A year after Amazon began promoting its own TVs, Amazon is expanding its offering with more expensive, more advanced options. The Fire TV Omni QLED series announced yesterday at Amazon’s invite-only hardware event shows the tech giant is raising the bar with quantum dot displays and more advanced features for smart homes.
The first Amazon-branded TVs launched last September, starting with the more budget-friendly 4 series, which initially cost $ 370 for 43 inches, and the Omni series, which originally cost $ 1,100 for the largest 75-inch model. 4K TVs aren’t particularly special. These are HDR TVs with HDMI 2.1 with eARC for soundbars and offer variable refresh rates from just 48-60 Hz in 4K. Of course, Amazon Alexa is also present. Alexa can run when TVs are turned off, allow voice control, and work with Alexa Routines, but is not Amazon’s exclusive product among modern TVs.
Amazon pays a bit more attention to image quality with the Omni QLED series; however, it still avoids specific claims such as brightness specifications or color coverage. The new 65- and 75-inch TVs use Samsung Display QLED technology with quantum dots for color enhancement, as well as full local dimming to increase contrast.
We won’t find out how well local dimming works on Omni QLED TVs until we see them in person, but they at least contain enough dimming zones to compare them with the biggest TV players like Samsung. According to Rtings reviewer, Samsung’s 65-inch QLED TV 2022, the Q80B, has 48 dimming zones while also offering a higher MSRP ($ 1,200).
Amazon could have pushed many more dimming zones into the new displays if it had opted for Mini LED Backlighting. For example, Samsung’s 65-inch QN95B (suggested retail price is $ 2,600) reportedly has 720 dimming zones with Mini LED backlighting. And Amazon is not yet entering the more expensive territory of Micro LED or OLED.
Amazon has also added support for Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10 + Adaptive, which uses the TV’s ambient light sensor to adjust brightness based on room lighting. Like previous Amazon TVs, the new ones also support HDR10 + and HLG HDR formats.
Sensors, widgets and images
Amazon’s latest TVs also include features wrapped under an umbrella that Amazon is introducing as the Ambient Experience. This starts with presence sensors that can turn on the TV when someone enters the room.
“Instead of a blank screen, the TV uses the power of Alexa to allow you to view useful information, manage your smart home, listen to or discover new content, and view artwork or family photos,” explains the Amazon announcement.
He pointed to a catalog containing 1,500 “gallery art” images and images offered to users for viewing on televisions, albeit not in the artistic version of Samsung’s The Frame TV.
For educational purposes, users can ask Alexa questions about the catalog photos, and even questions about personal photos, such as when the photo was taken.
The new TVs can also display Alexa widgets such as the calendar, reminders, and sticky notes, as well as control supported smart home devices such as the Amazon Ring. It’s like having a big Echo Show 15 including audio streaming apps like Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
Amazon’s announcement said you could turn off the TV’s far-field microphone with a toggle as well as turn off other Ambient Experience features such as presence detection.
Amazon’s QLED TVs will begin shipping October 27 at $ 800 for 65 inches and $ 1,100 for 75 inches.
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