Amazon Targets Cord Cutters With First-Ever Integrated Fire TV Sets

Amazon is going to start shipping TV sets powered by the company’s own smart TV operating system soon: The company began listing Element’s Fire TV Edition TV sets for pre-order Tuesday, and is expected to start shipping them next month, when the devices will also reach other retailers.

Amazon and Element as well as Westinghouse first announced Fire TV-based TV sets at CES in Las Vegas earlier this year. Now, the companies shared a number of additional details, including pricing. Element’s 43-inch Fire TV Edition will retail for $449. A 50-inch model and a 55-inch model will cost $549 and $649, respectively, and a $65-inch model will retail for $899.

Each of these devices support 4K video, and pack a quad-core processor, 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage for apps – beefed-up specs that won’t just guarantee smooth app performance and streaming, according to Amazon’s VP of Smart TVs Sandeep Gupta, but are also meant to future-proof the device. “It will have a longer life cycle than a regular smart TV,” he told Variety during a recent interview.

The interface of the TV is virtually identical to that of a Fire TV box or stick, save for a few differences. There are extra tiles that let users switch their input devices to access game consoles, Blu-ray players and cable boxes.

Fire TV sets also directly integrate over-the-air broadcast TV, giving users a 15-day programming guide and universal search across content airing on broadcast networks like ABC, CBS and NBC. This also makes it possible to switch to live programming simply by giving Alexa voice commands, thanks to the voice remote that comes with every model.

Right now, all of this only works with over-the-air television, but Gupta said that the ultimate goal was to integrate with streaming TV providers like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue as well – and take away the need to ever use a cable box again. To drive that point home, Amazon is going to add a free over-the-air antenna to every pre-ordered TV.

“We see Fire TV Edition as a true cord cutter solution,” Gupta said.

 

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