In the shadows of the announcement of the new Fire TV Stick 4K Max and the new Amazon-built Fire TV Smart TVs, Best Buy and Amazon have announced their continued relationship around Fire TV Smart TVs in the US with new models from Pioneer and Toshiba. The Pioneer sets will come in 43″ and 50″ screen sizes and feature 4K resolution, as well as HDR 10 and Dolby Vision high dynamic range. The new Toshiba series of Fire TV Smart TVs, like Amazon’s own Fire TV Omni Series Smart TVs, will feature far-field microphones for hands-free control through Alexa.
You may be surprised to hear the Pioneer name associated with TVs because Pioneer notably exited the TV market in 2010. While Pioneer, back then, was known mostly in the TV industry for its high-end Pioneer Elite plasma TVs, these new Pioneer Fire TV Smart TVs have little to nothing in common with those TVs or the Pioneer company. That’s because Best Buy is simply licensing the Pioneer name for use on these TVs, which makes these TVs more closely related to Best Buy’s own house brand Insignia Fire TV Smart TVs than anything else. That’s not to say that these will be bad TVs, since Insignia Fire TVs are quite well-reviewed, but understand that the press release stating that “Pioneer is back” is a bit of a stretch, to say the least.
The Pioneer TVs will be available in 43″ and 50″ sizes. They’ll both feature 4K resolution and support for HDR 10 and Dolby Vision high dynamic range. Ports include 4 HDMI inputs, of which one is an eARC/ARC port, as well as composite video in. They also have a 3.5mm headphone jack and optical audio out ports. Connectivity comes in the form of wired Ethernet or 802.11ac Wi-Fi. There is also one USB port for external media playback and a coax port for an OTA antenna.
Very little is known about the new Toshiba TVs, but they will be available in 55″, 65″, and 75″ sizes. All we really know is that they will include hands-free Alexa voice control via a built-in array of 4 microphones. No other specs are known, but you can probably assume that they will be 4K and support at least HDR10.
The 43″ Pioneer Fire TV Smart TV will be released at the end of this month and is available to order now for $369.99, while the 50″ version will be released in early November and will cost $469.99. The new Toshiba Fire TV Smart TV with hands-free Alexa won’t be available until much later, in Spring 2022.