Amazon FireTV now built into select TV’s.

Amazon FireTV is Amazon’s answer to Android TV. Previously limited only to set-top boxes and sticks the size of USB Flash drives, now Amazon is partnering with a few TV manufacturers to have FireTV built into the TV.

Select TV’s from Element, Sieki and Westinghouse will have the software built into the TV Operating system bringing with it Amazon’s services such as Amazon Video and apps from the Amazon App Store.

Features mentioned include• Sizes: 43”, 50”, 55” and 65”
• 4K Ultra HD 3,840 by 2,160 panel resolution on all models
• The latest Amazon Fire TV user interface, including easy access to over-the-air TV
programming (separate HD antenna required), simple TV input setup, and
component switching
• Through the included voice remote with Alexa, customers can search for content and
programming, control TV inputs and settings, and access Alexa skills to play music,
get the news, check weather, sports scores, and more
• Voice remote with Alexa enabled control of smart home devices from multiple
brands, including Belkin WeMo, Philips Hue, Wink, Insteon, Samsung SmartThings,
Nest, TP-Link, Ecobee and more
• Access to more than 7,000 channels, games, apps and Alexa skills, including over
300,000 TV episodes and movies from Amazon Video, HBO NOW, Hulu and more
• Amazon Prime customers get unlimited access to Prime Video, featuring thousands
of movies and TV episodes at no additional cost to their membership. Plus, with
Amazon Channels, Prime members can now get HBO, SHOWTIME, STARZ, PBS
KIDS, and over 100 more services. They only pay for the channels they want—no
cable required, no additional apps to download, and easy online cancellation.
• 3 GB memory and 16 GB internal storage
• Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet connectivity
• Streaming resolution at 4K Ultra HD (2160p), 1080p, 720p up to 60 fps
• One-year limited warranty and great customer support

 

In my opinion, Amazon is courting the lower-end TV manufacturers and is probably competing against Roku being built into the TV’s versus Android TV which is restricted to the higher-end Android TV manufacturers. The Smart TV space is getting kind of crowded, but it should be interesting to see how Amazon integrates Fire TV with OTA channels and such.

The big thing that will set this apart from Android TV is the Internet of Things (IOT) and Smart Home appliance integration which Android TV lacks.

Having Smartthings integration alone is pretty big, but the integration with all those other devices like WeMo, Hue, Ecobee, and Nest with or without a Hub is going to be a not-so-secret weapon for Amazon.

Edit: As of this posting, Google has revealed that their Android TV devices running 6.0 and up should be getting Google Assistant, yes THAT Google Assistant, support in the upcoming months with the Shield to get it first and hands-free with the new Shield TV controller. Another thing is that it will support the Smartthings Hub just like these TV’s with FireTV built in.

Source: Press Release