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Amazon expands X-Ray actor bio feature to TV shows

Kindle Fire users will be able to instantly find out information about actors in television shows by tapping the screen during play.

Amazon showed off X-Ray for movies at an event last fall. James Martin/CNET

Curious about what other shows feature the actress playing Lady Grantham on "Downtown Abbey"? Kindle Fire users can now find out instantly using Amazon's X-Ray feature.

The e-commerce giant today said it has expanded its X-Ray for movies feature to TV shows, providing real-time access to actor bios when watching a show. Just tap on the Kindle Fire screen while watching "Downtown Abbey," for example, and a drop-down menu of the actors appearing in the current scene appears. Viewers then can select whichever actors they're interested in to see their bios. X-Ray draws its information from IMDb, which is owned by Amazon.

Amazon said X-Ray is available today for the most popular TV shows on the site, including "Downtown Abbey," "The West Wing," and "Game of Thrones." It will expand to include more in the future. The feature also is available as part of the free Amazon Instant Video app on the Nintendo Wii U.

"Our vision is to make X-Ray available on every movie and TV show," IMDb CEO Col Needham said in a statement. "We're excited to make another big step forward today, and we are working hard to add X-Ray to more TV shows and movies in the future."

Amazon has been expanding its video offerings to compete with Netflix, Hulu, and other rivals. It not only has nabbed exclusive deals for shows like "Justified," but also is starting to create original content. Amazon also allows users to subscribe to its Prime service on a monthly basis instead of its original annual subscription.