Amazon Announces its First Fire TVs with Dolby Vision & Alexa

Mike Wheatley

Amazon today unveiled its latest Amazon Fire 4K TVs in the U.S., debuting new features including support for Dolby Vision, its digital assistant Alexa and even an HD antenna for receiving local channels.


The addition of Dolby Vision is the most exciting enhancement to its TVs. This is Dolby’s popular High Dynamic Range format, which offers a wider spectrum of colours and greater contrast rations than regular content. The improvements in picture quality are made dynamically on a scene-by-scene basis, as opposed to just once for an entire movie or show. As such, Dolby Vision is regarded to be more advanced than the standard HDR10 format.

Dolby Vision is of course a standard feature on many high-end TVs, but its inclusion on a budget TV such as the Amazon Fire is quite a rarity, and therefore a treat for those who’re on a budget.

Amazon said it’s launching three versions of its new Toshiba-branded Fire TVs, with the largest 55-inch model available in the U.S. now for just $450 (around £355). The smaller 50-inch and 43-inch versions will be priced at $380 (£300) and $330 (£260) when they’re released on June 30th. It's not clear if or when they'll be made available in the U.K., but previous models have been sold in this country so we're hopeful the new models will be made available soon.

“In launching our products over the last year, we’ve wanted to make sure they follow our philosophy: simpler and smarter,”Sandeep Gupta, Amazon's vice-president of Fire TV development said in a statement. "We worked closely with Best Buy and Dolby to build an amazing TV."

Amazon’s Fire TVs all run the firm’s Fire TV operating system which provides access to streaming services including Amazon Prime, Netflix and HBO. The new sets will support Amazon Alexa to enable voice commands through a built-in microphone on the remote, or through an external Echo device.

It’s worth noting that Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K and Prime Video both support Dolby Vision, so the TVs can be used in tandem with them.

Amazon’s TVs will compete with the similar budget range Roku TVs, which are built by various manufacturers. Amazon recently said it has over 34 million active users on its Fire TV platform, but it’s not clear if that puts it ahead of Roku.

Perhaps the draw of Dolby Vision will make sure it does.