Following the introduction of the Echo Show last week, Amazon is putting its Alexa behind a bigger screen. The company's AI personal assistant and Fire TV system will both be built into a line of smart TVs from budget TV brand Element. Coming in a range of screen sizes from 43 to 65 inches, the Amazon Fire TV Edition sets will also offer 4K Ultra HD resolution.
Running on Amazon's Fire TV OS, the TVs allow access to a variety of streaming services, apps and games that the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick provide, along with similar Alexa integration. Just like those devices, interaction with Alexa is via a remote control, with users speaking their commands while holding down the remote's microphone button. This differs from the Echo or Echo Dot smart speakers, which are always listening for Alexa to be verbally called upon.
The integration gives users access to the multitude of Alexa skills available – they can change channels, switch inputs, launch apps, control smart home devices and search for movies and TV shows via voice out of the box. In addition to audio feedback through the TV's speakers, Alexa can also provide some extra information onscreen, such as displaying weather reports or sports results.
Unlike the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, the Amazon Fire TV Edition sets can handle live content, with current programming on live broadcast channels displayed on the home screen. An antenna needs to be connected for this, and an indoor HD antenna is being thrown in for free for those who get in early with a pre-order.
Under the hood, the TVs pack an unnamed quad-core CPU/GPU chipset, with 3 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage, which can be expanded via a USB drive or SD card. Connectivity options include HDMIx4, component/composite, optical SPDIF out, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1.
The sets will be available from June in 43-, 50-, 55- and 65-inch screen sizes, priced at US$449, $549, $649 and $899, respectively.
Source: Element Electronics