Like most tech-centric companies, Amazon has been looking to expand its footprint wherever it can squeeze in. Amazon has had its misses and hits with its smartphones and the Echo with Alexa, respectively.
Amazon's biggest success, though, has been the Fire TV Stick, which provided consumers a cheaper, in-home streaming box than competitors like the Apple TV and Roku. This looks to be the basis for Amazon's latest endeavor, with the help of a few others.
Budget 4K TVs
Thanks to Chinese TV manufacturers like Element, Westinghouse, and Seiki, known for its budget HDTVs, the first set of TVs to use Amazon's Fire TV with Alexa are now available for preorder. These are also 4K models, which will also mark these TVs as some of the cheapest 4K TVs on the market.
The general idea behind these TVs is that rather than having to use a Fire Stick, users will already have Amazon Fire TV built into the TV and be able to use Alexa voice controls. The first of these will be released by Element via Amazon, and are priced at $544.98 for the 43-inch TV and $994.98 for the 65-inch model. Preordering one of the TVs will also allow customers to get an AmazonBasics HD TV Antenna, good for 35 miles, for free.
This sees Amazon following in the footsteps of Roku, which also started working with television manufacturers to release TVs featuring Roku functionality built into the TV. It is worth pointing out that these TVs are just standard 4K TVs. This means that, while the picture will still be sharp, the lack of a feature like HDR for better picture lighting, common on bigger-brand TVs like Samsung and even Vizio, are not available.
The good thing about having TVs with Amazon Fire built right in is it cuts down on the amount of device input to a TV. Let's face it, most people have multiple devices linked or plugged into a TV, and the Fire Stick was another plug-in device. By having a built-in program, the new Amazon Fire-packed 4K TVs provide that Fire Stick functionality without requiring users to rewire or unplug their TV setup. This isn't something that jumps out at everyone immediately, but it does provide an improved level of convenience.
The other key feature is Alexa. The success of the Echo has led Amazon to find other ways to have the voice-control system integrated with other Amazon devices and programs. So making it a key feature in this new TV setup makes sense, since it could allow for ease of use and switching between programs and other linked devices. It is worth noting that it will not work the same as the Echo, which works off voice recognition, but will require using the remote you get with the TV.
Kevin Billings Tech Times editor Kevin Billings is a born geek at heart. Whether it's video games, movies, tv, comics, or tech, you will likely find Kevin there. And he feels gratified in his passions now that geek culture has come to dominate mainstream pop culture.