Amazon formally announced Thursday that it is now selling Fire TV sets under its own private label brand.

Like other Fire TVs marketed under third party labels, the new “Amazon” Fire TVs will include far field mics and/or Alexa Voice Remotes for the company’s Alexa voice assistant and will control other Amazon proprietary smart TV devices, in addition to accessing Amazon’s own Prime Video premium streaming service along with many others.

The e-commerce giant said it will offer two lines of Amazon-branded TVs, one mid-range step-up series named the Amazon Fire TV Omni Series, and the other more entry-positioned 4K TV lineup called the Amazon Fire TV 4-Series. All models are LED-LCD based displays.

Amazon said it will begin selling and shipping the Amazon-branded Fire TV products exclusively through its website and at Best Buy stores starting in October.

At the same time, the company also announced the latest version of its Fire TV Stick 4K media adapter, the $54.99 Fire TV Stick 4K Max. This add-on Fire TV adapter will also support Alexa features through a voice remote, Amazon Prime and other OTT streaming services, but with upgraded power and RAM support from earlier Fire TV sticks for better networking performance. It is the only streaming media device that supports Wi-Fi 6 under $179 for smoother streaming in 4K and cloud gaming with Amazon Luna, the company said.

To date, TV’s running the built-in Amazon Fire TV OS have been offered through third-party brands including Toshiba, Pioneer, Westinghouse, Best Buy’s house brand Insignia and others, but Amazon has been running a distant third in the competition for third-party smart OS market share against Roku TV and Google’s Android TV. Both Roku and Google have been significantly more successful marketing their integrated OS systems through third-party manufacturers, like TCL, Hisense, Sony, Philips and many others, which might have been one of Amazon’s motives for branching out into its own private-label smart TV business.

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Neither Roku nor Google have introduced a smart TV exclusively under their own private label brand.

Amazon teamed up with Best Buy in 2018 to provide a physical selling presence for its products and products of various third party brands like Insignia, running the Fire TV platform.

The Fire TV Omni Series features 4K UHD models available in 43- ($409.99), 50- ($509.99), 55- ($559.99), 65- ($829.99) and 75-inch ($1,099.99) screen sizes with support for the HDR10 and HLG high dynamic range profiles and Dolby Digital Plus surround sound. The 65- and 75-inch versions have a slim bezel design and add support for Dolby Vision dynamic metadata HDR.

The Omni Series models use integrated far-field voice control to facilitate easier hands-free access to streamed programs, connecting to cable TV, music, accessing video gaming, and other features.

The Omni Series sets will also connect to Amazon Echo smart speakers, the Echo Studio for Dolby Atmos and other Echo devices to stream music to other rooms and locations in the house. The so-called Alexa Home Theater experience also will be compatible various makes of cable boxes, gaming consoles, and over-the-air TV antenna sources, company said.

The Fire TV 4-Series will be available in 43- ($369.99), 50- ($469.99), and 55-inches ($519.99). All TVs will be available next month in the United States, exclusively at Amazon and Best Buy. Starting today, you can save $110 on the 50-inch Fire TV Omni and 4-Series models for a limited time during the introductory period.

Amazon said its more price-aggressive Fire TV 4-Series will include 4K Ultra HD models supporting the HDR10 and HLG HDR profiles. That entry level line will come in the 43- ($369.99), 50- ($469.99) and 55-inch ($519.99) screen sizes. Each model will support Alexa capabilities using a mic built into the Alexa Voice Remote.

Amazon said that starting today, the 50-inch models in both the Omni and 4-Series will be available at a $110 discount for a limited time as an introductory promotion.

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By Greg Tarr

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