Fire TV has powered Amazon’s media streamers and several third-party TVs for years, but the company has never produced its TVs. The Omni is Amazon’s first Fire TV-powered TV and its top model. The Omni’s picture quality reflects its budget-friendly price tag of $829.99 for the 65-inch model I tested. It’s packed with Fire TV features, including hands-free Alexa voice control, making it an affordable smart TV alternative.
The Omni adds chrome to an otherwise plain design. The screen has an almost bezel-less black border. Only the bottom edge features a bezel with near-field microphones. An underneath switch turns off the mics. All back panel connectors face right except for the power connector. Four HDMI ports (one is eARC), one USB 2.0 port, optical audio output, 3.5mm headphone jack, 3.5mm IR emitter port, Ethernet port, and cable/antenna connection.
It’s a black rectangle with a big, circular navigation pad. Above the pad are power and Alexa buttons and a microphone. Below the pad are the menu, playback, and channel/volume rockers. Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix links are near the bottom. The remote connects wirelessly to the TV and contains an IR emitter. Another IR transmitter on a lengthy cable can be run inside a cabinet to control other home theatre gadgets.
Like the Toshiba C350 and Amazon’s Fire TV media streamers, the Omni operates on Amazon’s Fire TV platform. It has a feature-rich, Amazon-centric UI with apps and services. Amazon Prime Video is built into the platform, although Apple TV, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, Twitch, and YouTube are all available. A live guide shows live streaming TV, Amazon Channels, and Pluto TV. Google TV and Roku TV mimic devices better than Fire TV. WiDi/Miracast can reflect your computer screen. However, Apple Airplay and Google Cast can’t.
Alexa is standard on all Fire TV video streamers and TVs; to use it, hold the Alexa button on the remote and speak. Omni adds far-field microphones so you can talk to the TV like Amazon Echo or Fire TV Cube (the only other Fire TV device with hands-free Alexa). Say “Alexa” and a command, and she’ll respond on TV. Say “Alexa,” then a command, and she’ll answer and present information on the TV.
Alexa can search for content, operate the TV and smart home devices, answer questions, and display your calendar and reminders. If you don’t want Alexa always to listen, flick the button under the TV to disconnect the microphone. A red LED will flash up to indicate the mic is off.
The mic allows Alexa calls. You may make phone calls through the TV, contact other Alexa users using Drop-In, or join Amazon Chime, Skype, or Zoom video conversations. Plug a Logitech webcam into these services to create two-way video calls (C310, C920x, or C922x Pro). Amazon Fire TV Omni is a 4K 60Hz TV. It supports HDR10 and HLG, while the 65- and 75-inch variants also support Dolby Vision. We evaluate TVs using a Klein K-80 colorimeter, a Murideo SIX-G signal generator, and Portrait Displays’ Calman software.
The Omni’s contrast is lackluster. Its direct LED backlight isn’t bright and lacks zone dimming to increase the black level. We found comparable results to test light output using an SDR or HDR feed, a full-screen white, or an 18% white field. In Movie mode with the backlight at maximum, we measured 333.653cd/m2 with barely 3cd/m2 fluctuation. Black levels were also low, with 0.11cd/m2 for a 3,033:1 contrast ratio. The Vizio MQ6-J is dimmer (256.623cd/m2 with an HDR signal showing 18 percent field), but it can get darker (0.062cd/m2) for enhanced contrast (4,139:1). Hisense H8G or TCL R635 has stronger contrast if you can find them (56,104:1 and 74,326:1, respectively).
The Omni’s color performance is better, but not enough. The above figures compare SDR and HDR color measurements in Movie mode with Rec.709 broadcast and DCI-P3 digital cinema standards. The Omni supports Rec.709 out of the box, but this is less impressive than a few years ago. HDR signal has undersaturated greens and reds, missing DCI-P3. While certain hues were undersaturated, they weren’t twisted or colored.
Planet Earth II shows the Omni’s color range. While all colors are balanced and natural, flora and feathers appear undersaturated, lacking the brilliance of the Vizio MQ6-J and more expensive TVs. Delicate features like fur and bark are visible in the lights, yet the shade isn’t gloomy. The crimson of Deadpool’s suit appears decent on the Omni, albeit not as vivid as on other TVs I’ve tried. Shadow details in the blazing lab combat can look muddy or washed out depending on the brightness.
The Great Gatsby’s party scenes show the Omni’s brightness and black level limits. Black suit cuts and curves tend to get lost in darkness and look washed out in brighter frames. Despite the TV’s moderate peak brightness, skin tones look natural, and whites shine. The Omni lacks gaming-friendly features. 60Hz screens support ALLM, not VRR. HDFury Diva HDMI input lag was 2.6 ms, making it a great gaming TV (at least in terms of lag; VRR would go far here).
Amazon’s first Fire TV has many functions, but the firm isn’t pushing visual quality. The Fire TV platform is solid, Alexa voice control is straightforward, and $830 for a 65-inch screen makes the Fire TV Omni a good value. TCL 4K R6-Series and Hisense U7G offer higher contrast and color for a few hundred more. TCL’s Roku TV supports AirPlay but lacks a voice assistant, while Hisense’s Google TV has Google Cast and a far-field microphone for hands-free Google Assistant use. Fire TV Omni is a cheaper alternative if you prefer Alexa.
- There are a lot of Fire TV features
- Alexa voice control without using your hands
- Well-balanced colors
- Input latency is minimal
- Color range and contrast are mediocre
- There is no Apple AirPlay or Google Cast support
- There are a few gaming features
- Only 65 and 75 inch models have Dolby Vision
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