Amazon Echo Show 15 finally becomes the kitchen TV it always wanted to be

Fire TV now on Amazon Echo Show 15
(Image credit: Amazon)

What looks like and acts like a TV is now an actual TV. By way of a new software update, the Echo Show 15 now supports Amazon Fire TV, allowing you to watch your favorite shows from various streaming services. 

Platforms like YouTube, Disney Plus, and Paramount Plus have a new home on the Show 15's interface. If you don’t mind smudging the 15.6-inch Full HD display, you can use the newly developed virtual remote to navigate the menus. This is especially helpful since not all of the video apps are touch-enabled. However, if you plan on using or you already have the display in your kitchen (Amazon already knows you do), it does work with the third-generation Alexa Voice Remote so you can keep it smudge-free. Or you can use the Fire TV app; it's all same.

In addition to the Fire TV support, the Echo Show 15's audio is getting an update, adopting from Echo Studio the company’s “custom-built spatial audio processing technology.” That doesn’t mean the Show 15 is getting spatial audio itself as the display is probably incapable of that. Still, any improvement is worth having if it means a more immersive sound. The device’s audio performance, including lackluster bass, is one of its biggest downsides.

None of the smart home features are being cut in any way. You can still use the Echo Show 15's original smart home features like controlling other devices or tracking packages.

A glimpse into the future

What's interesting about the Echo Show 15 is that back in September, Amazon revealed that over 70 percent of device owners use it to watch something off Prime Video. With that in mind, you could argue Amazon has given the display a more sustainable purpose in midst of rough financial times for the company. 

If you’re not aware, Amazon’s Worldwide Digital unit, which is the part of the company that handles Alexa and Echo devices, is on track to lose $10 billion, according to a report by Business Insider. Apparently, the devices don’t sell well enough. They're popular among their audience, but not enough consumers are interested beyond that core group.

These trials don't mean Alexa or Echo hubs will stop working overnight. Far from it. If anything, we might see Amazon pulling out all the stops to ensure these devices continue getting support or potentially new buyers. More people may pick up the Echo Show 15 because of the Fire TV support. Either way, it'll be interesting to see what the future holds for Alexa and the devices that support it. 

If you're interested in an Echo, be sure to check out TechRadar’s recent collection of the cheapest Amazon Echo deals for the month of December. 

Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.