Amazon has announced that, in partnership with Best Buy, there will be at least 10 new Fire TV Edition televisions released this summer. The first phase of this multi-year partnership will include 4K and HD (1080p) models from Toshiba and Insignia. The TVs will be available to purchase in the United Sates in Best Buy stores, on Best Buy’s website, and on Amazon.com where Best Buy will be the third-party seller.
No information has been revealed about the specs or capabilities of the new TVs at this time. The Toshiba model, pictured above, will likely be the first TV released. TVs made by Best Buy’s own house brand, Insignia, will follow shortly after. Considering the two brands involved, it’s probably safe to assume that the new Fire TV Edition television models will on the budget end of the TV market. That’s not to say we won’t see TVs with advanced features like HDR released. It’s just unlikely a multi-thousand dollar OLED TV with a 75-inch screen will be among the available models.
Amazon’s first batch of Fire TV Edition televisions made by Element and Westinghouse were announced at the start of 2017 at the Consumer Electronics Show. The TVs were available to purchase on Amazon a few months later. I’ve owned one ever since they launched and have been very happy with it and still consider it to be the best Fire TV experience available today.
The biggest differentiator between the Fire TV Edition televisions and a Fire TV connected to a generic TV is having the built-in TV tuner integrated into Fire OS. This allows local broadcast channels to live among streaming content, which makes switching between them in the same interface seamless. Alexa allows you to call up channels by name or you can use the built-in program guide to browse and select channels. Time-shifting functionality lets you pause, fast-forward, and rewind live TV.
The existing Fire TV Edition televisions have held their own as far as specs, so it’s hopeful that the new sets from Toshiba and Insignia, while likely targeting the budget shopper, will not be underpowered. Element and Westinghouse’s TVs, which are no longer available on Amazon as of today, featured quad-core processors, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and USB 3.0 ports. All of which outperform the specs on most stand-alone Fire TV models.