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Today Amazon announced it will be shooting all of its original TV show pilots in ultra high-definition 4K quality video.
Oddly enough, while Amazon plans to shoot in 4K, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be offering customers the option of watching those shows in ultra high-def when they premiere. We reached out to the company for further clarification and it sent us the following response:
“Amazon announced that the content listed in the release will be shot in 4K, but those are all of the details the company is sharing at this time. We can’t speculate beyond what’s listed in the release.”
There are likely a couple of reasons for today’s announcement. First, it’s one of many announcements that will help Amazon take attention away from its quarterly earnings, which are very vague about how well the company is progressing in its long-term plan to make lots of money. Second, Amazon wants to become the premiere destination for this new ultra high-definition standard of video — even though 4K video is at best a few years away from becoming something consumers care about.
It wouldn’t be surprising for the company to hold off, considering that so few people have a 4K television set at this point. The 4K streaming process right now is also very intensive, and something some cable Internet providers aren’t thrilled about.
In addition to the 4K pilot announcement, Amazon is also setting up a new 4K video consumer guide to help people understand the difference between 4K and regular HD. (As my colleague Ricardo Bilton points out, “4K” refers to content that has a horizontal resolution of over 4,000 pixels, which is roughly twice that of 1080p, the current high-end HD format.)
Clearly, Amazon wants to claim its place in the 4K video market before too many others get there. Sony already has a 4K video store set up, and it won’t be long before others follow suit.