Amazon teams up with Westinghouse, Seiki, and Element to release ‘Fire TV Edition’ televisions running Fire OS

As I predicted, Amazon has just announced that they will be licensing Fire OS, the operating system that runs on the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, to manufacturers to use as the primary interface for new TVs. The first three brands on board to release new TVs running Fire TV Edition are Westinghouse, Seiki, and Element.

The new TVs will all be 4K UHD resolution and come in 43″, 50″, 55″, and 65″ sizes. They will include a voice remote for Alexa voice capabilities, just like with the Fire TV. The TVs have 3 GB of memory and 16 GB of internal storage packed in. The usual assortment of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet connectivity is also included. Of course, all TVs include an over-the-air tuner which is integrated into Fire OS.

The interface is, for the most port, exactly the same as the new interface that just rolled out to 2nd-gen Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks, with a few additions to compliment the experience as a TV operating system. The home screen features content from Amazon, Netflix, HBO, and all of the other services you already have access to on Fire TV devices. You can use all the same Amazon services and install apps from the appstore.

The TVs inputs are integrated into the Fire TV OS menus. You can name the different inputs to match the device you have plugged into them to remember what’s connected. You can use your voice with Alexa to change inputs, so if you have an Xbox, for example, connected, you just have to say “go to Xbox” to change to that input.

Fire TV Edition is fully integrated with the TV tuners built into the TVs. You can connect and OTA HD antenna and have access to all your favorite free broadcast channels. Channels you watch will appear on the home screen in the recent area alongside apps and streaming content you’ve recently used or viewed. You can use your voice with Alexa to say “Tune to NBC” or “go to channel 2” to immediately jump to a specific channel.

Amazon has added a channel guide to Fire OS for use with these new Fire TV Edition televisions. It integrates cleanly into the regular Fire TV OS and can be accessed from the home screen using the remote’s menu button, among other places.

I’m at CES where the new Fire Tv Edition televisions will be revealed, so stay tuned for first hand coverage to come.

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26 comments
  1. clocks says:

    The largest issue I have with most recent model HDTVs, is they have all mostly gone to the wide legs. Therefore, most 50-55″ sets will no longer fit on my TV stands.

    I have the same tv stand in the family room and upstairs in the loft. In fall 2015 I bought a LG 43″ 4k set for up in the loft, and the legs are on the very edge of the stand.

    • Craig says:

      You would just have to buy VESA-stand mounting systems. I got a cheap $20 stand from Amazon.

      (In general)

      No desire to buy any of the new Fire TV-Sets. Not interested. I’ll do the external boxes, but I’m not locking myself down to a platform that cannot be easily upgraded/replaced via HDMI ports.

  2. Craig says:

    Amazon needs to work with Hauppauge to support OTA-Antenna USB sticks on current Fire TV boxes.

  3. Mike U says:

    The two problems with this are:

    1) Totally crap brands
    2) how long will these devices be supported? My guess is a lot less time than the typical time a TV is in service.

    • Bob says:

      Amen to #1 – this is the first thing that crossed my mind when seeing the headline. These are TV brands that I would never purchase. It’s like when Roku did it with TCL.

      The additional integration seems really nice though. A shame they may not ever be integrated into top brand TV’s.

  4. James Poll says:

    Does this mean MediaCode Surface can do proper de-interlacing? If so, I hope that can find its way into MrMC or SPMC in the future, rather than having to use ffMpeg!

  5. Mark says:

    Good call on the prediction!

  6. Pete says:

    +1 for good call on the prediction and that these are terrible TV brands.

    I’m not against lower-priced or “alternative” brands but these seem like they went out of their way to pick the worst of the low end.

    • Mark says:

      I think it’s more like the good manufacturers wanted nothing to do with Amazon, or Amazon was being too stingy and not giving them enough of a cut.

  7. Erin says:

    My guess is that integrating with one of the major streaming services is a much less expensive way to attract buyers than upgrading the actual sets.

    While I don’t see myself buying one of these brands, they do move a lot of sets. I could see them being good options for bargain buyers, for a kid’s room, a garage or any other secondary TV set in a house with several of them.

  8. craig says:

    i would have issues buying one of these. amazon has screwed over many people the last few years ending their amazon channel on many blu ray and all in one systems. they would send people a 5-10 coupon off a fire stick.

  9. NashGuy says:

    Let’s hope that Amazon takes the advice I gave them a long time ago and sells a USB OTA TV tuner that can be plugged into their Fire TV boxes and sticks (and/or integrates such tuners right into their boxes and sticks), so that users can enjoy free OTA TV right inside the Fire TV UI with that slick program guide. And give Prime subscribers free OTA DVR service with either cloud storage or a via a connected USB hard drive.

    • Y314K says:

      https://www.airtv.net/adapter/

      Dish beat Amazon to it. I plan to upgrade my FTV1’s to any sideloading capable AndroidTV or FireTV device that incorporates DVR for OTA capabilities to their box.

      • NashGuy says:

        The AirTV incorporates live OTA TV via a USB tuner but it doesn’t have DVR features. However, any device running Android TV 7.0 can use USB OTA tuners AND also have DVR/recording capabilities for those channels through Google’s Live Channels app. (AirTV runs Android TV 6.0 per their FCC disclosures.) Right now, the defunct Nexus Player is the only device running Android TV 7.0 but I expect the Nvidia Shield TV will get upgraded to 7.0 soon. Also, Nvidia appears set to announce 2nd gen Shield TV models at CES this week. Hopefully they’ll come with 7.0 out of the gate.

        • Y314K says:

          Good to know about AndroidTV v7. I see the AirTV offering as first gen. That is why I am waiting for something more in a gen 2 or 3 device.

          An NVidea Shield with DVR capabilities out of the box would be just about perfect. Just hope they don’t lower the specs to much on their new device. Or leave the DVR options disabled.

    • Jack says:

      That was my idea first.

  10. jimberkas says:

    meh. maybe i’d be interested in a cheap small cheap, portable sized TV with built in fire tv. I have a small tv that I set on the toilet for the kids to watch tv while they bathe, and move around to various rooms when they have friends over or build forts, etc…
    one less cable and cord would be good.

  11. Boogir says:

    I mess with Westinghouse. Amazon with these brands is more than likely to keep it cost friendly.

    Awesome ideas for ota dvr with firetv devices, however I don’t think I’m parting with my first gen sticks and TV anytime soon.

  12. Kevin says:

    I’ve purchased a Seiki 4k tv for the bedroom and it’s actually a decent tv. Worth much more than what I paid in my opinion. My only complaint was how they integrated the “smart tv” functions.

  13. Neogeo71 says:

    Westinghouse and Seiki are decent budget brands. I will be looking forward to pricing and reviews of these sets. This is an excellent idea for Amazon and hopefully the tuner and some other features will trickle down to the fireOS and or Amazon will add other partners to the list of manufacturers.

  14. Keith says:

    No USB storage? Im glad they bumped up the space on the internal but 16 GB really isn’t enough.

  15. EarlyMon says:

    It’s one Chinese company producing TVs under the three named brands.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsinghua_Tongfang_Company

  16. Ujn Hunter says:

    Alexa on these TVs still require a remote? What the hell is the point of having to hold a remote, press a button, then say “Turn on Xbox”, when you can just press the input button without the extra speaking required? Waste of a feature. Just like the Amazon Echo/Dot should be able to control your Fire TVs Alexa features without requiring a remote + button press.

  17. ACE BOOGIE says:

    Prepare to be not wowed.

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