Toshiba debuts its flagship M550KU Fire TV with hands-free Alexa

Mike Wheatley

Toshiba’s newest flagship TV has just been revealed in the United States, and it may well be just the ticket for anyone who likes the idea of deep Amazon Alexa integration or, perhaps, an affordable next-generation games console display.


The Toshiba M550KU LED 4K UHD Smart TV with Fire TV, to give it its full name, is a surprisingly feature-packed display that seems almost too good to be true when we consider its rather low price tag.

As the name suggests its a 4K resolution LED TV that also happens to be the first Fire TV to offer full local dimming support, allowing for more precise control over 48 zones of adjustment on the 120Hz panel. Full local dimming helps to maintain colour balance during darker scenes, and is especially useful for LCD TVs where the higher brightness sometimes results in unrealistic-looking illumination.

The Toshiba M550KU Fire TV also features Toshiba’s Ultra Essential PQ technology, which works to optimize the picture and colour. Support for Dolby Vision HDR is also present, together with 480 Motion Rate to ensure smoother, high frame rate footage when watching sports or playing console games. The TV also supports auto low latency mode, which is an important capability for anyone lucky enough to possess a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S games console.

In fact, the Toshiba M550KU appears to be a surprisingly good companion for gamers. The combination of the 120Hz panel and ALLM could make it a viable option for those who enjoy playing high-intensity games where minimal input lag is an essential requirement. Though, we should note it doesn’t support all next-generation gaming features – variable refresh rates aren’t supported, and nor is Dolby Vision gaming at 120Hz.

Moving on, the Toshiba M550KU Fire TV also supports Dolby Atmos and DTS Virtual:X surround sound, though of course you’ll need some external speakers to take advantage of that.

What may be more interesting for Amazon fans at least is the baked-in Fire TV support. Amazon recently launched its own branded Fire TVs with full support for its array of services, including tight integration of Amazon Alexa, with native Alexa Routines support, a high quality Alexa remote control and microphone arrays both in the TV and the remote. Surprisingly though, the Toshiba M550KU Fire TV comes with all of the same features, including the embedded microphones that make it possible for Alexa to respond to spoken commands without anyone needing to press a button first.

Other specs include 16GB of storage, a super-slim bezel and Live View Picture-in-Pcture support, which means users can see footage from various compatible security cameras without interrupting whatever it is they are watching.

Best of all though, the Toshiba M550KU Fire TVs will be cheap. Toshiba is offering three sizes,with the 55-inch version going on sale for $799, the 65-inch model flagged at $999 and the largest 75-incher set to go on sale for $1,199. All three are expected to go on sale on Amazon and Best Buy later this month, though there’s no word at present on any U.K. launch.