Amazon is adding the first Dolby Vision capable models to its line-up of 'Fire TVs'. The Toshiba-branded TVs will be available in 43, 50, and 55-inch sizes starting this month, according to a report by The Verge.
Starting at $330
The 43, 50, and 55-inch Toshiba branded are the first HDR capable models - Dolby Vision or otherwise - in Amazon's 'Fire TV Edition' line-up that now includes over 20 models.
The TVs run on the company's Fire TV platform with access to streaming services such as Amazon, HBO, and Netflix. They also support Amazon Alexa voice commands via a built-in microphone in the remote control or external Echo devices.
Amazon says that the 4K LCD panel has a typical contrast ratio of 4000:1, which seems to imply VA LCD, and 60Hz refresh rate. There are no details on peak brightness or DCI-P3 color gamut coverage, and there is nothing to indicate that these TVs employ zone dimming in any form, raising concerns about actual HDR performance.
Dolby Vision in affordable TV
This year, the Dolby Vision format has found its way to even more affordable TVs. In the US several manufacturers are bringing out affordable HDR TVs and in Europe Philips and Panasonic will launch full line-ups of 4K TVs with Dolby Vision support. It was always inevitable but be vigilant. HDR puts big demands on display hardware.
UHD Blu-ray discs in Dolby Vision are available but content is more readily available on iTunes and Netflix. Amazon offers a few shows in Dolby Vision through its Prime Video streaming service while the full HDR catalog is encoded in HDR10+. That is a strange mismatch considering that Amazon is now announcing its first HDR-capable TVs without HDR10+ support.
The new Toshiba-branded TVs will compete head-to-head with affordable Roku TVs from various manufacturers. The Fire TV platform has over 34 million active users, according to Amazon, which may put it ahead of Roku. Amazon has teamed up with Best Buy to sell these TVs in stores and online. The Toshiba brand has been licensed.
The 55-inch TV is available now for $450 while smaller 50 and 43-inch sizes will be available on June 30 for $330 and $380, respectively.