Amazon announces its own 4K Fire TVs with Alexa voice control
It’s been rumored for a while that Amazon was planning to make its own smart TVs -- rather than just partnering with other television manufacturers to offer 'Fire TV Editions' (sets with Fire TV and Alexa built-in) -- and today the retail giant confirms this with the announcement of two new 'Amazon-built' smart TVs -- the Amazon Fire TV Omni Series and Fire TV 4-Series.
The Fire TV Omni Series is Amazon’s premium offering and it comes with far-field voice controls so you can talk to Alexa from across the room. Alexa voice controls are always available, even if the set if turned off. Don’t worry though, you can disable this feature if you’re not keen on the idea of a television set listening to your every word.
Amazon details some new Alexa features which will make it easier for owners of its TVs to find new content.
- "Alexa, what should I watch?": Need a new source for great movie and TV recommendations? Alexa Conversations for Fire TV allows you to ask Alexa for a recommendation just like you would a friend or movie expert. Alexa offers tailored TV show and movie recommendations from your favorite streaming apps like Prime Video, allowing you to refine searches by genre, actors, award-winning movies, and more, all from the comfort of your couch. "Alexa, what should I watch?" will launch in beta this year.
- "Alexa, Play Something" from Netflix: Exclusively available on Fire TV and debuting this Fall, Netflix is making it easier to find something to watch. Netflix members love the "Play Something" feature today, and soon you can simply say, "Alexa, Play Something on Netflix" from the Fire TV home screen and Netflix will launch a show or movie you might enjoy.
- "Alexa, play TikTok": Fire TV was the first to support TikTok videos on streaming media players in the UK, Germany and France, and soon, you’ll be able to access TikTok content in the U.S. and Canada. No more huddling around a cell phone to see the latest viral video -- from your Fire TV, you can view and discover TikTok feeds and use AutoPlay, which will serve a continuous content feed without interruptions. Just say, "Alexa, play TikTok" to get started.
- Discover more with X-Ray on Prime Video: X-ray is an exclusive feature on Prime Video that helps you learn more about what (or who) you’re watching on Fire TV. While watching Cinderella, just ask Alexa for information in the moment, such as "Alexa, who is this actor?" to see details about the actors in that scene appear at the bottom of your screen. You can also get bios, filmographies, facts, trivia, character backstories, photo galleries, bonus video content, and more, so you don’t have to pick up your phone.
The Fire TV Omni Series will be available in 43in ($409.99), 50in ($509.99), and 55in ($559.99) sizes. The Fire TV Omni Series with Dolby Vision will be available in 65in ($829.99), and 75in ($1,099.99).
"We’ve reimagined what a TV can do by building it with two of our most popular experiences at the core -- the intelligent always-available power of far-field Alexa, and Fire TV’s content-forward approach to entertainment," said Daniel Rausch, Vice President, Amazon Entertainment Devices and Services. "Our new Fire TV Omni Series smart TVs, with hands-free access to Alexa, make controlling your TV faster, simpler, and more natural."
The Fire TV 4-Series is cheaper, but combines 4K UHD resolution with HDR10 and HLG, and supports many of the same Alexa experiences as the Fire TV Omni Series, which you can access by using the Fire TV Alexa Voice Remote.
The Fire TV 4-Series will be available in 43in ($369.99), 50in ($469.99), and 55in ($519.99) sizes.
All TVs will be available next month in the United States, exclusively at Amazon and Best Buy.