Amazon launches its first smart TV
Amazon launches its first smart TV

Amazon has officially entered the world of television, announcing that the first batch of its branded 4K Fire TV series will be available in October.

It's a major extension of the company's Fire TV Edition collaboration, which has streaming software pre-installed on third-party TVs.

But for the new Omni and 4 series, Amazon calls these devices Amazon TVs.

Offering higher specifications, the Omni series, along with better image quality, introduce another important selling point: hands-free voice control.

The company has outfitted every model in the Omni series with 43-inch, 50-, 55-, 65- and 75-inch long-range microphones. (The 65-inch and 75-inch models include Dolby Vision, while the others get HDR10.)

The company believes that by building its own TV, it can create a smoother Fire TV user experience than ever before.

This causes the Fire TV user interface to redirect a lot of content and apps. However, the company believes that Alexa voice control is an important convenience factor.

Voice commands are always available in the omni set, even when the TV is off. These voice commands can be used to find the content you want to watch. But you can also use Alexa to adjust brightness, volume, or TV inputs.

According to Amazon, customers who use the voice features have interacted with content twice as often over the past two years as customers who don't use the voice features.

Microphones built into televisions are becoming increasingly popular. Sony makes some models with built-in microphones. TCL recently launched a new Google TV that features a far-field microphone array.

Amazon launches its first smart TV

The Fire TV Omni Kit also includes a picture-in-picture for a smart home camera experience. When someone is at the door, you can see the video source from the Ring Doorbell.

The company has announced that it will add a smart home control panel later this year to further control connected home gadgets.

Also, if you have Echo speakers like the Echo Studio, they can connect wirelessly to your Omni-series TV to deliver richer sound than the TV itself can offer.

Alexa Home Theater Audio Mode supports streaming of content. However, this also applies to cross-play platforms, the company announced. For compatible audio devices, a popup will appear in the Alexa app.

Amazon Fire TV devices lack HDMI 2.1 features such as 4K at 120Hz. While it supports automatic mode with low latency, it also helps the responsiveness of the Luna cloud gaming service.

In addition, the price of the first TV series from Amazon reflects the focus on providing good visuals. This is similar to the current list of Fire TV Edition sets.

Fire TV Omni Series Awards:

75 inches: $1,100 (with Dolby Vision).
65 inches: $830 (with Dolby Vision).
55 inches: $560.
50 inches: $510.
43 inches: $410.

Fire TV Series 4 Awards:

55 inches: $520.
50 inches: $470.
43 inches: $370.

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