Did Toshiba Just Build A Better 4K Fire TV Than Amazon? Check These Specs
It was just a few months ago when Amazon launched its own brand of Fire TVs—the affordable 4K Series and the more premium Omni Series. Not to be outdone at the higher end, Toshiba today unveiled its new M-Series 4K Fire TV line, and if the specifications are anything to go by, it will have Amazon beat in the image quality department.
Naturally we won't really know until the M-Series has been properly evaluated and compared to what Amazon introduced in September. However, Toshiba's M-Series is the first-ever Fire TV to incorporate full-array local dimming (FALD), which if done properly can have a significant impact on the overall TV viewing experience, and especially HDR content.
A television that employs FALD means it has multiple zones of LEDs behind the screen. Each zone can be dimmed independently of one another to better darken and lighten specific parts of a scene. This essentially enhances the contrast ratio, and is a feature normally reserved for higher-end sets.
Toshiba's new 55-inch M550KU television sports 48 zones of local dimming. It also features a fast 120Hz native refresh rate and an Auto Latency mode, suggesting that at least one of the four HDMI ports is HDMI 2.1. This is a potential boon for gamers who have adopted one of the latest generation consoles (Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5) or plan to tether their PC to the TV, if in fact the TV supports 4K @ 120Hz gaming (Toshiba hasn't clarified yet).
For HDR content, the M550KU supports both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, the latter of which is a standard that Samsung stubbornly refuses to implement on its own flagship TVs, including its highfalutin Neo QLED (QN90a) Series with mini LED technology.
All these goodies and the built-in Fire TV functionality are powered by Toshiba's Regza Engine 4K chip and 16GB of memory, which is twice as much as the previous generation flagship. The 55-inch model is available now for $649.99 on Amazon. In comparison, Amazon's 55-inch Omni Series is on sale for $419.99 (down from $559.99), while its 55-inch 4-Series is discounted to $389.99 (down from $519.99).
Toshiba also plans to offer a 75-inch model for $1,999.99 and a 65-inch version for $999.99, either or both of which might sport more local dimming zones.