How Amazon’s New TVs Could Drive Down Prices

More streaming choices for users

Key Takeaways

  • You might see price drops in the Smart TV market now that Amazon has entered the field.
  • The Fire TV Omni Series is available in 43-, 50-, 55-, 65-, and 75-inch model sizes.
  • The online retail giant clearly hopes you’ll buy physical goods from the company while watching its TV.
Amazon Omni series Smart TV in a living room

Amazon

Amazon’s new television sets could make it easier for users to cut ties with their cable companies by driving down prices for smart TVs, experts say. 

The recently released Fire TV Omni series fits into the Amazon ecosystem with smart home controls, and far-field voice controls so you can talk to Alexa from across the room. The prices are competitive, starting at $409.99, and could drop lower with promotions. Users may benefit from a possible expansion of Amazon’s streaming services, as well as from a potential price war. 

"Amazon could undercut the costs of smart TVs and gain market share quickly," Andrew Budkofsky, chief revenue officer of streaming service Glewed TV, told Lifewire in an email interview. "Just like they did with their Fire tablets."

All-in-Ones

The Omni TVs are designed to work in sync with other Amazon devices. You can wirelessly connect Echo devices, such as the Echo Studio for Dolby Atmos, or pair other Echo smart speakers for extra sound.

The new TVs also offer some neat features like Live View Picture-in-Picture, which allows you to check your smart cameras without interrupting your TV viewing, and shows your Ring video doorbell view when someone is at the door.

"It’s really about simplicity," Michael Lantz, CEO of TV software streaming company Accedo, told Lifewire in an email interview. "An Amazon TV could beat competitors because all the interactions will be done via Amazon’s software."

The sets are available in 43-, 50-, 55-, 65-, and 75-inch model sizes, with 4K Ultra HD resolution. Prices for the Omni series start at $409.99 for the smallest 43-inch model, while the most expensive TV in the lineup—the 75-inch model—will cost $1,099. All TVs will be available in October from Amazon and Best Buy.

Amazon also is touting the new Alexa features that work with its TVs. For example, you can now say, "Alexa, what should I watch?" and the smart assistant will give you personalized TV show and movie recommendations from streaming apps.  

"It makes consuming content easier for the consumer."

Amazon TV has a massive advantage over other smart TV makers due to its status as an eCommerce giant, observers say. 

"Imagine being able to purchase the same cooking items that your favorite cooking show is using, or Brad Pitt's red leather jacket in Fight Club right from Amazon within moments of watching," David Baur-Ray of the digital marketing firm Neural Experience told Lifewire in an email interview. "Technology like this will capture the moment of fandom and commodify it just as the emotions and feelings are taking place."

Streamer’s Delight?

The move into TV hardware strengthens Amazon’s position in streaming video, observers say. 

"In a battle for streaming leadership, the new TVs combine content and commerce uniquely with Alexa," TV industry veteran Scott Schiller, the chief commercial officer of media and marketing services company ENGINE, told Lifewire in an email interview. "It makes consuming content easier for the consumer."

Schiller said the new TVs also set the stage for Amazon to build its own bundles, perhaps selling TVs with unique live sports content the company licenses from sports leagues. 

Rear view of woman using smart phone app while watching TV in living room at home

Maskot / Getty Images

Amazon’s entry into the TV set business could be a sign that other companies may join in, as well. Some analysts say Apple may be motivated by the increasingly competitive streaming market to create its own television devices that go beyond the Apple TV device. Bloomberg has reported that Apple is developing a new Apple TV device with a built-in camera and speaker. 

"However, given that Apple released the first iteration of the Apple TV in 2007—seven years before Amazon came out with its Fire Stick—and has yet to demonstrate any desire to release a TV set, it seems unlikely that the company would feel unduly threatened by Amazon at this point," Budkofsky said.

You can't say the same for other companies like Vizio, Samsung, and LG, Budkofsky said. "They are no doubt threatened," he added. "Roku will also be threatened because if Amazon grows with scale, Roku will be shut out of the platform."

Amazon’s TVs also could help users find new content to watch on the company’s Prime streaming service, tech blogger Valerie Antkowiak, an Apple TV user, told Lifewire in an email interview.

"Prime is often an afterthought, so we don’t think to watch it unless we are looking for something a friend recommended," she said. "With an Amazon TV, Amazon can have Prime content front and center for its users, and also make it easier to buy upgraded movies and episodes that aren’t included with Prime."

Was this page helpful?