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Zoom’s first smart TV app comes to the Fire TV Omni

If you own an Amazon Fire TV Omni and you’ve been itching to be able to do your video calls from your TV, there’s now a way to do it thanks to Zoom’s first smart TV app. When combined with a compatible webcam, it’s an easy way to make your Zoom calls an 8 to 10-foot experience that you can enjoy from your couch.

Amazon Fire TV Omni | Unboxing, Setup, Impressions

All you need to get going with this new feature is an Amazon Fire TV Omni, which you can buy for as little as $410 for the 43-inch model (50-, 55-, 65-, and 75-inch models are also available), and a 720p or 1080p USB webcam. Amazon recommends the Logitech C920, C922x or C310, but any USB webcam will likely work too. Zoom says that a camera with 1080p resolution and a 60–90 degree field of view from 6–10 feet away is the ideal device.

Zoom app on Fire TV Omni.
Amazon

You then plug the webcam into one of the Omni TV’s USB ports and place the camera where it has a clear field of view of your room. You’ll probably get the best results if you place it above your TV.

Once it’s installed, download the Zoom app from the Fire TV Appstore. Feeling lazy? You can get Alexa to do all of the work by saying, “Alexa, find Zoom.”

After the app has been added to the Omni TV, you’ll be able to log into Zoom or access it as a guest, join a meeting using your remote, or say, “Alexa, join my Zoom meeting.”

Related: Dell’s wireless, magnetic webcam fixes the eye contact problem in video calls

Amazon says that you’ll need to enable the Omni TV’s microphones if you haven’t done so already, and that the sound from your Zoom calls will only work on the TV’s built-in speakers, not on a connected soundbar. When Digital Trends asked about this limitation, an Amazon spokesperson told us that “we found the best customer experience utilized the built-in microphones and internal speakers to eliminate potential background echo and customer confusion on selecting speaker sources.” They also said that they would welcome customer feedback on this aspect of the Zoom experience.

This is the first time that Zoom has released a version of its app for software that runs directly on a smart TV, but it’s not the first Zoom/Fire TV integration. Earlier in 2021, Zoom and Amazon announced that you could connect a webcam to the USB port of a Fire TV Cube and do two-way video calls via the streaming media device on any TV.

Amazon released the Omni TV in September 2021 as its first Amazon-designed smart TV that uses the Fire TV software as its operating system. Each TV comes with four years of security and software updates.

If you don’t own an Omni TV (or Fire TV Cube), here’s a look at eight other ways to do video calls on your TV.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
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