ and wait for the Blue LED to start flashing.  If it doesn’t press and hold the Reset button for 5 seconds.
  2. Open the Broad e-Control or IHC app on your phone and select Add Device.
  3. Select Universal Remotes.
  4. Select RM Pro+.
  5. Select your home WiFi SSID and type in the password to join the network.

Step 3 – Add your projector as a TV in the app

Next, you need to set up a Universal Remote for the projector itself.  Follow the steps below:

  1. Select Universal Remote (RM Pro+).
  2. Select TV.
  3. Enter a name for the projector.  It’s this name that you will use to interface with Alexa. E.g. “Alexa, turn on Projector”.

Step 4 – Program the Broadlink RM Pro+ functions

In this step, you will program the RM Pro+ with the actual projector remote functions.  This is so the Broadlink will know what IR signal to send to the projector when you issue a voice command.

For example, when you say “Alexa, turn on Projector”, the RM Pro+ will transmit the correct IR signal to your projector.

To match these settings up, follow these steps in the Broadlink e-Control or Intelligent Home Center For EU app:

  1. Select the ellipsis icon i.e. three dots and select Learn.
  2. Select the remote control function that you would like the RM Pro+ to learn. In this example, we will use ON/OFF.
  3. Select ON/OFF.  An orange LED will appear on the unit.
  4. Point the projector remote to the RM Pro+ and press the Power button.
  5. Select Test to see if the projector switches on.
  6. If it does, go through the rest of the functions that you would like to add.

Now all of your buttons will be added to the Universal Remote on the RM Pro+.

Step 5 – Install the Amazon Alexa App

The next step is to install the Amazon Alexa app onto your phone or tablet.  Follow the links below to these apps:

Log in to the app using your Amazon account.

Step 6 – Enable the BroadLink Remote Control/IHC skills

Next, enable the BroadLink Remote Control (US-based users) or IHC skill (EU based users) to your Alexa app/account.  To do this, follow these steps:

  1. In the Alexa app, select the menu icon (three horizontal lines).
  2. Select Skills & Games
  3. Select the search icon and type BroadLink Remote Control or IHC for EU
  4. Select Enable.

Step 7 – Find your universal projector remote

Next, we will link the Alexa service with the Broadlink RM Pro+ projector remote.  To do this follow these steps:

  1. From the Amazon Alexa app, select the Devices option.
  2. Select the + icon.
  3. Select Add Device.
  4. Scroll down and select Other.
  5. Select Discover Devices.

Congratulations!  You have now linked all devices and you will be able to fully control your projector using Alexa.

Can you use an Amazon Echo as a speaker for a projector?

Yes, you can absolutely use an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot as a speaker for your projector.  In fact, you can connect two Amazon Echo or Echo Dot devices as an external speaker for your projector.

Here’s why this is such a great solution.

Why use an Amazon Echo as an external speaker for your projector?

The easiest way of delivering sound when using a projector is to use the projector’s inbuilt speaker.  It’s quick and convenient.

The downside to this is that as a general rule, inbuilt projector speakers are pretty poor.  They are often below somewhere between 2W and 8W in power.  The volume levels obtained through such a speaker are pretty poor however if you aren’t trying to fill a large living room with a deep, rich sound, this might be sufficient.

Using an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot as an external speaker for your projector is a much better solution.  This is because the speakers were built with sound quality in mind and aren’t just an afterthought as they often are with inbuilt projector speakers.

Another reason is that they are usually already in your living room and can be easily connected to wirelessly via Bluetooth.

What do I need to consider when connecting my Amazon Echo to my projector?

The only issue when connecting your projector to your Echo for direct audio playback is latency.  There is quite often a small lag between the video and audio which can be annoying depending on how bad the lag is.

A better solution to this is to use an Amazon Fire TV in conjunction with your projector and Amazon Echo.  The Amazon Fire TV will keep both the video and audio in sync over a Bluetooth connection.

Therefore for this solution, you will need:

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Amazon Echo or Echo Dot
  • Projector with Bluetooth capability*

*Important – if your projector doesn’t support Bluetooth, using a separate Bluetooth dongle will extend this capability to your projector.

Step 1 – Connect Amazon Fire TV to your projector

First, let’s connect the Amazon Fire TV to your projector so that we can begin to manage it correctly, whether it be by remote control or Alexa.  Follow these steps:

  1. Switch on your projector.
  2. Change the Source on the projector so that it is HDMI.
  3. Insert your Amazon Fire TV into the HDMI port on the back of the projector.
  4. Power on the Amazon Fire TV or Amazon Fire Stick.
  5. Connect the Amazon Fire TV to your home WiFi.

Step 2 – Connect your Fire TV with your Echo device

The next step is to connect the Fire TV to your Amazon Echo device(s) using the Fire TV OS.  You will need to install the Amazon Alexa app to your phone or tablet. 

Once this is installed, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app.
  2. Select the Devices icon.
  3. Selection the + icon at the top right of the screen to add a device.
  4. Select Set Up Audio System.
  5. Select Home Theater.
  6. A list of devices should appear.  Select your Fire TV device.  If it doesn’t appear, ensure that it is switched on and then select the Rescan option.
  7. Select Next.
  8. Select your Echo device(s) from the list.  If you have more than one device, you can choose which one will be the left channel and right channel for audio playback.
  9. Select Next.
  10. Enter a name for your Home Theater setup.
  11. Select Next.
  12. Select Save to complete the setup.
  13. Your Fire TV will now display a message stating that the Echo devices have been configured for use with the Fire TV.
  14. Select Play Preview to check that audio playback is successful.

Congratulations, you can now use your Amazon Echo devices as external speakers for your projector!  

Which projectors are compatible with Amazon Alexa?

This article has described ways of extending Amazon Alexa functionality to otherwise dumb projectors.

There are some projectors classed as Smart projectors as these also come with a preinstalled Operating System that allows apps and services to run to extend the device’s functionality further.

There are a number of Amazon Certified devices that work directly with Alexa.  This removes all of the complexity of connecting your projectors to Amazon’s services and allows you to use voice controls to control the devices.

ViewSonic X10-4K

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This is an absolute beast of a projector.

This projector offers a 4K UHD (3840×2160) resolution on a screen up to 120 inches in size.

This is backed by a 2400 lumen LED-powered projection system.  This is ideal for the modern home theater setup with low amounts of ambient lighting.

The lamp-free LED design means that the unit has a 30,000-hour lifespan.

The device can be voice-controlled using Amazon Alexa and connects directly to the WiFi using either an 802.11 ac/b/g/n connection.

If that wasn’t enough, it is fitted with premium dual Harman Kardon speakers.  The speaker system is also Bluetooth enabled allowing you to use the speakers as external speakers for other Bluetooth enabled devices such as your phone or tablet.

ViewSonic M2 Smart Projector

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This is a smaller, more portable unit than the X10-4K mentioned above however it still packs quite a punch for a Home Theater experience.

The M2 will deliver a 100-inch screen from only 8 feet 9 inches away using its short throw lens.

Again, this is a LED projector that only requires 74 watts of power and will deliver a 1080p HD resolution.

The projector has a large range of supported inputs including 3D Blu-ray.  The OS has a number of streaming services inbuilt including YouTube.

ViewSonic has also added a set of dual Harman Kardon speakers.

Of course, the entire unit can be controlled using the Amazon Alexa service, making this an impressive choice for your home theater setup.