Amazon has confirmed that it’s bringing HDR (High Dynamic Range) to its 4K Prime Instant Video streams later this year.
The world’s biggest storefront has said that viewers in the US, UK and Germany will be given access to HDR content at some point in 2015 – but it hasn’t confirmed exactly when. Neither has it confirmed which of its titles will benefit from the increased contrast.
HDR, allows for greater contrast ratios resulting in deeper, richer video, has also been a talking point for other content providers of late.
Netflix confirmed plans to offer HDR content at this year’s CES show in Las Vegas, calling the technology “more important than 4K”, and said that it would be working on providing its original shows in HDR in the not-too-distant future.
Michael Paull, Amazon’s vice president of digital video said of the announcement: “4K Ultra HD picture resolution 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.
“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.”
Regardless of what titles are available, you won’t be able to get any HDR goodness on your smart TV unless it’s capable of getting an upgrade to the newly-announced HDMI 2.0a specification.
It’s expected that owners will be able to update TVs with an HDMI 2.0 connection to the new spec with firmware, but a list of supported devices has yet to emerge from the HDMI Forum or manufacturers.
In order to get 4K Ultra HD streams from Amazon, you’ll need to have a broadband connection that provides at least 20Mbps at all times in order to enjoy the likes of Transparent and Extant in Ultra HD.
In the future, you might not need a superfast connection to stream 4K content. Two separate firms, V-Nova and COGO claim to be able to compress 4K streams to the extent that only around 8-12Mbps of bandwidth is needed.