Amazon has unveiled a comprehensive line-up of new devices, including a DVR box called Fire TV Recast, Echo Link devices to challenge Sonos, a wireless subwoofer, an audio input device, and even a wall clock with Alexa.
Fire TV Recast
At a surprise event, Amazon announced an almost overwhelming new product line-up. The company is entering new segments but there are also updates to some of its existing product ranges such as Fire TV.
The new Fire TV Recast has integrated tuners and a DVR for recording channels by connected an antenna. It can transmit these recordings and live TV (as recorded video) to Fire TV boxes connected to TVs or mobile devices. It integrates with Alexa, allowing you to schedule recording via voice commands.
Fire TV Recast should be seen as a supplement to your current Fire TV devices. It will be available in November in a two-tuner version with 500GB for $230 and a four-tuner version with 1TB for $280.
Following a firmware update, it will be possible to expand storage by connecting an external hard drive.
Amazon’s 2018 line-up
Amazon announced several devices designed to help you improve or build out your audio setup at home. The company’s Echo Sub is a 100W six-inch, down-firing subwoofer that will sell for $130 in October. It can be paired with two compatible Echo devices for 2.1 stereo pairing.
The new Echo Link and Link Amp systems are designed to add multiroom capabilities to your existing amplifier and passive speakers – or replace the former. The Echo Link Amp is a 60W 2-channel amplifier that lets you connect passive speakers. It will cost $300 and will be available early 2019. The Echo Link must be connected to a receiver or amplifier via digital or analog inputs. It will cost $200 and be available later this year.
These new Amazon products are clearly inspired by Sonos’ Sub, Amp, and Connect products, and are meant to compete head-to-head with Sonos that Amazon is also partnering with for Alexa compatibility.
A new small Echo Input device that is coming later this year for $35 adds Alexa voice capabilities to your existing speakers. The small device can simply be plugged into speakers via an audio cable.
In addition, Amazon launched a new Echo Dot, Echo Auto, a new Echo Plus, a new Echo Show, Alexa Guard, AmazonBasics Microwave, Echo Wall Clock, Ring Stick Up Cam, and the Smart Plug.
With all of these new products, Amazon is moving aggressively into new segments, while also expanding Alexa’s footprint. It is a pretty wild move and Amazon is sending a clear message. Alexa was introduced just four years ago in 2014 but Amazon wants to reach far beyond traditional consumer electronics. While some of the new products may fail, the company is clearly becoming a force to reckon with in this space.