At its annual devices event, Amazon updated its Fire TV lineup with new devices, including the Fire TV Stick 4K and Fire TV Stick 4K Max, as well as a new Fire TV-branded soundbar — following its rival Roku into expansions into other home entertainment products. But beyond the hardware news alone, the company also introduced generative AI updates for its Fire TV voice search, which promises to bring more conversational ways to interact with Alexa and discover new content.
The company says Fire TV users will now be able to ask Alexa more nuanced and open-ended questions about TV shows and movies, thanks to the new generative AI experience, which allows them to speak in a more natural and conversational way. Amazon debuted the generative AI-powered Alexa update at its event earlier this morning.
Users will also be able to ask Alexa to find content based on specific actors, directors, scenes, genres or entitlements such as “action movies with car chases,” “comedies for a rainy day inside,” or “animated movies that are free to me.” Alternatively, they could just tell Alexa what they’re in the mood to watch and choose from a variety of recommendations that are personalized to their Fire TV profile.
While the generative AI-powered voice search is the flagship feature arriving in the new Fire TV experience, the devices will also include a handful of other updates. For instance, a new “Continue Watching” row will now showcase titles from non-Amazon properties including Disney+, Freevee, Hulu, MAX, MGM+, Peacock, STARZ and Tubi. More will be added over time, Amazon says.
Both this row and the improved voice search will roll out in the U.S. later this year.
The company is also updating its Fire TV product line with a trio of new devices and a new Fire TV bundle.
The new Fire TV Stick 4K ($49.99), adds support for Wi-Fi 6 and includes an updated 1.7 GHz quad-core processor, which makes it 30% more powerful than the previous generation, Amazon says. As the name implies, the Stick supports 4K Ultra HD picture quality. It also supports Dolby Atmos audio with support for Dolby Vision, HDR, HLG and HDR10+. And with Alexa Home Theater, customers can also wirelessly connect other Echo devices for audio across multiple speakers.
The upgraded Fire TV Stick Max 4K ($59.99) includes support for Wi-Fi 6E, and two times the storage of the prior generation at 16GB, which lets customers save more apps and games on the device. The device additionally includes an upgraded 2.0 GHz quad-core processor, making it the fastest Stick in the Fire TV lineup. Plus, it supports 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Vision, HDR, HDR10+ and immersive Dolby Atmos audio.
This top-of-the-line streaming stick will also include the Fire TV Ambient Experience, which was previously only available to Fire TV Omni QLED Series televisions. This turns the TV into an always-on smart display that can feature over 2,000 pieces of artwork from artists around the world, motion graphics or personal photos. Plus, customers can use on-screen widgets for glanceable info, like Calendars, Reminders and Sticky Notes, and control smart home devices like thermostats or their Ring doorbell, play audio from streaming services like Amazon Music and Spotify, and more.
The company is also introducing a new soundbar and a Fire TV device bundle, alongside the new Fire TV Stick launches.
The $119.99, 24-inch Fire TV Soundbar is a two-channel device that supports DTS Virtual:X and Dolby Audio and works with any Fire TV device. You can also connect to the soundbar when not watching TV using your phone or tablet over Bluetooth.
Meanwhile, the new Fire TV bundle includes a six-month subscription to MGM+ along with the purchase of a Fire TV media player or smart TV in the U.S. MGM, which Amazon bought for $8.5 billion in 2022, offers a streaming service with movies from both its own studios and others, including “Top Gun: Maverick,” “No Time to Die” and “House of Gucci,” plus original series, including the sci-fi horror show “FROM,” Emmy-winning “Godfather of Harlem,” and the Western adventure “Billy the Kid.”
Amazon says all its new devices carry the Climate Pledge Friendly badge by achieving the Carbon Trust’s Reducing CO2 certifications.
All the new Fire TV Stick devices are available today for preorder on Amazon.com and the Fire TV Soundbar is available for purchase today.