Amazon finally rolls out its 4K video streaming service on Prime Instant Video

by on December 8, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – December 8, 2014

After months of media hype and publicity, Amazon is finally rolling out its 4K streaming service via Amazon Prime Instant Video.

The company has just formally announced that it will offer a selection of movies and shows through Instant Video in 4K resolution and as part of its general Amazon Instant video subscription, which costs about $99 per year.

The content being initially unveiled by Amazon includes Amazon Studios original series such as “Alpha House” and “transparent” as well as a selection of Sony Studios movies that include titles such as “After Earth”, “American Hustle”, “Captain Philips”, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “This is The End”.

There will also be shows like the BBC thriller “Orphan Black” and the concert “Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga”: Cheek to Cheek LIVE!” available for streaming to Amazon’s subscribers in 4K.

Furthermore, the collection being released by the streaming video service will of course expand in tie and as of later in 2015, we should also see titles such as “Mozart in the Jungle”, “Bosch”, “Hand of God”, “The After” and “Red Oaks” coming out in an ultra HD 4K resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels.

"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" is just one of the titles that will be available on Amazon Prime in 4K

“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is just one of the titles that will be available on Amazon Prime in 4K

According to Amazon Digital Video Vice President, Michael Paull, “We want to deliver the best entertainment experience, and offering Ultra HD movies and TV shows raises the bar on quality and innovation that customers have come to expect from Amazon”.

In addition to the streaming service being offered, Amazon will also be releasing ultra HD versions of select movies for online purchase and download, with prices starting at $19.99.

Unlike Netflix, which has been offering 4K content via its streaming service to customers since April, Amazon took its time to unroll their own selection of movies and shows. This latest announcement of the imminent delivery of 4K streams comes after months of PR about the eventual 4K content the company would have. Amazon has also pledged (along with Netflix) that all of its original series as of now would be filmed with 4K resolution built into them.

One compensation for the late arrival of Amazon’s 4K streams is the fact that they come included with the regular Instant Video subscription. Netflix, in contrast, charges a small $3.00 premium per month for access to its ultra HD streams.

However, whether you decide to stream your 4K entertainment from Netflix or Amazon, both require that your domestic internet connection offers at least 20 Mbps of consistent speed for effective, glitch free viewing of ultra HD content.

For many UHD TV owners whose sets are totally ready for 4k content from either company, the internet connectivity will be an obstacle, given that only about 11 or 12% of U.S households have access to internet speeds in the 20+ Mbps range. For now at least, this will keep both Amazon’s and Netflix 4K streams a strictly niche oriented product.


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