Prime Video has removed Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos unless you pay extra

As if adding ads earlier this month wasn’t disappointing enough, Amazon Prime Video has now dropped Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos surround sound audio unless you pay $2.99 per month to remove ads. The change was first spotted by 4KFilme and has been confirmed by an Amazon spokesperson. If you’re watching Prime Video content with ads, the best high dynamic range format you’ll see is HDR10+, which is comparable to Dolby Vision. However, it’s quite rare for content to be available in both Dolby Vision and HDR10+, so, more likely, you’ll see the inferior HDR10 format replacing Dolby Vision. Similarly, the best surround-sound audio format you’ll hear is Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. While this change will probably push some people to pay more, it may also be cutting costs for Amazon in terms of licensing fees to Dolby. Amazon made a similar cost-cutting decision with the cheaper Fire TV Stick Lite, which cannot decode Dolby audio, while the regular Fire TV Stick can decode Dolby audio, even though both streaming devices share identical hardware.

45 comments
  1. Dennis says:

    You couldn’t pay ME to buy another Amazon device. They’ve completely abandoned their customers. More restrictive than any device i.e. can’t change launcher or home screen full screen ads etc. now all these little nickel and dime costs to increase their profits. All at the expense of their customers. I’ve had practically every Amazon device since the original fire stick and fire tv.

    • Greg says:

      Yup – I too was an early adopter and have a houseful of their devices. This is BS.

    • Kary says:

      “Alexa, home screen” will get you past the ads (which quite frankly I don’t find that annoying.

      But if you want restrictive, I give you Tivo. I’m so much happier since I moved to Channels DVR. FWIW, I don’t really find Amazon devices all that “restrictive” in comparison.

  2. Greg says:

    Are you fricken kidding me?!?!?! First commercials, now Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos. What’s next – pay extra for color vs black & white.

  3. Mark says:

    Another money grab…

  4. Not Giving Away private Information says:

    Time To Contact FTC And U.S Attorney And State Attorney

  5. Tingo says:

    So if they are charging more for 4k,dolby vision and atmos every single program and movie in that pay tier must have them all.

  6. LDBetaGuy says:

    From an article in The Hollywood Reporter:

    “…A proposed class action lawsuit, filed Friday in California federal court, claims breach of contract and violations of state consumer protection laws on behalf of users who saw the terms of their subscriptions with Amazon change when it pivoted to making its ad tier the default for its over 100 million subscribers.”

  7. Jeff Ferguson says:

    I totally agree with “Gregg”, probably B+W movies without Sound, however, you can subscribe for a monthly fee to Amazon Music to accompany that silent film!

  8. Norm says:

    Amazon is going to lose a lot of customers because they are greedy control freal scumbags. Better off with Android tv os boxes and sticks. Amazon!

  9. Tony says:

    To hell with Amazon shafting their customers by charging another $2.99 a month for ad free, Dolby Atmos, and Dolby Vision. Prime costs too much to begin with. Everyone should stop paying for Amazon Video and use a service that doesn”t f**k thrm over like Amazon.

    • BobD says:

      Do you know does AppleTV+ offer all this and all the streaming apps?

      • Adam says:

        They do.
        But no side-loading of apps is an absolute deal breaker for some of us.
        The market is there to support Android hardware of Apple’s quality and advertising practices, but I don’t think Google would currently allow a platform that doesn’t have full blown video ads in the native launcher.
        Its a shame, because like I said, the customer’s money is there. I guess there’s just more enough money from the streaming companies to persuade Google not to allow such a device.

        • Adam says:

          sigh
          more/enough

        • BobD says:

          Thanks. I just want the stuff to work. I don’t side load, I don’t hack and whatever. Life is too short to keep screwing with stuff. What I want from Aamzon is the Paramount+ app to work correctly. I want the other apps to work and not where once a month I have to empty the cache of the apps and etc etc.. This alone will drive me to AppleTV+

          • Adam says:

            and not where once a month I have to empty the cache of the apps and etc etc..

            Oh I don’t have any of that nonsense. Nor do I suspect the vast, vast majority of Android TV device users. Notice people here aren’t complaining about the the apps not working properly, they’re complaining about them doing exactly what the app developers intended. There’s lots of reasons to use Apple TV, but if retail streaming software reliability is yours, you might be going way out of your way to avoid a problem that doesn’t exist.
            Those of us that would use Apple TV but instead use Android TV devices are instead addressing the very real condition of abusive ads and poor interface on Youtube with SmartTubeNext (an impossibility on Apple TV) and the user’s ability to use full featured powerful open source local media players like Kodi. If, as you say, you don’t like to hack, then life truly is too short for you to be able to ever be able use Kodi on Apple TV.
            A shame, since each of these options, as you say, just work, and profoundly add to the user’s chosen experience rather than that of the device’s manufacturer.
            Like I said, there are lots of reasons to prefer Apple TV, but the inability to side-load apps that empower the consumer is an objective weakness, and terminal one for many power users.

          • BobD says:

            Adam, you’re an a** with that reply. What works for you fine. Yes I’m not 19 and living in my mom’s basement to spend time hacking, side loading and etc. I want my stuff to just work. I’m here for the Amazon FireStick information. Not android, not side loading. Why are you here on this forum? It’s for Amazon FireSticks. Good for you you do all that and you’re good with that. You truly believe 99.99% of the normal user does all that garbage? I bet your hack and run pi on your smart thermostat. No bother replying to me.

          • Adam says:

            Amazon Firesticks run a version of Android and can be sideloaded…
            So discussions about Android devices that can be sideloaded onto really, really seem like they might belong on this site.
            But maybe you’re right, maybe they don’t belong as much as discussions of Apple TV…

          • BobD says:

            You’re still an a**. FO.

            Kary, yes 3rd party apps are Amazon’s responsibility. You want the platform to work and succeed then you need quality apps. You need a quality o/s that does not make me once a month clear out the cache of the stick. I do not have to do any of this with my iPhone, my iPad, my Windows apps from their app store. It’s all transparent to the end user. I want, I expect this FireStick to just work.

          • Kary says:

            Sure, if it’s an OS issue, like perhaps cache or memory issues (remember the problematic Palm OS?). But there are other things where it’s the app’s developer itself. For example, that Paramount+ requires you to hit pause twice is not Amazon’s fault, but rather a stupid programming decision. Or that MGM+ has a very poor method of FF/REW that doesn’t allow you to see video for where you’d end up. Or my local PBS app where FF/REW are different buttons on the remote than any other apps I have.

            But to your Apple comparison, my Channels DVR app on Apple remembers IP addresses. Not so on Fire devices. I’m pretty sure that’s due to Channels DVR programming in a feature to their Apple app, unless for some reason that’s not possible on the Fire OS, which I really doubt.

          • Kary says:

            It’s not really Amazon’s fault that a third party app is not well designed. Our local PBS station’s app is the worst I’ve seen, and not once have I thought: “I should contact Amazon to get that fixed.”

          • BobD says:

            Sure it is Amazon’s responsibility. They as the owner of the platform should mandate all apps operate the same. Same search function, same keyboard layouts, same level of privacy. You’re thinking because you and Adam like to hack, jailbreak, side load apps and live in your mom’s basement we all do that. When actually no. The rest of us just want out stuff to work. I take it you don’t own an iPhone or iPad or use AppleTV+. All the apps, the keyboards and search functions have the same GUI on Apple devices. It just works.

            What an idiotic thread this has turned into and I’ve now wasted 15 minutes of my life here. Amazing how so many defend the continues screwing around with crap then simply having it just work. No need to reply.

          • Kary says:

            I think it’s become pretty clear who the ass is here. Insults and ignorance is not a flattering combination.

          • BobD says:

            Kary, sorry your feelings are hurt. Go find a safe zone. Don’t forget your blanket.

          • Adam says:

            Kary, don’t pay this guy any mind.
            He asked why I was talking about Android devices and sideloading on a FireTV site, an Android device that sideloads, in the very same thread where he’s pushing the Apple TV. Self awareness is clearly not a forte.
            Then he equates sideloading, something you can effortlessly do with Elias’ app from Amazon’s own appstore, with running a thermostat using a Raspberry Pi.
            He also seems to really need people that can do simple, simple stuff he can’t to only be able to do it because they’re “living in their mom’s basement”. He really likes that one it seems. I suspect he’s projecting insecurity of his own circumstances.
            Then, he whines about some unbearable agony of different apps having different interface choices while telling you you need to get a safe space. Again, self awareness.
            So like I said, don’t pay him any mind, he’s shown the depth of what he offers, it can be safely disregarded.

          • BobD says:

            Wow. I really hope you get the mental help you need. Oh, and you’re a flat out a**hole.

  10. tech3475 says:

    Streaming just feels more and more like traditional subscription TV, Sky UK and Virgin Media charge extra for things like HD/UHD.

    I don’t think it’s far fetched to see them altering the deal further in the future.

  11. JimmyG says:

    Done with this Crapazon money grab BS. I won’t be purchasing anymore of their devices and getting a refund on remaining prime.

  12. Darryl G says:

    Wow. Just wow. I’m glad I can just decode it with ‘sound field’ for the same effect.

  13. Tj says:

    If this works out well, expect Disney, Netflix, and other streaming services to follow.

    • Anonymous says:

      Disney+, Netflix and MAX all cap their ad supported tiers at 1080p SDR and 5.1 audio, unless something has changed recently. The ad supported tier of PRIME VIDEO still has 4K HDR10 and HDR10+ support as of now.

      How this ad supported change was executed and the Dolby Vision and ATMOS support removal without notification is problematic.The execution of this was poor and poorly communicated. But, they still have a higher quality video support option on an ad supported tier than the other major streaming services.

  14. Cammy says:

    Will definitely not subscribe when my subscription expires they have definitely went too far this time. I really hope someone can challenge this. Why would you want to take this away from millions of subscribers, it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

  15. Ujn Hunter says:

    Amazon is a shell of it’s former self and a laughing stock. I kind of feel sorry that you (Elias) have a website devoted to Amazon, which at one point was pretty cool…

    • Dennis says:

      Amazon’s net worth as of 2024 is $1.2 Trillion dollars. They are far from a shell of their former self. That’s what makes this decision so disturbing…They don’t need the money!

      • Kary says:

        Everyone “needs” money, including corporations. But my issue is more I’m not sure providing this costs them anything extra. Commercials get them more money, so I can see their motivation. I don’t see the motivation for this because the bad PR probably greatly outweighs any increased revenue they’ll see from people wanting these features.

        • Thomas says:

          They can do it because the bad PR will be a blip in a radar and likely go unnoticed by most. We are all complaining here as diehard Fire TV fans, but the vast majority of people won’t notice, care, or care enough to stop using the service. Just look at Netflix cracking down on the password sharing, which was far worse than this in my opinion. Their subscriptions actually increased!

      • Ujn Hunter says:

        Shell of their former self i.e. being a decent company that actually had good customer service and provided decent services. They are pretty much trash now. Through and through.

  16. Carsten says:

    Now look at this. As if it’s not enough, I just got this new never seen before popup, which goes like this: “We’ve deactivated Launcher Manager due to potential security risks. You won’t be able to use the app from now on. You now have the option to deinstall the app or leave it installed in deactivated mode”. Leaving it installed, it’s then been hidden from the apps menu, only be visible in Installed Apps settings. Thank you Amazon.

  17. Oyo says:

    Breach of contract is one of the first things that came to mind when I heard this news.
    Fortunately for me, very little of Prime’s content appeals to me. I much prefer the stuff on Netflix.

  18. Thomas says:

    Well, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. After reading this article, I immediately cancelled Amazon Prime and got a refund for my remaining months. I could not be happier! Been contemplating cancelling for years due to my increasing lack of shopping on Amazon, and pretty much every other online retailer offering free fast shipping. The one thing keeping me on was Prime Video, and even that was fading over the years. I remember Prime Video as a fledgling service with shows like Alpha House lol, so I was honestly still watching out of loyalty. However, the auto-playing ads, then the $2.99 ads, and now locking full pq/aq under the paywall was enough. I still like the Fire TV devices a lot, but this just leaves a bad taste in my mouth using them now. I will probably use my refund and buy an Apple TV 4K, which will be perfect for me. I don’t sideload apps or pirate content, so I will be happy. It was a good run, Amazon!

  19. Derrick Sanders says:

    Pure greed and it’s not a good look on what was a very attractive company brand. Now it just looks like a gauging company because they can. Too bad we can’t get enough customers to boycott them to change their town buy making them lose money!!!!

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