Amazon’s new TV doesn’t have a remote – just Alexa
Amazon officially enters the world of televisions. The company has announced the first series of TVs with the brand Fire TV, 4K TVs that will start arriving in the homes of streaming lovers from October. Even if, for the moment, only in the United States. Until now, the company had only sold sets that were used to use Alexa on other manufacturers’ screens, such as Fire Sticks. But the 4-Series and Fire TV Omni are the first TVs built directly by Amazon. And the Omni does not need the remote control: think of everything Alexa.
Amazon Fire TV Omni turns Alexa into the smartest remote on the market
The absolute protagonist of this important announcement is the series Omni, the one designed for audiences willing to spend more for the best TV experience possible (even if prices are below average). The series is available in diagonals of different sizes: 43 “, 50”, 55 “, 65” and 75 “. Only the last two are equipped with Dolby Vision but the whole series is equipped with HDR10. However some of the features are missing which we are learning to like on top of the line TVs, like HDMI 2.1 to connect next generation consoles and make the most of them, as well as 4K at 120Hz. But the distinctive note of these televisions lies not so much in the quality of the image as in the integration within your smart home.
The whole Amazon Fire TV Omni series has gods long reception microphones that can pick up your voice in every corner of the room. Even when the television is off: If you ask Alexa to show you the new Marvel series on Disney +, turns on the TV and starts playing it. You can also ask the voice assistant to adjust the brightness or volume, switch to antenna TV or watch vacation recordings you put on your USB stick.
According to Amazon, for the past two years people have continued to increase the use of voice commands. And the microphones in the TV screen are coming: Sony has already introduced them in some models, TCL announced some new Google TVs with built-in microphones. That of Amazon is not an absolute novelty but it is particularly interesting especially for one aspect: the ecosystem.
Another device under the control of Alexa
In the new Fire TV Omni, Amazon has also included one more unique than rare picture-in-picture mode. In fact you can look at the visual feedback of your Ring doorbell if someone rings the doorbell, or the connected security cameras. The company added a “dashboard for the smart home”Which allows you to monitor the many gadgets connected to home WiFi.
Also very interesting is the possibility of connect the Echo speakers (and even the powerful Echo Studios) to television to create a truly low-cost dolby surround system. If you already have Amazon devices at home, you can use them to create your own home-theater artisanAnd. This feature is also present on the new 4-Series and is simple to use: a pop-up on the Alexa app alerts you to compatible devices.
However, the new TVs with Alexa built-in (and the new Fire Sticks) don’t just work well with other devices within the Amazon ecosystem. The company has specified that the new feature arrives “Play something on Netflix”. In this way the TV starts playing a TV show or movie among those recommended by the Netflix algorithm, which you should like. The function “What can I watch” instead invites Alexa to suggest shows among all the possibilities on your account: it could be a movie from Amazon Prime Video, but also from other streaming apps.
Also interesting are some collaborations with apps outside the usual confines of smart TVs. For example you can ask Alexa to play TikTok, showing you your feed feedback. This feature will initially only arrive in Germany, UK and France but is expected to roll out to the rest of the world soon.
Amazon Fire TV Omni: What’s the price (and how does it move the market)?
For the time being, Amazon has announced the arrival of its new TVs only for the United States. It usually doesn’t take long for the company to export American hits to the rest of the world. But for the moment there are no prices in euros. For now we will have to make do with the Fire Stick to connect to other televisions.
If and when new TVs cross the Atlantic, we expect a small hike in device prices. But they would stay anyway prices slightly lower than average. The company collaborates with TCL for the construction of these devices and the Chinese company maintain the incredible value for money. For Omni Series:
- 75 ″: $ 1,099.99 (with Dolby Vision)
- 65 ″: $ 829.99 (with Dolby Vision)
- 55 ″: $ 559.99
- 50 ″: $ 509.99
- 43 ″: $ 409.99
While for the 4-Series:
- 55 ″: $ 519.99
- 50 ″: $ 469.99
- 43 ″: $ 369.99
These prices are in line or lower than average, especially considering the microphone technology to handle Alexa. Who is willing to give up the perfect black of the OLEDs or the brilliant colors of the QLED can buy good (smarter than average) TVs at a really attractive price.
As with other kinds of devices, Amazon does not aim to offer the best in absolute terms. Rather, it focuses on a value for money that other smaller companies simply cannot afford. These prices and integration into the Alexa ecosystem ensure success in the United States. Which means that soon we will be able to see the Fire TV Omni (or maybe an eventual Omni 2) also in Europe, very soon.
If the premium market, that of TVs above 1000 euros, will remain the prerogative of brands such as LG, Samsung and Sony, Amazon is likely to take over the mid-range of the TV industry in no time. And it is in this range that the largest number of devices are sold. The historic manufacturers of television panels now have to answer: maintaining quality, increasing artificial intelligence. And without raising costs. It will not be easy.