Amazon’s popular Fire TV and Fire TV Stick devices have come a long way since they were initially released a few years ago. When we weren’t sure it would get any better, Amazon had sent its Fire users a revamped Fire TV software update back in December. I remember thinking to myself after updating, “Now this is what I’m talking about.”
If you’re a fan of these hot streaming devices, there’s some exciting news coming your way. Just as Roku has already been doing for a while, a few models of 4K TVs by Element and Westinghouse will be getting Amazon’s Fire TV software along with Alexa.
Like myself, you might be used to your Fire TV Stick that simply runs Amazon’s software on a regular TV. What we’re talking about here is a TV that uses the software as its core operating system, and it does more than just stream. Instead of having a separate non-OS handling of your antenna digital channels, these TVs combine the experience, and will automatically download local listings and artwork with Gracenote. You’ll see names of channels instead of numbers, and they’ll also be included in the “Recents” area on the home screen.
There’s an included voice remote that supports both voice search and Alexa, allowing the option to control any smart lights or thermostats that might be installed. Just like Amazon’s Fire TV streaming devices, the remote needs to be used to speak to Alexa, and results will be displayed as opposed to being spoken back. Voice commands can also be used for switching inputs, adjusting volume, and more.
Element and Westinghouse’s Fire TVs will come with 16GB of internal storage. This includes the ability to pause or rewind live TV from your antenna, which is actually super useful, and also much like currently available Roku TVs. There may not be a headphone port on the remote, but you can still connect Bluetooth headphones to Fire TV hardware just as the streaming devices allow it.
It’s nice to have a simple, frustration-free smart TV setup. If you’re like me and really enjoy the Fire TV dongle experience, these 4K all-in-ones might be the next best thing.
Getting to further specs, we have a 3840×2160 4K resolution, a quad-core processor, and 3GB RAM. It supports 802.11 dual-band Wi-Fi for great streaming quality up to 2160p. On the the I/O side, you’ll find four HDMI inputs, as well as a USB port and Bluetooth 4.1/LE connectivity.