Amazon entered the affordable 4K TV market a few years ago and has had a successful run until now. It recently collaborated with Toshiba to release the latest version of Amazon Fire TV, which supports Dolby Vision HDR. It is 55 inches in size and costs only $450, making it a tough competition for TCL’s Roku TV. Amazon will be launching the same TV in two more sizes, including 50 and 43 inches that cost $380 and $330 respectively. All three sizes will be released on June 30, 2019.
Sandeep Gupta, vice president, Fire TV development, Amazon, said that they had worked closely Dolby and Best Buy to come out with the best television. It was crucial for Amazon to collaborate with Dolby Vision to compete with another popular budget brand TCL, which already has TV sets with Dolby Vision output. Since June 2018, Amazon has released more than 20 Fire TV Edition smart sets. Best Buy is the company’s sole retailer in Canada and the United States. Even if you purchase the TV online, it goes through its third-party seller before being delivered at your doorstep.
A growing number of monthly subscribers
Gupta also mentioned that Fire TV has more than 34 million monthly users, so they wanted to follow their philosophy -- simpler and smarter to offer better products and services. Top products offered by Amazon include Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Stick 4K, and Fire TV Stick. Out of these, only Fire TV Stick 4K supports Dolby Vision. Cube only supports Dolby Atmos, which is the audio part of Dolby.
The updated Fire TV software is better at taking Alexa’s voice controls. For example, if you say watch ABC, Alexa will switch on the TV and tune into the channel by using OTT service or OTA antenna tuner. You can also use the Echo speaker to power your Amazon Fire TV.
Amazon TVs still don’t support YouTube and YouTube TV, but Gupta said that they are working on it and will come out with updates later this year. It is an affordable model, so we aren’t expecting the TV to have world-class features. It lacks a number of features including full-array local dimming, which improves image quality. The model has a contrast rate of 4,500:1 and a refresh rate of 60 Hz. In comparison to TCL models, the new Amazon TV is still far inferior. The company will be planning a huge discount during the Black Friday sales, so wait until then to purchase the set.
Call a professional to calibrate the television set to improve vision quality. The key is to manipulate the color temperature as it balances the warmth and brings out true colors.
Top competitors of Fire TV Stick 4K
1. TCL 28S305
If you are looking for a TV under $500 with features offered by Samsung or Panasonic, TCL 28S305 is the best you can find. It is 28 inches in size and comes with Roku TV, which allows you to stream over 4,000 channels including Hulu, HBO Now, Netflix, Watch ESPN, and Vudu. It has three connectivity ports, a headphone jack, a USB port, composite and optical audio out, and RF. You can either use it for streaming Netflix and other channels or connect it to your cable box or a digital antenna to stream local channels.
2. TCL 50S425 TV
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K’s next competitor is another TCL model, 50S425 TV. It has a collection of over 500,000 movies and TV series in a variety of genres and languages for you to enjoy. Other features of the television include 4K Ultra HD and HDR, voice control, connection for game controllers, and a wide array of colors. It is available in two sizes -- 43 and 65 inches, both of which cost less than $1,000. If you plan to purchase it, don’t think much because it is affordable and Roku regularly uploads new content.
3. Insignia NS-55DF710NA19
Another budget-friendly option is NS-55DF710NA19 by Insignia, which costs only $380 for a 55 inches 4K Ultra HD TV. It features tens of thousands of channels including Hulu, Netflix, and Watch HBO. Apart from this, the TV is also compatible with smart home devices and Alexa, which are updated automatically using WiFi.
4. LG 49UK6300PUE
It is difficult to find budget television sets by LG that cost less than $1,000, but here’s one that you should grab immediately. Packed with features and everything technology, LG 49UK6300PUE has intelligent voice control and can be connected to smart home devices at your house. The gorgeous beauty is 49 inches in size and offers real-life color accuracy. It is fitted with a quad-core processor that decreases video noise and boasts a smooth display of HDR content.
5. TCL 32S305
TCL 32S305 is a 55-inch Roku TV that perfect for 4K gaming. The color accuracy and deep blacks make the experience so much more real. It has simple hardware, which makes for a more attractive game center. Apart from games, you can stream thousands of channels including Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube, among others. It is easiest-to-navigate using the remote control compared to the remaining four models.
Other affordable TV sets which are equally good include LG 22LJ4540 and Samsung NU7100. They are more expensive than these budget options but still cheap compared to more sophisticated models by Sony and Panasonic. So, what is it going to be for you -- Amazon Fire TV or any of these five models?