Amazon today announced Amazon Instant Video has gained support for Ultra HD picture quality. Amazon Prime subscribers can now watch movies, TV shows, and Amazon Original Series content in the higher resolution. Movies in Ultra HD are also available for purchase starting at $19.99, meaning this expansion is not limited to Amazon Prime.
The term Ultra HD encompasses both 4K (2160p) and 8K (4320p), but in this case Amazon is referring to the former digital video format. The resolution has four times the number of pixels as standard full HD.
While this 4K content is accessible through the Amazon Instant Video app, you’ll naturally need a compatible Ultra HD smart TV to see the difference. Amazon says it supports models from LG, Samsung, and Sony, and it will add more next year. If you’re an Amazon Prime member with a compatible television, you’ll get the higher-quality content at no additional cost to your membership.
Notable content available in 4K includes Alpha House, Transparent, Life on Normal Street, and Orphan Black. In addition to TV series, select movie titles from Sony Pictures Entertainment — including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Funny Girl, Hitch, and Philadelphia — are available for Prime members to watch in 4K.
The upcoming lineup from Amazon Studios, including Mozart in the Jungle, Bosch, Hand of God, The After, and Red Oaks, will be available for streaming in 4K later this year and next year. Amazon Studios is also promising that its seven new pilots (Cocked, Down Dog, Mad Dogs, Man in the High Castle, Point of Honor, Salem Rogers, and The New Yorker Presents) will also be offered in 4K when they debut early next year.
If Amazon Prime is not your thing, movies are available in 4K for purchase starting at $19.99. These include After Earth, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Elysium, Godzilla, Hancock, Moneyball, The Mask of Zorro, The Monuments Men, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Da Vinci Code, The Patriot, Think Like a Man Too, This Is the End, and so on.
Amazon doesn’t seem to have a full list of its 4K content, nor does it have a timeline for when all or most of its content will be available in the higher resolution format. It’s fair to assume that the transition will be a gradual one, with newer releases more likely to have an Ultra HD option.
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