Amazon’s first QLED Fire TVs offer better picture quality and an ambient mode

When Amazon introduced its Fire TV Omni line last year, it mostly offered affordable sets oriented toward budget-conscious consumers. At its fall hardware event today, the company announced two new models with QLED panels. Priced at $800 and $1,100 for 65- and 75-inch 4K models, the Omni QLED TVs feature “up to” 96 local dimming zones, support for Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10 Plus Adaptive. Those are features that should significantly improve the picture quality the new sets can offer over their predecessors.

New presence and ambient light sensors also allow the Omni QLED TVs to offer a feature Amazon is calling “Ambient Experience.” Taking a page from Samsung’s Frame TVs, the Omni QLED TVs can display artwork when you’re not watching a TV show or movie. At any time, you can ask Alexa to tell you more about the piece or the artist who created it. The Ambient Experience automatically turns on when you enter the room and off again when you leave. 

If you want something more practical, the TVs can also display Alexa widgets with information on the news, weather and more. You can disable the built-in far-field microphones at any point if you don’t want Alexa listening, and it’s even possible to use the TV to play music without keeping the display on. Preorders for the Fire TV Omni QLED series open today, with orders shipping in October.   

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