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.