Amazon launched its brand-name Fire TVs last month with attractive low price tags for a large, if disappointing, 4K screen — and today, they’re getting the promised Zoom video calling app so you can chat with family and friends this holiday season (and beyond) ). While we noticed Zoom was missing at launch and only “coming soon” as of December 7th, Amazon was able to roll it out just in time for the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Of course, there is no built-in camera in these TVs. As Amazon explains in its official blog post, you’ll need a compatible USB webcam to make it work, one at 720p or 1080p, and the company specifically lists only the Logitech C920, C922x, and C310 as examples. And even if you have a good microphone on that webcam or a set of excellent speakers, you won’t be able to use it: Amazon notes that Zoom will use your TV microphone and TV speakers for now.
However, it seems like an easy way to put your family celebration on the big screen, compared to the clutter of the laptop, webcam, cable, HDMI, and laptop power cable I’ve found myself using to do the same thing. The video shows that you don’t even need to search the Amazon App Store to find the Zoom app; Alexa, Find Zoom will get you there.
Amazon also brought Zoom to the second generation Fire TV Cube back in July, albeit not the first generation Cube. Fire TV Sticks don’t have a USB port for connecting a webcam, however.
If image quality is not important to you, the kits are now on sale. The two most popular sizes are currently $410 for the 55-inch model or $660 for the 65-inch model. For buyers on a budget, we’ll likely recommend TCL’s 6-Series Roku TV instead, but Zoom isn’t currently available on Roku, and you’ll pay about $100 more for the set.