Apple TV 4K Launch Provokes Crazy 4K Content Competition On Amazon Prime
Stephan Jukic – September 25, 2017
Using its immense consumer market power, Apple managed to pull off one particularly useful thing for the market in 4K ultra HD content offerings when it announced the Apple TV 4K streaming box. Quite simply, the company managed to set up its own new iTunes offerings of ultra HD HDR movies and other content with the same prices as the HD selections on iTunes, making Apple’s prices for 4K movies into some of the best yet seen for these kinds of content selections.
A wonderful side effect of this market changing move is now taking effect, starting at least, with Amazon. The streaming media rival is now also slashing the prices of its own movies and other types of programming to some truly incredible new lows in an effort to compete with iTunes.
Amazon, which has always been ferociously competitive with just about anybody who looks like they could be seriously undercutting it on its enormous selection of services with their own similar rivals is basically staying true to habit and as a result, 4K UHD content from the company’s Amazon Prime service is now being sold for prices as absurdly low as $5 for certain older titles to still deeply discounted prices of $7 to $19 for newer titles, depending on their age and popularity.
In other words, if you’re looking at new sources of 4K movies, TV shows and other programming for your own 4K HDR TV and have been put off by Amazon’s previous prices, this new pricing schedule is a great opportunity to load up on fresh entertainment, some of it with high dynamic range mastering built right in, at some genuinely solid prices.
The online retail giant has also stopped selling its older Fire TV set-top boxes in what looks like a strategy to prepare consumers for the roll-out of yet another, more powerful than ever version of their set-top 4K UHD streaming media box. This too is a rather obvious move to compete with Apple’s genuinely impressive Apple TV 4K box and all of its cutting edge specs. While we can’t yet say how well Amazon’s next Fire TV device fares in comparison to its Apple TV 4K rival, what we’re reliably hearing so far indicates that it will come with built-in IR blaster technology for usability with older TVs without HDMI-CEC. The upcoming device should also come with HDR support and Dolby Atmos sound if it wants to seriously compete with its Apple counterpart.
The HDR aspect is a crucial one since the color/contrast enhancements that high dynamic range offers in any device, media or TV screen actually do a lot more than 4K resolution to enhance overall viewer experience. This becomes especially crucial as a growing percentage of 4K TVs come with HDR display capability of at least some kind. The two most important High Dynamic Range content and display formatting standards in use today are HDR10 and Dolby Vision. A minority of 4K HDR TVs support both but among 4K TV set-top boxes, Apple’s new 4K HDR set-top box is the only model to support the far superior (though much more expensive to implement) Dolby Vision HDR standard. If Amazon is as serious about competing with Apple on set-top streaming devices as it has shown itself to be on 4K media itself, we’re firmly expecting the likely new Amazon Fire device to also come with Dolby Vision support whenever it emerges.
Story by 4k.com