In the past few years, Amazon has licensed its Fire TV OS to manufacturers such as Element (now discontinued), Insignia and Toshiba for use in their TVs, but now Amazon has decided to take the plunge into marketing their own-branded 4K UHD TVs with the Fire TV OS built-in. The rumor is that one of the manufacturers that Amazon has contracted with to make their new TVs is TCL.
Fire TV Omni Series
Amazon has positioned its Omni Series TVs as its top TV offering. The televisions come in 43, 50, 55, 65, and 75-inch screen sizes. However, they’re split in two styles. The 55-inch and smaller Omni’s are thicker with black bezel and stand. The 65-inch and larger Omni’s are thinner with sleeker silver frame and stand.
Some of the features and capabilities include:
Built-in Fire TV OS: All of the capabilities of a Fire TV Stick are actually built-in into the TV. This means you don’t have to plug in a separate Fire TV stick to get access to thousands of streaming apps.
LED Backlighting: All Omni Series sets are LED/LCD TVs with LED backlight. However, it must be noted that Amazon does not state whether they are implementing the Edge-Lit, Direct, or Full Array Local Dimming method.
HDR: In addition to 4K display resolution, Amazon’s Omni Series TVs support several HDR formats. All Omni Series sets support HDR10 and HLG, while the 65 and 75-inch models also include support Dolby Vision.
Alexa Always On: Just like an Amazon Echo device, Alexa is accessible hands-free through voice commands as the needed microphones are built into the TV. If you prefer not to have Alex Always On activation, you can turn it off and opt to press the microphone button on the TVs provided remotely to access Alexa voice commands and information. Alexa Two-Way Video Calling is also supported.
Audio Support: All Omni Series models support Dolby Digital Plus decoding and pass-through of several Dolby Audio formats.
Wireless Speaker Connectivity: Wirelessly connect compatible Amazon Echo Smart Speakers, including the Echo Studio to use as surround speakers.
Pricing and Availability: The Omni Series TVs have a tentative release date of October 27, 2021 with the following pricing:
Fire TV 4-series
Amazon’s Fire TV 4-Series has a lot in common with the Omni series, but only 3 screen sizes are offered (43-inches, 50-inches, and 55-inches) and some features are not included:
- Hands-Free Alexa and Two Way Alexa video calling is not supported. Alexa is only accessible via the Alexa button and microphone on the Alexa Voice Remote.
- Although HDR is supported, the Dolby Vision format is not supported.
Fire TV Stick 4K Max
If you aren’t in the market for a new TV, but would like to add Fire TV capability, you can opt for the new plug-in Fire TV Stick 4K Max. It can be plugged into any TV that has an available HDMI input. Wi-Fi is also required for setup and use.
Here is what it offers:
- 40% more powerful than the current Fire TV Stick 4K, with faster app starts and more fluid navigation.
- Support for next-gen Wi-Fi 6
- 4K Ultra HD streaming
- HDR Support: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+
- Stream content from thousands of apps, including Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, Peacock, and more…
- Push-to-Talk Alexa Voice Remote is included for Fire Stick operation, information, and operation of other smart home devices.
- Live View Picture-in-Picture allows you to view your front door (extra equipment required) and view it as a picture-in-picture on your TV.
- Access to gameplay via Amazon Game On and Luna Cloud Gaming with fast-rendering graphics supported by the 4K Max’s 750Mhz GPU.
The Fire TV Stick 4K Max is priced at $54.00 and has a tentative release date of October 7, 2021.
More To Say
It will be interesting to see how Amazon fares with their new TV line and whether they will expand into the high-end territory, such as QLED or OLED in the future. However, with Amazon’s huge e-commerce footprint, this first group will probably sell well.
It is also interesting, at least for the near term, indications are that Amazon will also license the Fire TV OS and Alexa capabilities to other TV makers as it is currently doing with Toshiba.
Tip: Amazon almost always discounts its own devices around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you can wait until then, you may get an even better price. On the other hand, such door buster deals often come with shipping delays due to increased demand. Second thought, maybe buy before they sell out.
For more information: Amazon Fire TV