Amazon upgrades the Fire TV Edition with Dolby Vision

The 55-inch model is available starting today .

At an intimate press event in the Dolby SoHo space today, Amazon announced a new Fire TV Edition with Dolby Vision. This is basically an upgraded Fire TV Edition, and the display model is made by Toshiba. A 55-inch model is available starting today for $450, with 43- and 50-inch versions arriving on the 30th, costing $330 and $380 respectively.

Dolby Vision is an expansion on HDR10 intended to even more precisely control colors and contrast all the way from mastering until it appears on your screen. Several studios support it, and budget TV competitor TCL has delivered very popular TV sets with support built-in for the last couple of years. Adding the technology means Fire TV sets are better equipped to fight off Roku-powered competition in the $500-or-less price range.

One of the most compelling features of the Fire TV Edition is its integration with all Echo devices. You can get Alexa to turn on your TV and pick up where you left off on your last binge. During our demo, Amazon VP for Fire TV Sandeep Gupta told Alexa on a nearby Echo Dot to turn on the TV and the television set started playing about midway through an episode of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan on Prime Video. He asked the speaker to skip forward and backward, and the television responded quickly and correctly.

Amazon also worked with its content partners to make navigating the Fire TV Edition more convenient. Gupta pressed down a button on the remote and asked told Alexa, "Watch 'Our Planet'" and the television pulled up a list of results, then launched Netflix and played Our Planet in 4K. On the demo unit, the scenes of starry night skies looked captivatingly clear and vivid.

Gupta also showed how he was able to pull up a feed from a connected camera by pressing the Alexa button on the remote control and saying "Show me Bobby's office." The TV then displayed a stream from an adjacent meeting room that had been decked out to look like Bobby Axelrod's office from the show Billions.

Amazon isn't the first to bring Dolby Vision to its smart TVs -- rival Roku has been doing it for awhile. For example, there are TCL Roku TVs with Dolby Vision across a variety of prices already.

Besides the support for the display spec, there doesn't appear to be much difference between the Fire TV Edition with Dolby Vision and its predecessor. Amazon will continue selling both versions, with the new model launched today intended as a next-gen option rather than a replacement in its lineup. If you've been looking for an Amazon smart TV with a greater dynamic range, these might be worth considering.