4K streaming video arrives on Amazon Prime and Amazon Instant UK
James R | On 19, Dec 2014
4K streaming is now available on Amazon Prime Instant Video in the UK.
Amazon Prime members with Ultra HD television sets can now binge watch Amazon Original Series, including the 2 x Golden Globe nominated Transparent, the John Goodman-starring sitcom Alpha House, Roman Coppola’s upcoming comedy Mozart In The Jungle (starring Gael García Bernal) and children’s series Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street.
4K is available to Prime members at no additional cost to their mmebership – a decision that raised eyebrows in the US recently, following Netflix’s decision to charge extra for UHD content.
Like Netflix, all of Amazon’s original shows will now be shot in UHD, including Bosch, Hand of God, The After and Red Oaks next year. Indeed, Amazon confirms that its next round of pilots, including The Man in the High Castle from Emmy Award winner Ridley Scott, will be available to view in Ultra HD for all customers when they debut early next year.
“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,” says Jay Marine, Vice President, Amazon Digital Video EU.
“We’re also excited that Ultra HD is the latest benefit of the Amazon Prime membership, giving members instant access to great movies and TV shows in a premium picture resolution at no additional cost.”
Already used in film production and movie theatres, Ultra HD is the next step in high-definition resolution, utilising displays with an aspect ratio of at least 16:9 and showcasing video at a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels or 8.3 million pixels.
UHD remains a relatively niche option for home viewers, thanks to the high cost of compatible sets. Nonetheless, Amazon says that large screen TVs are some of the most popular purchases on its site this Christmas, with customers looking to create a cinema experience in the home.
In addition to subscription titles, though, Amazon’s pay-per-view store – Amazon Instant Video – will also include UHD titles.
Sony Pictures Entertainment is leading the charge, with titles including After Earth, Captain Phillips, Elysium, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Godzilla, Moneyball, The Mask of Zorro, The Amazing Spider-Man 1 and 2 and This Is the End accessible through the Amazon Instant Video app on compatible Ultra HD smart TVs. (These include models from Sony, with more models from LG and Samsung to be added early in the New Year.)
UHD titles on Amazon Instant Video start from £14.99.
Amazon Prime Instant Video costs £5.99 a month, while a full Amazon Prime membership costs £79 a year, including 30 days’ free trial and unlimited, free next day UK delivery.