First Toshiba Fire TVs Hit Best Buy, Amazon
Best Buy is now selling its first line of Toshiba-branded televisions with a built-in Fire TV operating system.
The Toshiba Fire TVs, which are a Best Buy and Amazon exclusive for now, place Amazon’s Fire TV smart TV platform front and center on the user interface, to quickly take viewers to their favorite television programs.
The interface will feature selections from the most-popular over-the-top streaming video services like Amazon Prime Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu and many others, from free over-the-air digital broadcast TV stations, from connected cable or satellite TV services or from popular live streaming TV services like DirecTV NOW, Sling TV or PlayStation Vue.
Best Buy said its Toshiba Fire TVs have access to more than 500,000 streaming movies and TV epsiodes through its partners’ apps.
The sets are also equipped for a strong video gaming experience when connected to a video game console through one of the TV’s three HDMI inputs.
The Toshiba-branded TVs are available in the 43- ($329.99), 50- ($399.99), and 55-inch ($479.99) sizes with 4K Ultra HD resolution and will accept and present High Dynamic Range (HDR).
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Other features available in the TVs is are a voice remote with Alexa to use voice commands to easily launch apps, search for TV shows, play music, switch inputs, control smart home devices and other functions. Voice command activation is initiated with a button push on the remote, or a user can add an Alexa smart speaker or new Fire TV cube to add always-on hands free operation.
All three models have a native 60 Hz refresh rate panels.
The Toshiba Fire TVs, which have direct (non-full array) LED backlit LCD TV panels, follow last year’s launch of the first all-in-one Fire TVs from the Element and Westinghouse brands. The sets are positioned in the lower end of the mid-price range of 4K TVs to compete in North America against very popular fully integrated Roku TVs, which are available under the TCL, Hisense, Hitachi, Insignia and other brands.
Best Buy has plans to add a line of fully integrated Fire TVs under its own Insignia private-label brand later this year.
By Greg Tarr
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