After working with brands like Toshiba and Insignia to produce the Fire TV Edition, Amazon is now working to create its very own TVs, the Amazon Fire TV Omni and Fire TV 4-series. They are expected to arrive in October, while preorders have already begun since September 10th.
Amazon claims their Fire TV Omni’s built-in far-field mic will respond to the “Alexa” word, like an Echo speaker. The innovative feature, discards the use of remotes, and will allow you to talk to your TV hands-free, searching for shows, navigating the menu, and just having a conversation with Alexa on which shows to watch.
The TV mic can be deactivated if users wish so, and will allow you to use the Voice remote with a “Push-to-Talk” button to talk to Alexa, which is common with all the other Fire TVs. The device will not respond to the word “Alexa” when the hands-free mic is deactivated, unless the Alexa Always feature is turned on in settings.
Asking Alexa what you should watch will initiate a voice-powered recommendations tailored across apps and questions to make suggestions that you will like and are more likely to be interested in. “Alexa, Play something from Netflix” will pick a random show for you, just like Netflix’s “Play Something” feature. Fire TV will also allow you to play TikTok videos, once you command Alexa to do so.
The Fire TV Omni and second generation Fire TV Cube will be the very first smart TV with built-in Zoom which you can use by connecting an optional USB webcam to the TV. This feature will be launched later this year according to Amazon. The Fire TV also allows you to connect wirelessly to Echo speakers, while the company is working to launch a new smart home dashboard which will display the status of connected devices such as smart plugs, lights and camera.
Most of the features will be available to other Fire TV series as well, and not just those of Amazon.
The Omni TV is 65 and 75 inch slim screens that has 4K resolution and supports HDR video in HDR10 and HLG formats. It, however, does not have full array local dimming, quantum dot color and latest gaming features. The Omni series is slightly different from the 4-series in that, that it does not have a far-field mic, compelling you to talk into the remote to issue commands.
The feature of controlling a device just through voice commands isn’t new, and is already available in other devices such as the Echo speaker and Fire TV Cube, as well as brands like Samsung and LG also have hands-free feature built in their TVs. Companies are striving to make the experience of using and watching TV more easy and very much like streaming online.