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Amazon is now letting people watch Fire TV in the car. The announcement was made during CES 2020 where Amazon confirmed a wide increase in the support for the Fire TV platform. Not only is it coming to cars, but also to more operators and soundbars as well.
Fire TV continues to expand at the customer level with Amazon having confirmed it now has more thanks 40 million active users. Along with the user expansion, the platform has also undergone increased third-party support over the last few years. This is most notable with the “Fire TV Edition” program that lets smart TV makers add the Fire TV experience to their TVs.
It is that program that’s now expanding to the car. As a result, car-makers will also now be able to add the Fire TV experience to their in-car experience with BMW and Fiat Chrysler the first two to showcase the streaming platform. Besides watching videos from a variety of popular streaming apps, the in-car Fire TV experience also adds hands-free access to Alexa.
As this is primarily a connected platform, vehicles will need to be connected to the internet either through the vehicle’s own Wi-Fi or LTE, or through an intermediary device, such as a mobile hotspot. Although offline playback is possible for locally-stored videos.
Fire TV Edition for operators, soundbars expanding
Along with announcing Fire TV Edition for the car, Amazon also explained how it is now expanding the Edition side of the business to more operators and soundbar-makers.
Similar to Google’s approach with Android TV, Fire TV Edition for operators allows traditional TV operators to deliver a streaming device and experience more quickly and with lower costs compared to investing in their own streaming platform. In principle, the expansion also means more users are likely going to be exposed to Fire TV and whether they realize it or not – operator versions tend to allow for a greater level of customization than versions sold directly to customers through off-the-shelf hardware.
On the soundbar side of things, Amazon confirmed the TCL Alto 8+ Soundbar–Fire TV Edition is starting to go on sale in a number of countries. For buyers in the U.S., the new Fire TV Edition soundbar is already available to preorder for $199.99 with an expected release date of February 18, 2020.