Amazon’s instant video streaming service for Amazon Prime members is constantly growing in direct competition with Netflix. In a press release Amazon broke the news that we should expect content later this year with integrated high dynamic range support. In photography, high dynamic range is an extremely common tool in which photographs of different exposures are combined into a final picture. This practice results in images with improved light to dark contrast ratios and more natural tones comparable to what the human eye would naturally see. While this news is great for regular viewers of Amazon’s instant video streaming service, initially the high dynamic range will only be integrated into select titles.
The first titles that are set to receive high dynamic range content will be in the Amazon “Originals” section, according to the announcement. Additionally, only Amazon Prime subscribers who already have access to the Amazon instant video library will be able to enjoy this new content upgrade once it lands. This means users purchasing rights to view a specific title may not have access to playback supporting high dynamic range. However limited the feature may be when it first launches, it is a welcome upgrade. The last upgrade Amazon gave to its video streaming service was ultra HD 4K support in 2014.
Amazon is and always will be competing directly with Netflix, so this is no surprise considering Netflix recently made a similar announcement. Amazon is not only in a constant effort to expand its instant video selection, but also to enhance the viewing experience available to Prime subscribers. While the two competing online video streaming services are adding high dynamic range capability, it will only reach its full potential under certain conditions. Much like 3D content, if film producers are not integrating this technique into their own content than naturally it will not be available to the consumers. Amazon appears determined to bring a large selection of high dynamic range video to its customers, however. In the press release the company stated, “Amazon is working with Hollywood studios, leading technology innovators and global consumer electronics companies to bring Prime members and customers an unmatched HDR experience in 2015,”