Amazon launches Alexa-powered Fire TV lineup, eyes smart home leverage | ZDNet

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Amazon launched its first-ever smart TV lineup as it leverages its ecosystem to power the smart home and connect various Alexa services.  

Like most Amazon launches, the company’s Fire TV devices including the Amazon Fire TV Omni Series and 4-Series smart TVs along with Fire TV Stick 4K Max aim to offer value, but also serve a broader purpose.

For Amazon, that purpose is to make the TV more of a hub to smart home services as well as devices that are powered by Alexa. Yes, Amazon’s Fire TV portfolio is about delivering you content via an Amazon Prime subscription, but also controlling your smart home, initiating video calls via Zoom and Alexa Calling and connecting Echo speakers.

Here’s the lineup, which is available next month via Amazon and Best Buy:

  • Fire TV Omni Series includes smart home controls, Alexa far-field voice controls and 4K Ultra HD resolution with Dolby Digital Plus. The smallest 43-inch model starts at $409.99 with pricing creeping higher in various sizes to a $1,099 75-inch model. The Fire TV Omni Series also has content discovery tools with Alexa conversations, the ability to play TikTok and use X-Ray on Prime Video. By the way, many of those Alexa features are powered on the back end by Amazon Web Services.
  • Amazon Fire TV 4-Series starts at $369.99 and comes in 43-inch, 50-inch ($469.99) and 55-inch ($519.99) model sizes.
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max, which has Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos and Wi-Fi 6 support for $54.99.

Amazon noted that the Fire TV portfolio will offer a smart home dashboard that will allow you to view and control connected devices throughout the home including smart cameras.

The move makes sense given the competition from other smart home players. Samsung leverages its devices, TVs and appliances to create a smart home technology stack. Apple has HomeKit and devices to connect. Google has its own connective smart home tissue.

However, Amazon has more touch points. It delivers goods to your home frequently, may operate your Ring doorbell, has Alexa throughout your home and the TV just creates a control plane for its ecosystem.

Simply put, the Fire TV lineup is about ecosystem as much as entertainment.

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