Amazon earlier this month announced a bunch of new features for its Fire TV devices. Among them was Zoom support for the Fire TV Omni Series. The company back then said the videoconferencing app will be available on its new TVs in the coming weeks. Well, the rollout has begun now, just in time for Christmas and New Year festivities.
According to Amazon, Zoom will be available on its Fire TV Omni Series in the US and Canada. You will be able to download the app from the Fire TV Appstore. You can simply ask, “Alexa, find Zoom,” and the digital assistant will do the job for you. Once the download is completed, you can log in with your Zoom credential to get started. You can also join a meeting as a guest, without logging into Zoom. You can manually navigate through the app using the TV remote or ask, “Alexa, join my Zoom meeting.”
Of course, since Amazon’s Fire TV Omni Series doesn’t have built-in cameras, you will need a separate webcam for video feeds. You will have to plug the webcam directly into the TV USB port. Amazon says it’s best to place the camera above the TV for the best viewing angle. Works are ongoing to solve this issue with videoconferencing: you cannot simultaneously look at the other person’s face and make eye contact while speaking.
Nonetheless, for TVs, which you are usually 6–10 feet away from, Zoom recommends using a 1080p resolution camera with a 60–90 degree field of view. Amazon has a few suggestions too, including the Logitech C920, C922x, and C310.
While these cameras come with built-in microphones, it appears you won’t be able to use them. Amazon says you will need to turn on the TV microphone for the other party to hear you. Also, Zoom on Amazon’s Fire TV Omni Series can only output audio through the TV’s built-in speakers. The app isn’t compatible with an external soundbar or speakers, at least as of now. Hopefully, Amazon will add that support later on.
Amazon makes its Fire TV Omni Series more appealing with Zoom support
Amazon’s Fire TV Omni Series isn’t the best 4K TV out there. The TVs start at aggressively low prices and offer some useful features such as hands-free Alexa voice commands. However, they leave a lot to be desired when it comes to the picture quality.
Amazon is now looking to make the TVs more appealing to prospective buyers by adding Zoom support, something its competitors lack. During these times of remote connections, it’s surely a nice addition. Hopefully, the likes of TCL’s 6-Series Roku TVs will also gain support for video conferencing apps in the future. We will keep you posted.