Are you a fan of the Amazon Fire TV platform?
If so, you may be ready to take the next step in your Amazon life by purchasing an Amazon-branded TV.
The internet retail giant announced on Thursday, Sept. 9 that it’s going to offer two Amazon Fire TVs that will allow you to enjoy all the things you like about your Amazon Fire experience straight from a high-definition television.
No streaming device will be required.
While that has been possible on select TVs in the past, such as some Toshiba and Insignia branded models, these will be the first to carry the Amazon branding.
This is a move that places Amazon squarely in the crossover space that streaming dongle experts Roku entered just a couple of years ago.
You’re probably wondering how these new televisions stack up to the Roku TVs already on the market. While we don’t have a performance review here, we will break down the specs to see which looks like it’s going to give you the most bang for your buck.
Amazon Unveils 3 New Devices: 2 Television Series and a Streaming Stick
Beginning in October, you’ll be able to buy Amazon-branded televisions either online at Amazon.com or in person at Best Buy locations.
The two new television series are called the Amazon Fire TV Omni Series and the Amazon Fire TV 4-Series. The new streaming stick is called the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max.
Here’s some information about each product:
Fire TV Omni Series
Starting at $409.99 and available as soon as October 27, 2021, the Omni Series will be released in five different versions.
- 43-inch TV for $409.99
- 50-inch TV for $509.99
- 55-inch TV for $559.99
- 65-inch TV for $829.99
- 75-inch TV for $1099.99
Each of these will have Amazon’s Alexa technology built in to give you a hands-free television experience. You’ll be able to speak directly to the TV to tell it what to do: no remote control needed.
And as described by Amazon, the visual aspects will include: “4K Ultra HD, HDR 10, and HLG to deliver a clearer and more vibrant picture with brighter colors compared to 1080p Full HD.”
All five versions of the Omni Series television are available for preorder on Amazon.com.
Fire TV 4-Series
This version of Amazon Fire TV is slightly cheaper than the Omni Series and does not include the hands-free Alexa technology. It does, however, include Alexa voice-command technology on the remote control included with purchase.
This series also will be available in late October and has three options from which to choose:
- 43-inch TV for $369.99
- 50-inch TV for $469.99
- 55-inch TV for $519.99
Like the Omni series, Amazon touts that this series of TV also provides support for “vivid 4K Ultra HD, HDR 10, HLG, and Dolby Digital Plus.”
It seems that the main features that are on the Omni Series but missing from the 4-Series are the “hands-free” experience and two-way video calling with Alexa communications. This may explain the $40 price difference for similarly sized TVs.
All three versions of the 4-Series television are available for preorder on Amazon.com.
Fire TV Stick 4K Max
The newest version of the popular Amazon Fire TV Stick, dubbed the “4K Max,” will be available on Oct. 7, 2021.
The key selling points for this streaming TV stick, which will retail for $54.99, are faster load times and better compatibility with the newest generation of Wi-Fi.
Amazon says that this stick will be “40% more powerful than Fire TV Stick 4K, with faster app starts and more fluid navigation.”
It also touts compatibility with Wi-Fi 6, which is the newest generation of Wi-Fi. It uses updated technology to connect your devices to the internet faster than previous iterations. This device’s compatibility with that technology should reduce your load times for streaming TV and movies. (Note: You’ll need a Wi-Fi 6 compatible router to enjoy these benefits, but don’t worry, the streaming stick will work with previous versions of Wi-Fi.)
As always with Amazon streaming sticks, you’ll be able to access popular services like Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu and YouTube. And this one does it with 4K capability and comes with an Alexa voice-activated remote control.
You can preorder this streaming stick on Amazon.com.
Comparing the New Amazon Fire TVs to the Roku TVs Already in the Market
The choice between Roku and Amazon Fire TV is one that most cord cutters have had to weigh on at least one occasion. Why not take it a step further with your television, right?
The market is already saturated with strong Roku TV options at various price points, so I thought it’d be impractical to do a true specs comparison with all of them at once.
I decided to pull information on one of the popular Roku TVs on the market for a quick comparison to the Amazon TVs that are coming soon.
Amazon Fire TVs vs. TCL – Class 5 Series QLED 4K UHD Smart Roku TV
Roku’s website touts this TCL Class 5 Series as one of the top Roku TVs of the year, and I was able to find it for sale at several retailers in my area, including Best Buy (which will be the brick-and-mortar retail home of Amazon Fire TVs):
Since this seems like one of the top-rated and more directly comparable Roku TVs on the market, let’s do a quick comparison:
|TCL Class 5 Series Roku TV||Amazon Fire TV Omni Series||Amazon Fire TV 4-Series|
|Voice Command||Yes, via remote||Yes, via hands-free Alexa||Yes, via remote|
|Resolution||4K UHD||4K UHD with Dolby Vision||4K UHD|
|Weight||26 pounds||25 pounds||25 pounds|
Clark Howard Weighs in on New Amazon TVs
Money expert Clark Howard reacted to the release of these new Amazon TVs on a recent episode of The Clark Howard Podcast.
“Amazon wants, in every way they can, to have electronics in your home that make it easier for you to order from Amazon and to make you feel more connected to Amazon’s ecosystem,” Clark says. “The great thing about what Amazon is doing is that they have an incentive to sell these products at a loss because of the long game they’re playing: trying to become more integrated into your life.”
Since Amazon is entering the market with such competitively priced televisions, Clark predicts that we may see a “bargain wave” of sales from existing television manufacturers and retailers trying to compete. He says that’s great news for consumers who aren’t loyal to certain brands of TVs.
You can listen to his entire discussion on the topic here:
Amazon moving into the television hardware space is probably bad news for many TV manufacturers.
Consumers often seek familiarity and comfort in their entertainment decisions. So a person who is used to using Fire TV streaming sticks may be more inclined to purchase a television with that familiar function built-in.
That being said, I don’t know that anything I see here makes me want to ditch my existing HDTV setup to buy a new Amazon TV.
So if you’re already happy with your streaming setup, this may simply be a situation to monitor as Amazon tries to gain a market share in this space. It wouldn’t be the first time that a huge tech company dove headfirst into an untapped market space only to decide it really wasn’t worth it.
Will you try the Amazon Fire TV? Let us know in the comments below!
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