Amazon hopes to take the whole “smart TV” concept to a new level with its QLED Fire TV Omni series, which can sense your presence and switch to an “Ambient Experience,” complete with on-screen artwork, family photos, and informative Alexa widgets.
Available soon in 65- and 75-inch sizes ($799.99 and $1,099, respectively), the 4K QLED Fire TV Omni is the first Amazon-made TV to offer quantum-dot display technology. (Other TV manufactures who make Fire TV-branded sets have already incorporated QLED displays.)
The QLED Fire TV Omni sets boast full-array local dimming with up to 96 zones, support for Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+ Adaptive (both of which adjust HDR performance depending the ambient light), and Amazon’s Adaptive Brightness feature, which uses the TV’s ambient light sensor to serve up “optimal contrast” no matter what you’re watching. Far-field microphones allow for hands-free Alexa control when you’re across the room.
But the star of the show is the QLED Fire TV Omni’s “Ambient Experience” functionality, which (aided by integrated presence and ambient light sensors) turns on when you stroll into the room and “completely transforms” the screen into an artistic showcase, a jumbo photo frame, a selection of helpful Alexa widgets (borrowed from the Echo Show 15), or a combination of the three.
For example, the QLED Fire TV Omni series can show off “gallery-quality” art, drawing from a selection of roughly 1,500 photos, motion landscapes, fine art, and other imagery, including pieces culled from The National Gallery of Art and The Art Institute of Chicago. The set can also display your own family photos, and you can ask questions like “Alexa, when was this painted?,” or “Alexa, when was this photo taken?”
Besides artwork and snapshots, the QLED Fire TV Omni line supports Alexa widgets, including ones that can show your calendar events, reminders, sticky notes for family members, news headlines, and controls for smart home devices, including Ring cameras and doorbells. There’s also a “What to Watch” widget that offers recommendations on the latest TV shows and movies.
You can add or remove Alexa widgets with voice commands, and you can also customize, expand, or collapse them.
The “Ambient Experience” on QLED Fire TV Omni sets can be integrated into Alexa routines as well, meaning your “good morning” Alexa routine could trigger a motion image of a sunrise on the screen, along with a soothing playlist piped though the TV speakers.
Amazon is careful to note that you can disable the QLED Fire TV Omni’s presence-detecting features if you wish, and you can also turn off Alexa’s far-field microphones.
Amazon debuted the QLED Fire TV Omni series during its annual hardware event Wednesday, where the company also unveiled a third-gen Fire TV Cube, a new Alexa voice remote, updated Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock speakers, and a revamped Echo Auto, among other announcements.