While Amazon and Roku have gone head to head with their streaming media players for years now, Roku had carved out its own territory with its Roku TV partnerships. Roku won't be the only company integrating its platform into smart TVs anymore, however, as Amazon and its partners Seiki, Westinghouse, and Element on Tuesday announced a new line of affordable smart TVs by the name of Fire TV Edition.
"Teaming up with brands including Seiki, Westinghouse, and Element on a new range of smart TVs allows Amazon to deliver an experience that's familiar and easy to use," Amazon Fire TV vice president Marc Whitten said in a statement. "Fire TV Edition offers access to a great selection of streaming and over-the-air TV and movies, Alexa for easy voice search and content control, and the many other features and experiences customers have come to expect from the best-selling line of Amazon Fire TV products."
The new Fire TV Edition TVs will include built-in support for over-the-air (OTA) live TV in addition to the streaming channels supported as part of Amazon's Fire TV platform. These TVs will include a voice remote complete with Amazon's Alexa, allowing for a voice-powered search of more than 100 different channels and apps.
So far, TVs have been announced in 43-inch, 50-inch, 55-inch, and 65-inch size classes, with all of the models supporting 4K Ultra HD resolution, though no models featuring high dynamic range (HDR) have been announced yet. The user interface should look familiar to anyone who has used Amazon's streaming devices before, especially since the updated interface the company began rolling out in late 2016.
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TV models from Seiki, Westinghouse, and Element will be on sale via Amazon beginning later in 2017, with retail prices being announced closer to the products' launch. Seiki and Westinghouse will be demonstrating their respective Fire TV Edition models in Las Vegas at CES Unveiled.