Panasonic’s new flagship Fire TVs include several custom features not found on other Fire TV Smart TVs

While many different manufacturers are making Fire TV Smart TVs at this point, they mostly only differentiate from one another through hardware. That’s because Amazon closely controls the Fire TV software experience and keeps it mostly consistent across nearly all Fire TV Smart TVs. That’s about to change when the new flagship Panasonic Z95A and Z93A OLED Fire TVs are released later this year. While most of the Fire TV operating system will be very familiar to anyone who has used a Fire TV device in the past, Amazon is allowing Panasonic to completely replace certain software elements of these TVs entirely, like the TV guide, DVR interface, sound settings, and more.

The grid program guide built into all Fire TV devices has become a key component of the Fire TV interface over the years. So much so that Amazon made sure to add a dedicated guide button to all of its latest Fire TV remotes. While a channel guide is still present on the new Panasonic Fire TVs, it is nothing like the one Fire TV owners are used to using.

Panasonic appears to have removed Amazon’s guide and replaced it with its own version. The new guide is more stark and minimalistic, without a large image header taking up the top third of the screen, like you have in Amazon’s guide. Panasonic’s guide setup screen is also quite different from Amazon’s, with options for Satellite, Cable, Antenna, TV>IP, and IPTV channels.

Panasonic’s updated TV guide also supports a built-in DVR option that lets you record from various channel sources. While the Fire TV interface has DVR menus for use with Amazon’s Fire TV Recast DVR, Panasonic has chosen not to use Amazon’s interface and has gone with its own. Panasonic’s DVR is oddly accessed as a menu item in the TV’s input list, right alongside the TV’s HDMI inputs.

Panasonic has been touting the built-in speaker system of its new flagship TVs as being good enough to not need an external soundbar. That speaker system comes with its own set of custom menus and software not found in your average Fire TV Smart TV. For starters, Panasonic has included the ability to use the microphone in the remote to automatically tune the TV’s speakers to fit the shape of your room by listening to how tones emitted from the TV bounce around the room.

If you prefer to take matters into your own hands, you can manually adjust the space tuning, as Panasonic calls it, instead. Doing so enters a new set of menus that have you enter the precise distances between the TV and your walls, floor, and ceiling. The new menu also has you specify your line of sight characteristics and if your TV is mounted to a wall.

Once you’ve tuned the space around you to your TV, Panasonic includes a unique menu that allows you to adjust your seating position relative to the TV. The interface has you move a virtual person around the room. Doing so allows the TV to center the audio coming from its built-in speaker system to a point in the room that isn’t directly in front of the TV. If your seating arrangement forces you to sit to the side of the TV, Panasonic’s menu allows the audio to be centered on you instead of directly in front of the TV.

While I’m sure Amazon has taken input from TV manufacturers for its Fire TV Smart TV interface, it has clearly been in charge of all aspects of the interface with past TVs using its operating system. These new flagship Fire TVs from Panasonic seem to be the first time Amazon has allowed the TV manufacturer to rip out and replace significant portions of the Fire TV experience. While there are definitely some UX inconsistencies between Amazon’s and Panasonic software that could be improved, Panasonic’s changes are at least adding some interesting new features that go beyond what Amazon has been offering.

7 comments
  1. Greg says:

    Normally Panasonic don’t release there New range to the last few months of the year just before Sony who are Normally the last.
    And is the Sound output 5.1 Atmos/DD+ Minimum.

    And is Panasonic Going to Available in the USA as it Not Sold in The USA for a Few Years Now. Or Will it Only be Available in the Uk, Australia, New Zealand and within Asia Markets

    Also keep an Eye put For Amazon New Releases in About September Panasonic Might Release it Then and then Hopefully People in the USA will know if they can Buy it in the USA Or Not.

    • Mark says:

      Elias already stated in his original thread that these are NOT going to be available in the USA.

      • Greg says:

        My bad
        Then they can import them from UK Eg Amazon UK or through Best Buys UK

        • tech3475 says:

          Be aware, according to flatpanelshd it only supports DVB-T2/S2/C (as opposed to the ATSC standard). I don’t know if it supports 100-120v though, although my LG supports 100-240v, so it may be possible.

          It will also likely cost over $100 in terms of shipment, etc. after looking on Amazon UK to export a 32″ to FL and you will probably have more hassle with in warranty faults, etc.

          Also just so you know, we don’t have Best Buy over here anymore.

  2. Massimo says:

    Can be link dual echo studio for dolby atmos setup?

    • Greg says:

      Unfortunately it is only in 2.0 or 2.1 if you add a Subwoolfer to it. You are robbing your self of the Emerson of 5.1.2 Atmos/DD+ or 7.1.2 Atmos/DTHD. Surround Sound Output. Like you get at the Theater.

  3. emor says:

    Where will the storage be located for the DVR?? Will it be just a USB attachment? Or on the internal tv storage? It sounds a lot like the old Google Live Channels app. {I miss it so :-( } PLEASE release these in the US!!!!!

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