Amazon becomes first video service to offer HDR content


Earlier this year, Amazon announced that high dynamic range (HDR) video was coming to Amazon Prime Instant Video. HDR video uses image capturing techniques coupled with new television technologies to produce a greater range of luminosity than traditional video. In layman’s terms, HDR video results in a brighter more vivid image without compromising picture detail. Amazon today made good on their promise and have announced that the premier season of Mozart in the Jungle and the first episode of Red Oaks are now available in HDR through the Amazon Instant Video apps on select smart TVs. Since viewing HDR video requires an HDR capable TV, there are only 2 Samsung TVs that currently support Amazon’s HDR videos. Is HDR a gimmick that will be forgotten like 3D TVs, or will we see it supported on the next generation of Fire TV devices? Let me know what you think in the comments.


  1. JoeB says:

    HDR seems like something that will sound like a gimmick on paper but will be impressive in person. I’ll wait to see it in person before making up my mind, but I have high hopes that it will actually improve the viewing experience.

  2. Heindaddel says:

    I find the viewing experience very irritating. Movies in HDR seem too real, lack a certain distance. Characters suddenly look like actors hopping through a movie set. I can’t possibly understand why anybody would like this.

  3. Reflex says:

    HDR is not a gimmick. It is part of the next gen display specs (HDMI2, Displayport, all the next gen video cards, and the newest blu ray spec). Its not really a feature for consumers as a sales tool (except in the short term for A/V enthusiasts) but something that will be just a normal part of why content will look better over time to even typical users. Its not going to ‘go away’ it will just be part of what the normal experience is.

    Expect the ‘too real’ and other drawbacks to recede as mastering and encoding techniques mature.

  4. Wag says:

    Amazon was not the first video service to offer HDR content, M-Go was. They’ve been offering HDR content for over a week now.

  5. Johnny says:

    I’m not sold.

    1) The best capture medium in terms of dynamic range is actually old school black and white film. Color film comes second. Digital technology is still far from catching up to film in this respect.

    2) Old school CRT screens reproduce a higher dynamic range than today’s “high tech” TV’s. We gained resolution, but sacrificed a lot of color faithfulness.

    3) Amazon’s “High Dynamic Range” picture of the airplane above, does not have a high dynamic range at all. It is simply overexposed. Look at the shoreline above the airplane’s tail. It’s all white; there is no detail. Compare to the picture on the right. The picture on the right is underexposed, but you can make out detail.

    At best, this technology makes an attempt to capture something that was lost, although it due to current limitations it cannot get back all the dynamic range that was lost in the digital transition. At worst, as Amazon’s demo picture shows, it’s a gimmick that is selling you a bad picture.

    • klastri says:

      You’re 1 of “those” people.

      Enjoy your CRT’s, film camera’s, vinyl records, & 1950’s American cars while the rest of us move on with life.

      • Johnny says:

        Nope. I’m a graphics professional and my opinion is that this new technology promises too much, and is bound to under-deliver.

        So while you’re enjoying your high-tech microwavable dinner tonight take a minute to see how much an “ancient” CRT monitor like the Sony “FW900” will set you back.

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