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Amazon launches HDR for Prime Instant Video UK

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Amazon Prime Instant Video

Amazon has just announced the official UK launch of its High Dynamic Range service for Prime Instant Video.

The new HDR mode will be available on two Instant Video series, namely Mozart in the Jungle and the upcoming Red Oaks.

However, Amazon says additional HDR titles can be “expected this year”.

What’s more, you won’t need to pay any extra to access HDR footage if you already have a Prime membership.

The launch makes Amazon the first video streaming service to offer content in HDR.

For the unaware, HDR is a photographic technique that makes images brighter and more detailed.

It basically takes several different exposures of an image and then combines them. This allows you to retain detail in the highlights and shadows of an image that would otherwise be lost.

As such, you’ll get more light information – the luminance range – from your on-screen footage.

Check out our guide to HDR TV, what it is, and why you should care right here.

“HDR provides a truly stunning visual experience and we’re excited that our original series, Mozart in the Jungle and the pilot episode of Red Oaks are the first titles to be made available in the unmatched picture quality,” explains Jay Marine, Amazon’s VP for Instant Video in the EU.

Marine continues: “We can’t wait for Prime members to watch and re-watch these titles, and look forward to adding even more in HDR for all our customers to enjoy this year.”

Related: Amazon Prime Instant Video vs Netflix

Amazon now offers both HDR and 4K Ultra HD content, while Netflix only currently provides the latter.

However, Netflix has already confirmed interest in bringing High Dynamic Range content to customers eventually.

Are you excited to try out Amazon’s new HDR mode? Let us know in the comments.

Check out our smartphone buyer's guide below:

Prem Desai

August 24, 2015, 3:39 pm

Maybe they should employ some of this HDR technology on their website.

It doesn't display any pictures at the moment and is extremely slow - has been this way for several hours now.

Or maybe they have used it, and it doesn't work !!

LittleBlueDot

August 24, 2015, 4:20 pm

It's a borked BT DNS. We've fixed it by switching our DNS to use Google's ones instead.

toboev

August 24, 2015, 6:35 pm

I'm mystefied. This is not going to make the blacks on my TV any blacker nor the highlights any brighter - those are physical parameters of the screen. The dynamic range of the screen is the ratio of those two parameters, so how can this change the dynamic range and make it any higher? It can't.
Likewise, unless they have gone back and reshot the movie using a camera that captures a higher dynamic range in the scene, that ain't going to change either. They can't magic up dynamic range that was not there to begin with.

Bugblatter

August 24, 2015, 7:55 pm

The new HDR TVs can go brighter than their predecessors. Problem is if they do that with non-HDR content you'll just get loads of white-out. With HDR content only the truly bright bits will use the maximum brightness. HDR has more levels of brightness basically.

With the colours, these sets are capable of showing more colours than their predecessors. I have a pretty high-spec monitor that can show far more of the colour spectrum than normal monitors; however with normal content I have to tell it not to, otherwise the content looks oversaturated and the colours look wrong. The extra colours are only useful when they're in the source material.

So it's not magicking anything up, it's making proper use of the capabilities now built into these TVs.

toboev

August 24, 2015, 8:12 pm

I missed the part in the article about new TVs. It reads like the service is for all existing subscribers.

Bugblatter

August 24, 2015, 8:49 pm

"It basically takes several different exposures of an image and then combines them"

That's how your phone does it. I suspect the commercial HDR movie cameras will have better sensors to pick up the extra colours and dynamic range.

Prem Desai

August 24, 2015, 10:02 pm

Thanks. You were absolutely right - my bad. Amazon was the only website that I was having issues with.

Sorry Amazon.

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