Amazon's Fire TVs go on sale with support for Apple AirPlay 2, HomeKit

Mike Wheatley

The first ever Amazon-branded TVs have now gone on sale, about six weeks after they were first announced by the company.


The online retail giant’s TVs can now be had through the Amazon portal, and those interested will have a choice of two sets – the higher end Fire TV Omni Series or the ever so slightly cheaper Fire TV 4-Series.

The Amazon Fire TV Omni Series (pictured) starts at $409.99 (around £300) for the smallest 43-inch model, and is also available in 50-, 55-, 65- and 75-inch sizes, with the largest carrying a $1,099 price tag. It comes with features including a 4K display plus support for Dolby Vision in the larger two sizes, HDR10, HLG and Dolby Digital Plus on all sizes, plus an integrated Amazon Alexa voice assistant.

Amazon said at the time it first announced the TVs that the main reason it was getting into hardware was its belief that by doing so, it will be able to better itegrate Amazon Alexa and voice controls into its Fire TV platform.

Amazon said it’s launching its own TVs because it believes that by building the hardware itself, it will be better able to integrate its Fire TV software with Amazon Alexa voice controls. As such, both of the models come with a special remote control that enables Amazon Alexa to be activated at the click of a button. Alternatively, the TV itself comes with an integrated far-field microphone that the company claims is sensitive enough to pick up a user’s voice from anywhere in the room. So they can simply command the TV to do their bidding at will, or so the company promises.

What went unsaid at the launch event, but is likely also a key reason why Amazon decided to make its own TV, is that by doing so it now has the freedom to set its own price tag and undercut its competitors and, hopefully, win greater market share for the Fire TV platform. Whether or not that’s the plan remains to be seen, but the company has a history of doing precisely that – its Fire tablets for example can be had for a fraction of the price of an iPad.

And indeed, the lower-end Amazon Fire TV 4-Series is indeed extremely competitively priced, starting at just $369 (£280) for the smaller 43-inch variant. It’s also available in 50- and 55-inch sizes and offers HDR10 and HLG and many of the same Alexa voice controls. However, it lacks Dolby Vision support and the integrated microphone

Another advantage of both TVs is they promise a “Frustration Free Setup” with software on board that automatically recognises the owner’s Wi-Fi network and checks which apps they have downloaded on their other Fire TV devices and downloads them.

Another interesting feature is the Alexa Home Theatre, which will come to the TVs soon via a firmware update. It gives users the option to pair the TV with an Amazon Echo speaker during setup to create an Alexa-controlled home cinema experience with minimal hassle.

Two more features coming to the TVs that were not mentioned at launch are support for Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit, which will make it easy to send content to the TV from an iPhone or iPad.

Amazon said the Fire TVs are on sale now in the U.S., but there’s no word on when they’ll launch in the U.K. That said, anyone stateside who’s looking to buy one may be advised to hold off for a few weeks. With the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales due to run from November 26 to 29, there’s more than a decent chance that Amazon will soon be offering some sort of discount on the new TVs.