Netflix may haveavailable to stream in 4K than Amazon, but Amazon's Instant Video streaming service now offers infinitely more HDR content than anybody else.
Amazon has announced that its original series "Mozart in the Jungle" Season 1 is available to stream today in high dynamic range (HDR) to. An Amazon rep we spoke with said the pilot episode of "Red Oaks," another Amazon original, is also available in HDR, and that the company will continue to add more in the future.
This is the first instance of any HDR movie or TV show becoming widely available.
HDR video,, promises better picture quality thanks to brighter, more realistic highlights and other improvements. It's widely viewed as the next step beyond , which addresses only resolution, or picture sharpness, and not or . In our tests of 4K TVs and video, we've found it compared to high-definition TV. With the HDR demos we've seen, the improvement is more evident, so we're excited to see HDR in the real world.
Netflix says it will begin its own HDR streams later this year, but hasn't made any further announcements as far as timing or which shows will be available. Samsung also says that a forthcoming "UHD Content Pack," would offer two HDR Hollywood movies, but pricing and availability (and which movies they are) have not been announced. HDR will also be supported by .
To watch Amazon's HDR shows you'll need a Prime subscription and you'll need to use the Amazon Instant Video app built into one of Samsung's 2015 SUHD TVs, namely the, or
In a separate announcement, LG also promised an upgrade soon: "Amazon HDR streaming will be available on this year's LG OLED 4K ULTRA HD TVs in the coming weeks."
Update Monday July 13: I tested Amazon's HDR content as part of the review of the. It didn't look better, and often looked worse, than the same video in non-HDR on other TVs. It suffered from relatively washed out black levels without the punchy highlights I've seen on other HDR demos.
The issues have a lot to do, as far as I can tell, with the TV's own display technology and implementation of HDR. Higher-end TVs than the JS8500, including Samsung's models, might do the content more justice, but I haven't tested those yet. My early findings aren't an indictment of HDR in general or Amazon's HDR in particular--it's still very early days for HDR.
For more details, check out the HDR section of CNET's JS8500 review.