Last month, Amazon officially announced the release of the first Amazon-branded televisions, the Amazon Fire TV Omni Series and 4-Series smart TVs.
The TVs arrived on the market Wednesday and, per The Verge, the company has delivered a last-minute announcement: The imminent inclusion of AirPlay 2 and HomeKit in the TVs. AirPlay allows users to mirror their devices on a TV, a capability that is not possible on the existing Fire TV devices.
“Coming soon, you can use AirPlay to share videos, photos, music, and more from your iPhone or iPad to your Fire TV,” Amazon said in a blog post.
Amazon had announced in July that it was making the technology available on the Toshiba and Insignia-made 4K UHD Smart Fire TV models. These models had the “Fire TV’ branding but weren’t advertised as “Amazon-built” the way the new ones are.
Amazon touted the new TVs in a blog post this past Wednesday. “These TVs combine our content-forward Fire TV experience with everything you know and love about Alexa, turning your TV into the smart hub in your living room. Available in a variety of sizes and loaded with features, there’s a lot to love about these new smart TVs,” the company said on its Amazon Fire TV blog.
“Accessing your favorite movies, shows, video games, live TV, music and more has never been easier. Fire TV allows you to stream over 1 million movies and TV episodes across your favorite streaming apps, and you can access over 20,000 free movies and TV shows from apps like IMDb TV, Tubi, Pluto TV, and more,” Amazon stated.
The company also highlighted specific features that the new TVs offer, including HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Digital sound, and Dolby Vision on the larger models. In addition to AirPlay 2 and HomeKit, the TVs also offer integration with Amazon’s own Alexa, allowing users to ask for specific programs just as they would ask for a song on an Alexa-controlled speaker.
Users can also easily connect the new TVs to their home theater by pairing it to an existing Echo Studio.
“We’ve reimagined what a TV can do by building it with two of our most popular experiences at the core—the intelligent always-available power of far-field Alexa, and Fire TV’s content-forward approach to entertainment,” said Daniel Rausch, Vice President of Amazon Entertainment Devices and Services. “Our new Fire TV Omni Series smart TVs, with hands-free access to Alexa, make controlling your TV faster, simpler, and more natural.”
The Omni Series comes in sizes of 43”, 50”, 55”, 65”, and 75”, while the Fire TV 4-Series is available in 43”, 50”, and 55” models.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.