Insignia, which is Best Buy’s house brand, has released a new batch of Fire TV Edition televisions as 2021 models. Like their predecessors, these new TVs run Amazon Fire TV operating system by default, which provides all the same features as a standalone Fire TV or Fire TV Stick, but with extra perks, like integrated over-the-air channels via the built-in tuner. Similar to Toshiba’s new 2021 Fire TV Edition models, which change very little over Toshiba’s 2020 models, these new Insignia TVs are very similar to Insignia’s models from last year but change even less than the Toshiba TVs. In fact, Insignia’s new 4K TVs are identical to previous models. Insignia’s biggest changes this year are found in its non-4K TVs which, finally, replace all 720p panels found in past models with 1080p screens across all sizes, even in the smallest 24-inch TVs. Insignia also increasd the screen size of its largest non-4K TV to 42-inches from 39-inches.
So far, Insignia has only released its 2021 4K Fire TV edition television in a 55-inch size in the US. That TV’s quick start guide (PDF) indicates that a 50-inch and a 58-inch size will also be released in the US, however, it’s worth mentioning that I have seen models listed in manuals and documents that were never actually released. The equivalent 50-inch model is listed in Canada, so it’s pretty safe to assume it will also be released in the US, but I’m not sure about the 58-inch size, since Insignia hasn’t released that size in the US in the past. As for even larger sizes, Insignia has released 2020 models in 65 and 70-inch sizes, but those TVs were released quite late in 2020, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Insignia isn’t quick to replace them, especially when nothing has changed between its 2020 and 2021 4K models.
Insignia’s new 4K Fire TV Edition televisions for 2021 are identical in every way to the existing 2020 models. Even the outer housing, which usually changes slightly between models years, seems identical. The only thing that appears to have changed with the 4K TVs is the model number. You can determine which model year an Insignia TV was released by the last 2 digits in the model number. Insignia’s 2021 models end in “22,” while the 2020 models end in “21,” the 2019 models end in “20,” and so on.
Since the new 4K Insignia Fire TV Edition televisions share all the same specs as older models, they all still have 3 HDMI ports, of which one is an eARC port, a USB port, composite video, a coax port for the built-in tuner, an optical audio port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a 10/100 Ethernet port, and support for 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2×2 MIMO WiFi. Powering these TVs is still a Mediatek MTK T31/L Cortex-A55 quad-core 1.5 GHz CPU and Mali-G52 MP1 GPU with support for HDR10 and HLG high dynamic range video. There is still 2GB of DDR3 RAM and 8GB of internal storage.
With no upgrades at all on these new 4K Insignia TVs, Toshiba has pulled further ahead as the better Fire TV Edition television manufacturer in the US and Canada. The inclusion of Dolby Vision support on Toshiba’s 4K Fire TV Edition televisions used to be the only differentiator between them and Insignia’s TVs, but Toshiba’s 2021 4K models have also added an additional HDMI port, for a total of 4, and double the internal storage, for a total of 16GB.
As for non-4K Fire TV Edition televisions, Toshiba hasn’t released any new 2021 models. Insignia, on the other hand, has released 3 new models for 2021 that actually do improve on last year’s models. Insignia’s new 24-inch and 32-inch models now both have 1080p screens, where as all previous Fire TV Edition televisions in those sizes, regardless of brand, have had 720p screens. Insignia has also released a new 42-inch 1080p television this year, which replaces the 39-inch 720p model from last year.
While the resolution and screen size has increased with these new 2021 Insignia non-4K Fire TV Edition televisions, the port select and internal hardware remain the same as last year. Ports on both the 4K and non-4K Insignia TVs are the same. The non-4K TVs are still powered by an Amlogic T950Z quad-core CPU and Mali-450 MP3 GPU that does not support HDR video. There is still 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, 10/100 Ethernet, and 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi.
All of these new TVs come with the same Alexa voice remote as previous Fire TV Edition televisions, however, your guess is as good as mine as to which apps will occupy the bottom two buttons since those do occasionally change. I presume the 4K models are still running Fire OS 7 while the non-4K models are still running Fire OS 6. It appears that they all ship with the older Fire TV interface, but I expect them to be updated to the new interface later this year when all Fire TV Edition televisions receive the new interface.
Soon after new Fire TV Edition models are released in the US, they tend to eventually make their way to Canada as well. For now, only the new Insignia 4K TVs in 50-inch and 55-inch sizes are listed in Canada, however, they are both oddly mislabeled as 2020 models. I expect that they will be correct soon enough and that the non-4K models will also make their way to Canada. Interestingly, I found documents referencing Insignia TV model numbers that seem to be intended for Mexico. If actually released in Mexico, this would be the first time that Fire TV Edition televisions were released in that country. Mexico did see the release of the Fire TV Stick 4K for the first time early this year, so Amazon has been expanding Fire TV products in that country.
Here is a list of all the 2021 Insignia Fire TV Edition TV models that have been released so far: