Toshiba M550 lifestyle shot in a room

Amazon has some 4K TV competition in the USA, as Toshiba has launched its flagship M550KU smart TV.

The M550KU arrives with Alexa built-in and hands-free, so you don’t have even need to press the Alexa button on the remote to get a response. Don’t confuse this range of Toshiba TVs with what’s available in Europe, however, as the UK range is in partnership with Vestel.

This flagship model uses the REGZA Engine 4K technology with support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. It’s pitched at an affordable price that will give Amazon’s own-brand Omni 4K TV models a run for their money.

In terms of design, Toshiba has gone for a full-screen bezel-less look to provide a wider viewing experience with no distractions. The panel is a native 120Hz effort, and it’s the first Fire TV Smart TV to feature local dimming support with up to 48 zones to help assist for more precise lighting, improved contrast and better black levels. Sizes come in 55-, 65- and 75-inch models.

The proprietary Regza Engine 4K is said to enhanced colour (or color for our American readers) and contrast with its Essential PQ Technology.

Fire TV integration means a bundle of entertainment apps to choose from, with the new Live View Picture-in-Picture allowing viewers to see a live feed of their video doorbells (for example, Ring) or security cameras on the the TV. And with microphones embedded into the television itself, users can use their voice to launch apps, switch inputs, control other connected smart devices and more.

Dolby Atmos and DTS Virtual: X cover the audio options for improved post-processing audio to deliver a bigger soundfield. Auto Low Latency Mode is included to send the TV into its lowest response rate for a more responsive gaming performance.

Prices are towards the affordable end for this size and series of TVs, with the Toshiba M Series Smart Fire TVs starting at at a MSRP of $799.99 (55-inch), $999.99 (65-inch) and $1,199.99 (75-inch). Availability also starts now, with the range available at Best Buy and Amazon.

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