10 new things we now know about Amazon’s Fire TV Edition televisions

Westinghouse’s FCC filing for their upcoming Fire TV Edition televisions has already revealed new information about the Alexa Voice Remote button layout. The user manual included with the FCC documents contains new information that helps answer several questions about the new TVs and Fire OS version. Here are 10 previously unknown things that we now know about the soon to be released Fire TV Edition televisions.

1. Expandable SD Card Storage

Fire TV Edition televisions have full size SD card slots. We now know these slots will be used to expand the 16 GB of internal storage. In the same way the microSD card slot works on the 2nd-gen Fire TV, you’ll be able to install apps and games on SD cards inserted into Fire TV Edition televisions. Cards up to 128 GB are supported.

2. Pause Live TV

Fire TV Edition televisions don’t have any DVR capabilities to record content, but they do have the ability to pause live television. We now know that you can pause live programming for up to 2 minutes.

3. Bluetooth Alexa Voice Remote

Fire TV Edition televisions all come with Alexa Voice Remotes. We now know these remotes connect via Bluetooth to the TV. Amazon switched to a WiFi-Direct connection for their 2nd-gen Fire TV and Fire TV Stick remotes, but it looks like they’ve switched back to Bluetooth for Fire Tv Edition televisions, which is what the 1st-gen Fire TV and Fire TV Stick used.

4. HDMI ARC & HDCP

All known Fire TV Edition televisions have 4 HDMI ports. We now know that they all support HDCP 2.2 and the first HDMI port also supports HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC). ARC allows the audio signal coming from the TV to travel back down the HDMI cable. The Westinghouse, Seiki, and Element Fire TV Edition televisions all have optical audio out, but depending on your home theater equipment setup, you may not need to use it to get audio out of the TV, and instead can use the HDMI ARC capability.

5. Menu Button Features

Compared to traditional television remote controls, the Alexa Voice Remote that comes with Fire Tv Edition televisions is fairly sparse. We now know Amazon will be using the menu button to contextually provide quick access to additional controls, depending on the situation. For example, while the volume indicator is on-screen, you’ll be able to press the menu button to quickly mute the television.

6. Two Week Program Guide

Fire TV Edition televisions have built in over-the-air tuners to display local programming. Amazon has integrated a program guide into Fire OS to display details about content available in your area. We know now the program guide will display 2 weeks worth of programming, so you’ll be able to see what’s airing far ahead of time.

7. Parental Controls

Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Sticks have a robust set of parental controls related to streaming content, so it’s expected the Fire TV Edition televisions will have the same controls. We now know these controls will extend to live over-the-air programming as well. You’ll be able to select which MPAA TV show ratings you want to allow and the Fire Tv Edition television will use its program guide information to block access to certain channels when certain shows are airing.

8. Bluetooth Peripherals

Fire TV Edition televisions have Bluetooth capabilities, but it wasn’t certain if it would just be used to connect the Alexa Voice Remote. We now know, just like with other Fire TV devices, Bluetooth can be used to connect game controllers, mice, and keyboards. You’ll also be able to connect Bluetooth headphones for private listening with Fire TV Edition televisions.

9. USB Ports

The functionality of the USB ports on Westinghouse, Seiki, and Element’s Fire TV Edition televisions has been a bit of a mystery. While we don’t know everything about them yet, we do now know they can at least be used to connect USB game controllers, like the XBOX 360 controller, as well as USB mice and keyboards. Since the SD card slot on these televisions will be used for additional app storage, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to store apps on external USB drives connected to the USB port. We don’t yet know if media stored on external USB drives will be accessible through the USB ports, but since the 2nd-gen Fire TV and Fire TV Sticks have this functionality, and Fire TV Edition televisions seem to share many capabilities with those devices, I’d say there’s a very good chance files on connected USB drives will be accessible within apps like Kodi and VLC.

10. Alternate Controls

All Fire TV Edition televisions come with an Alexa Voice Remote, but if you lose it, we now know they will also be compatible with Amazon’s Fire TV Remote App, which is available for Android or iOS devices. Westinghouse, Seiki, and Element’s Fire TV Edition televisions also have physical buttons on the TV itself to replicate nearly all of the remote’s functionality. On the front of the TV are Home, Menu, and Back buttons. On the back of the TV, in the bottom corner, is a four-way directional pad to replicate the circular controls on the remote. There’s also a dedicated remote pairing button on the TV.

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25 comments
  1. boudyka says:

    HDMI ARC is a nightmare…1.its usually linked to HDMI-CEC, so if you have other HDMI devices attached, the Audio from them vanishes at the TV, and doesn’t traverse the HDMI ARC but will traverse Optical/SPDIF. 2. HDMI_CEC is just a nightmare if you have a Harmony Hub….

    • AFTVnews says:

      Yeah, ARC can end up being useless depending on the setup. Pretty sure ARC still can’t pass Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD either, regardless of the hardware.

      • boudyka says:

        HDMI ARC is for dreamers and believers of unsightly cables that should never be seen, whereas if real world DTS Audio is your minimum expection, then cable Spaghetti is still your only choice :(

  2. Travis says:

    Pause live TV for 2 minutes and no DVR = fail. There’s nothing really differentiated in this enough to warrant considering it over an AFTV and a Vizio TV, unless they’re planning on competing on price. Put a tuner and DVR interface into the AFTV interface and you can take my money.

    • AFTVnews says:

      The 2 minute pause is a bit surprising. I was told at CES that live TV pause would probably depend on how much internal storage was free. I’m hoping the manual lists 2 minutes as a conservative minimum, since free internal storage will vary, and it will be more that 2 minutes in reality.

    • Ichijoe says:

      Fairly sure these have an ATSC Tuner thus the ability to pause live TV up to Two Minutes. Will these Panels just come in FHD res, or will there be any 4k Panels made? If so what’s the story with HDR?

  3. Gregor says:

    Video Playback of commonly used container files from NTFS-formatted USB Drives has been a standard even for budget Smart TVs for years.
    Hopefully Amazon will finally drop the silly FAT 32 restriction for external storage

    • Ichijoe says:

      Depends do you think Amazon cares enough about you as an end-user, to go and licence NTFS from MicroSoft?

    • AFTVnews says:

      As long as Android itself does not natively support NTFS, I doubt we’ll see it added to Amazon’s device. This isn’t a “restriction,” as you say, imposed by Amazon. This is a functionality missing from Android which Amazon doesn’t think is worth adding in. The only way to change their mind is to send Amazon feedback about it so they know there are people who want it.

  4. Ichijoe says:

    I do hope they offer a decent Remote with a Numpad to quicky change Channels without having to traverse the entire 500+ Channels in the List just to get to what you eventually want to watch.

    • AFTVnews says:

      I doubt it. Not with these 1st-gen TVs at least. You can use Alexa to jump directly to a channel. If you don’t like that, the TVs will support generic Bluetooth remotes.

  5. derrick says:

    cool, but I’m not buying a Westinghouse tv. Simple as.d

  6. Mewtwo says:

    Many budget TVs USB port only supports pictures and not video.

  7. Charlie says:

    So…what are the chances these launch at the same time as the new box and they’re marketed as the premium experience compared to the entry level stick and the midrange new box?

    (Also why is the ability to pause live tv only 2 minutes? Roku’s is 90 minutes)

  8. Travis says:

    So do you think this could be the aftvn that you saw the bench marks for?

  9. Andy says:

    Westinghouse ….. really ? They’re total crap TV’s and in my eyes it diminished the AFTV brand by association.

  10. Izzard says:

    Westinghouse to file for bankruptcy today. Amazon could have found a better partner.

  11. pmcd says:

    Traditional TV is a thing of the past. Live sports, and to a lessor extent news, is all that keeps a large number of viewers. The Internet is just beginning to make serious inroads into the cable model. Large screens are one thing. Building in media players into them is odd.

    It’s possible that things will change but I have this feeling that video is about to change dramatically. Do young people still watch TV?

    • jediRasta says:

      They rarely do.YouTube and mobile apps to watch and listen.TV is morphing as you said, even live sports is going the stream way

  12. These strike me as made for the hospitality industry. I can see the appeal of Alexa in the TV for hotel rooms packaged in a budget flat panel. I’ll be interested in seeing how and to who these are marketed.

  13. PrOLiNe says:

    Westinghouse although they are cheap tv’s have a beautiful picture on the 1080 and 4k models I own. Granted they are no frills tv’s but who really needs smart tv features built in anymore. Their picture rivals the other Samsung and Sony tv’s I own for twice the price.

  14. Josh says:

    No mute button?

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