CES 2022: This giant screen could turn your car into a cinema

BMW showcases a big new idea while Amazon makes a big push on auto with Amazon Fire TV.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
Image: BMW

BMW has shown off its future entertainment system that integrates with Amazon's Fire TV and aspires to set the standard for next-generation in-car entertainment. 

The German auto-maker took the wraps of the giant 31-inch 8K resolution screen at this week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), billing the 32:9 ultra-wide format display as "on a par with a cinema".    

BMW is promising the tie-up with Amazon gives it a range of content for streaming videos, music and viewing downloaded programs. It's also developing streaming service for consumers in China. 

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Frank Weber, member of the board of management of BMW AG Development, said the BMW Theatre Screen was built with 5G connectivity. BMW's new iX electric vehicle will be the first premium vehicle with 5G.   

"In Theatre Mode, the rear of the interior is transformed into a private cinema lounge. With the 31-inch display, 5G connectivity, 8K resolution, surround sound and individual streaming program, an unprecedented experience is created that sets new standards for in-car entertainment," said Weber

BMW says it is the first vehicle integration of Amazon Fire TV to support content in 4K and that it offers the highest resolution and biggest display of any in-car Fire TV experience. 

Amazon also announced the integration with BMW at CES, signaling the company's push into the auto industry in 2022. It said it had sold more than 150 million Fire TV devices worldwide. 

Amazon also announced Fire TV partnerships with Stellantis and Ford. Stellantis integrated Fire TV-based entertainment with its Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, and will bring it to the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chrysler Pacifica. Ford will have Fire TV built into their 2022 Ford Expedition SUV and Lincoln Navigator models.

Amazon notes US consumers will have access to over a million TV episodes, including content from Prime Video. Users can download Prime Video content ahead of trips for when cellular or Wi-Fi isn't readily available. Users will also be able to start a show at home and resume it in the car. 

Fire TV, of course, uses Amazon's Alexa assistant, so passengers or drivers can use voice controls to select content and ask things like 'pay for the gas'. Fire TV also offers touchscreen navigation. 

And there should be no more fights over what to watch if you've got a vehicle with two rear screens, since Fire TV can stream different content to each screen. Amazon is also allowing auto makers to integrate their own services, offering them another alternative to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.     

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