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Amazon’s own-brand TVs go on sale in the USA

Amazon has released its first-ever smart TVs in the Amazon Fire TV Omni Series and Fire TV 4-Series, although they’re currently only available in the USA.

You may already be aware of Amazon’s (confusingly named) Fire TV Edition TVs, but those models were produced under the auspices of brands such as JVC and Toshiba. The new Fire TV Omni and Fire TV 4-Series sees the company put a firmer hand on the direction of its TVs.

Like the Fire TV Editions, the new sets integrate the Fire TV experience and hands-free Alexa, with on demand content, music, cable TV and gaming all available at the call of your voice.

The Fire TV Omni Series is the premium offering of the two, available in 43-, 50-, 55-, 65-, and 75-inch models. HDR10, HLG (no HDR10+) and Dolby Digital Plus is covered across the range, while the 65- and 75-inch models support Dolby Vision and have a slimmer bezel design.

Surprisingly, considering it’s an Amazon TV, Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support are listed as coming soon, so iOS users can look forward to streaming from Apple devices as well as inserting the TV into their Apple smart ecosystem.

There are three HDMI inputs, with one of serving up support for eARC to pass audio formats such as Dolby Atmos over to a compatible soundbar. You could also control that soundbar through the TV’s Alexa integration, too.

Other Alexa features include Picture-in-Picture, where you can ask Alexa to show the feed from a front video doorbell or smart home camera alongside the content you’re watching. Video calling is also supported (via an external webcam), while Zoom video calling will also be coming later in 2021.

Another means of interfacing with the TV is through the Fire TV Alexa Voice Remote. With the remote you can scroll through integrated live TV guide listings, control menus and tune the picture quality, too.

An all-new smart home dashboard to control connected devices is expected to be coming to the Fire TV platform later this year, with an Alexa shortcut panel for quick access to popular features and a beta Alexa experience that lets you ask for content recommendations.

The Fire TV 4-Series is not as well specc’d; more affordable and topping out at a 55-inch mode, the 4-Series carries over many of the same Alexa features available in the Omni, including AirPlay 2, though HDR is limited HDR10 and HLG.

Pricing for the Omni Series starts at $409.99, with the 4-Series starting at $369.99. We asked Amazon whether the TVs will be available outside of the US, but the company did not have anything to share at this moment in time.

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