For the higher a part of the final 20 years, my household has had a TV in our kitchen. It was the most affordable 19-inch flat display screen I may discover on the time — a 720p Sharp mannequin — and we hooked it as much as our cable connection and a Tivoli One speaker for higher sound. It labored simply positive — no complaints. However when Amazon requested if I needed to attempt swapping that historic rig out for one thing a bit extra fashionable, like an Amazon Echo Present 15 with its newest Fireplace TV replace, I figured why not? Three weeks into the experiment, right here’s the way it’s going.
You’re gonna want a mount …

The unique Sharp 19-inch TV …
… and the Amazon Echo Present 15.

When you additionally plan on doing the entire replace-the-kitchen-TV factor, be ready to spend a bit greater than the $250 value of an Echo Present 15. Out of the field, it would solely mount to a flat wall floor. When you’re fortunate sufficient to have a kitchen that has an out there clean patch of wall that can also be seen from quite a lot of angles, you simply saved some money. However I used to be not so lucky and needed to ask Amazon’s reps for assist. They kindly despatched a Sanus Tilt Stand ($32), which let me sit the Echo Present on the countertop the place the TV had been.
The Tilt stand is a good funds choice, providing you with the power to tilt the display screen from vertical to leaned manner again. Flip the entire unit in no matter course is sensible and also you’re good to go. Nevertheless, if I made a decision to make the Echo Present a everlasting addition (and I’d nonetheless do this), I’d spend a bit extra and go for certainly one of a number of under-counter-mounts that may droop the Echo Present whereas providing you with full freedom of motion together with angle, tilt, and rotation (when not in Fireplace TV mode, the Echo Present 15 works in portrait orientation too).

One factor to remember in the event you resolve to wall-mount: viewing angles on LCD panels aren’t the best. As these gadgets go, the Echo Present truly is best than most. However in the event you can’t discover a wall spot that may supply a more-or-less perpendicular viewing angle out of your highest-traffic kitchen spots, you’ll desire a mount that has an adjustable angle and tilt.
… and a distant
Simon Cohen / Digital Developments
The opposite factor you have to if you’d like the Fireplace TV expertise is a Fireplace TV distant. I used to be ready to make use of an present second-gen Fireplace TV distant, however Amazon recommends (as do I) the newest third-gen Alexa Voice Distant for Fireplace TV ($30) or Voice Distant Professional.
Why? The Echo Present 15 is a touchscreen system, however the Fireplace TV interface wasn’t designed for touchscreens, so there’s a restrict to what you are able to do with contact alone. Navigating the first-level dwelling display screen, with its massive tiles for exhibits, films, and third-party apps, is simple sufficient, but it surely will get a lot more durable when you get into the apps themselves. When you don’t have a distant, the Echo Present takes pity on you by offering an on-screen digital distant. However, belief me, that factor is a ache to make use of. Furthermore, if it is a TV alternative, why would you wish to stroll over to it each time you needed to alter one thing? A bodily distant is a should.
Professional tip: it can save you your self the $30 and use the Fireplace TV app in your cellphone as a distant.
Wait, what about Alexa?
Simon Cohen / Digital Developments
As an Echo product, Amazon’s voice assistant is entrance and middle as the first manner you’re inspired to work together with the Echo Present 15. Previous to the introduction of the Fireplace TV expertise, this made sense: all the body’s options will be simply managed by way of voice command. To an extent, Alexa might help out with Fireplace TV actions too, however as with the touchscreen choice, you shortly run into limitations.
Getting Alexa to fireside up your favourite app like Disney+ or Netflix is a cinch, and you’ll even get particular about which present you need. Play, pause, and quantity management are all equally accessible by way of voice. However the act of looking for content material — scrolling via tiles and present descriptions — or any sort of in-app navigation is unattainable. So long as you consider Alexa as a magical, voice-controlled shortcut genie, you received’t be dissatisfied.
Wanting good
The Echo Present 15 affords a brilliant, crisp display screen that works properly for nearly any informal viewing you may wish to do. Newscasts, cooking exhibits, sport exhibits, and reruns of your favourite sitcoms are all completely suited to the system’s show.
Its 1080p Full HD decision can also be greater than ample when you think about how small it’s, and as for the lacking HDR functionality? Positive, HDR can be nice, however given that you would be able to’t discover this characteristic on any typical TV smaller than 32 inches, its absence isn’t a deal-breaker.
Prepared to chop the twine?

With the addition of the Fireplace TV interface and a distant, the Echo Present 15 feels loads like a daily sensible TV. Simply be sure to’re ready for the methods by which it’s not like a TV. For example, except a Micro-USB port on the again (which is strictly to be used with an Ethernet adapter), there are not any inputs or outputs of any variety.
Our Tivoli One speaker, which supplied manner higher sound for the outdated Sharp TV, now sits idle — there’s no analog output from the Echo Present. Our cable field languishes too — with none HDMI inputs, there’s no option to join it — or another gadgets.
When you’ve gone 100% streaming, this will likely not matter. In any case, the Fireplace TV interface helps nearly each streaming app you could possibly ask for.
You might be able to cobble collectively sufficient channel-specific apps to make do. I used to be ready so as to add CNN, CTV, and CBC apps, however that’s nonetheless a far cry from all the channels I can usually entry. Furthermore, although the Fireplace TV interface affords a reside TV information view, it doesn’t seem to have the ability to pull in information from apps that require subscription authentication, like CNN and CTV.
When you wish to get your native TV stations free, over the air by way of an antenna, this additionally turns into more durable. With no antenna enter or built-in tuner, the one option to do OTA on the Echo Present is by way of an OTA receiver that helps Wi-Fi streaming and has an out there Fireplace TV app. There are a number of of those, together with fashions from Tablo, SiliconDust, and AirTV, however you’ll have to issue that additional expense ($100 to $200) into your calculations.
Oh, and yet another factor: the Echo Present may be Fireplace TV-savvy, but it surely’s not a real Fireplace TV system — you’ll be able to’t forged or screen-mirror to it like a Fireplace TV Stick (at the least, not with out a crazy-complex, multi-step, app-based answer) — and there’s no assist for cloud gaming providers but, together with Amazon’s personal Luna.
Does it change a kitchen TV?
Simon Cohen / Digital Developments
Regardless of its shortcomings as an precise TV, I feel the Echo Present 15 — when you add the distant and presumably a mount — works very well as a kitchen TV alternative. The Fireplace TV interface, whereas not as intuitive as an Apple TV or a Roku, continues to be completely able to providing you with entry to your whole favourite subscription and free streaming apps, which for most folk, might be all you want.
The onboard audio system aren’t superpowerful and the sound high quality is simply common, however that’s true of nearly any small-size TV, too. You possibly can’t join the body to a wired speaker, however Bluetooth is an choice, so that you may already personal a wi-fi speaker that may work as properly or higher than a wired unit.
Plus, my household is in settlement: the Echo Present 15, with its matted-picture body styling, is far more enticing than our mid-2000s classic Sharp.
A couple of extra ideas on the Echo Present 15
OK, the Echo Present 15 can change a kitchen TV, however how has it been, usually talking, to reside with this sensible display screen in one of many busiest rooms in the home? I’ve a couple of ideas.
It will possibly drive you mad
One of many main promoting factors of the Echo Present 15 is its always-on show that may present you a collage of useful information panels, like an Amazon Photographs slideshow, sensible dwelling shortcuts (lighting, cameras, thermostats, and so on.), and Alexa-driven reminders for the household.
However the consistently altering and transferring show is distracting. I’m the sort of one who freezes in place when there’s a present or film taking part in (don’t even attempt speaking to me earlier than you hit the mute or pause button); the Echo Present’s “present” exerts a strong tug.
That digicam is superior
I’m nonetheless kinda bummed that you would be able to solely video chat with different individuals who even have camera-equipped Echo gadgets, or have the Alexa app on their cellphone or pill, however I’m mightily impressed with the Echo Present’s built-in digicam.
Our kitchen in all fairness well-lit, however hardly what I’d name “brilliant” and but the digicam’s picture is at the least pretty much as good as what I’m used to getting from the built-in digicam on my 2021 MacBook Air. Plus, its capacity to auto-follow and zoom to maintain the present speaker within the body works very well.
Leaves you wanting extra
Due to its dimension and form, the Echo Present 15 looks like a pill — a sensation that’s bolstered by its contact interface. Repeatedly, I needed to make use of it like a pill, beginning with the house display screen widgets. That’s very true of Amazon Music, which teases you with music suggestions however doesn’t truly allow you to work together with the total Amazon Music app. Need to browse for a selected track, playlist, or album? You’ll want to succeed in to your cellphone or attempt your luck by asking Alexa.
Others have identified that Amazon’s Echo Present gadgets don’t actually supply a lot past what screenless Echo gadgets can do, so that is hardly a brand new grievance. It’s simply that on the Echo Present 15’s super-generous display screen, that limitation feels much more unfair. If Amazon gave this system the total Fireplace TV pill remedy, it will be much more succesful.

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