Panasonic smart TVs coming out later this year will come preinstalled with Amazon Fire TV, a first for OLED TVs. The new models will feature the same content but with a custom operating system unique to Panasonic TVs.
The new interface will launch on 55- and 65-inch Z95A and 77-inch Z93A OLED TVs this year. These will be the first OLED TVs with Amazon Fire TV built-in, rather than needing an external Fire TV stick or settop box plugged in. These models will combine streaming and live TV channels, apps, and personalized recommendations on the home screen to simplify finding content.
“With such vast options, the real challenge becomes pinpointing exactly what you want to watch,” said Akira Toyoshima, president and chief executive officer at Panasonic Entertainment and Communication Co. “Our new mission goes beyond just providing great picture and sound. It’s about simplifying the process of content discovery.”
The Fire TV interface also serves as a hub to manage smart homes and is compatible with Alexa-enabled devices. It includes a smart home dashboard that lets users monitor and control their systems from their televisions. Users can also control their televisions using Apple Home, AirPlay, and Siri.
Amazon Fire TV is available on several smart TV brands, and its appearance remains consistent. Panasonic is the first to feature a unique operating system and features with a few alterations. The TV guide has been updated to support the built-in DVR, which replaces Amazon Fire TV’s Recast DVR. Users can record from different channel sources. The guide’s setup screen no longer shows the large image header shown on traditional Amazon Fire TV setups. Instead, it offers options to view satellite, cable TV, antenna, and IPTV channels, according to AFTV News.
Panasonic said the new models’ built-in speaker system provides great audio quality without an external soundbar. Consumers can use the remote’s microphone to fine tune the TV’s speakers to the room. It listens to how tones bounce around the room and automatically adjusts. The remotes also come with a “MyApp” button that can be programmed to open a favorite app, channel, or voice control command.
Users can also enter the distance the TV is from the ceiling, floor, and walls to manually adjust the sound. Further, customize the audio experience by letting the TV know if it’s mounted on a wall and adjust for “line of sight” characteristics. Users can move a digital person around the room to center audio to a spot not directly in front of the screen.
Panasonic’s Z95A and Z93A OLED TVs come out this year, though a release date has not been confirmed yet. Panasonic and Amazon Fire TV were not available to comment.