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High dynamic range content to hit Amazon Prime Instant Video this year

Amazon Prime Instant Video will introduce high dynamic range (HDR) streaming ‘later this year’, the company has confirmed.

Echoing promises made by Netflix back at CES, the retailer-turn-tech-provider has promised to add the first wave of HDR content to its popular streaming service before the end of 2015. An exact date of availability has yet to be given.

At first, Amazon’s HDR streams will be available to subscribers in the UK, US and Germany.

Not all content will be receiving the contrast-enhancing makeover either. Amazon has confirmed that its collection of Amazon Originals will be the first to benefit from HDR streams.

“4K Ultra HD was just the beginning – we’re excited that Prime members will soon be able to view movies and TV shows including Amazon Originals in HDR quality,” Michael Paull, Amazon’s Vice President of Digital Video said.

“HDR is the natural next step in our commitment to premium entertainment, and we can’t wait for customers to have even more choice in how they watch their favourite titles on Amazon Prime Instant Video.”

Like its photographic counterpart, HDR in video offers increased contrast levels and improved picture quality, with brighter, more natural colours separated from increasingly detailed areas of shadow.

A promising sign of things to come, Amazon’s HDR content will likely be restricted by the lack of compatible TVs.

At present just a handful of 4K and OLED TVs from Samsung, Sony and LG offer the technology capable of benefitting from HDR streams.

Related: HDR TV: What is it and should you care?

Amazon’s push into HDR content comes just months after the company introduced its first 4K streams.

Like HDR, 4K Ultra HD is widely believed to be where the home entertainment industry is moving, although the number of compatible TV sets in the market is still low.

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