Amazon Unveils Its First-Ever Smart TVs

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Family watching TV
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Amazon is rolling out a lineup of new Fire TV devices, including its first Amazon-built smart TVs, the company announced today.

The new devices will be released in October but are available for pre-order now. They include two types of TVs and a new streaming media player.

Amazon Fire TV Omni Series

Amazon bills this higher-end TV series as “Alexa hands-free voice control with 4K Ultra HD, and Dolby Digital Plus.” Fire TV Omni Series sets are available in five sizes, ranging from 43 inches ($409.99) to 75 inches ($1,099.99).

The 65-inch and 75-inch models “feature a slim bezel that blends seamlessly into your home decor and added support for Dolby Vision,” Amazon says.

You also will be able to use Alexa Calling to make video calls from Omni Series TVs. Later this year, they also will support Zoom video calls, making them the first smart TVs on which you can use Zoom, Amazon says.

Amazon Fire TV 4-Series

Amazon bills these devices as “4K smart TVs with brilliant picture quality at affordable prices.” Fire TV 4-Series sets have fewer features than the Omni Series and are available in fewer sizes, with three options ranging from 43 inches ($369.99) to 55 inches ($519.99).

For years, Amazon has been selling streaming devices that connect to a TV. But until now, it has left the manufacturing of TVs to others such as Toshiba and Insignia, which have made sets with an Amazon Fire interface.

Amazon told CNBC that its goal with the new sets is to better integrate its Fire TV software with Alexa voice controls.

With its own TVs, Amazon also can make the initial set-up process easier for shoppers, CNBC notes:

“Open the box, turn the TV on, and as long as you’ve connected any Amazon device to your Wi-Fi before, it will automatically connect to your home network.”

As part of its new product rollout, Amazon also is introducing a Fire TV Stick 4K Max ($54.99).

The retailer says the stick is 40% more powerful than its predecessor and is “the first Fire TV streaming stick to support Wi-Fi 6 for smoother 4K streaming and cloud gaming.”

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