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Take that, Netflix: Amazon says Prime grants free 4K streaming

In response to Netflix raising its price for customers who want 4K streaming, Amazon says its 4K video streams won't cost Prime subscribers an extra dime.

Amazon's original series "Alpha House" will be available via 4K streaming Amazon

Begun, the 4K streaming price war has.

Today Amazon said users who subscribe to its $99 per year Prime program won't have to pay extra to get 4K versions of its video streams.

"We want to be the best entertainment destination for customers. We're confident that offering Ultra HD content, whether it's a TV series or a film, will help create the ultimate viewing experience and can't wait to start making it available this year," said Michael Paull, Amazon digital video VP.

The announcement comes on the heels of news that Netflix, which began delivering 4K streaming video in April, will quietly raise its monthly rate to $11.99 for new subscribers who want access to the 4K stream.

Netflix raised the price of its standard HD package service from $7.99 to $8.99 for new subscribers on May 9th. Current subscribers who have been paying for 4K service prior to Aug. 12th were grandfathered into the older $7.99 a month plan until Aug. 12, 2016.

Amazon, meanwhile, has yet to begin its 4K streaming service, although it says it will roll the first programs this year. In addition to Bennett/Gaga's Cheek to Cheek, they'll include Amazon Original series "Transparent," "Alpha House," and "Mozart in the Jungle."

Our recent tests of Netflix's 4K streaming revealed very little visible improvement compared to the 1080p streams.

To watch the 4K streams from Netflix or Amazon, you'll need a 4k TV with HEVC decoding and the compatible app. Sony's FMP-X10 player , which handles Netflix 4K already, is said to get Amazon 4K as well by early 2015.