When it comes to High Dynamic Range (HDR) formats, most experts agree that Dolby Vision is the superior format, edging out HDR10+ content and significantly outperforming HDR10 and HLG content. That’s why it’s unfortunate that Prime Video tends to favor HDR10 and HDR10+ as its format of choice, with the selection of Dolby Vision movies and TV shows available on the streaming service being quite sparse, especially when it comes to Amazon originals. That could finally be changing as Amazon has released its highly anticipated The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series in Dolby Vision and, more surprisingly, gone back and added Dolby Vision to an older Amazon original series for the first time.
Amazon Prime Video has long been at the forefront of streaming HDR content. It was the first streaming service to have HDR10 content in 2015 and has supported the format ever since. When Dolby Vision began to gain in popularity as a superior format, Prime Video began supporting it in 2016 with the release of the 2nd season of the Amazon original series Bosch in Dolby Vision, along with several movies from Sony Pictures. Meanwhile, Amazon teamed up with Samsung to create HDR10+ as a fee-free competitor to Dolby Vision, which requires licensing fees to use. Unsurprisingly, Prime Video became the first streaming service to support HDR10+ in 2017 and has preferred the format ever since.
Apart from the one season of Bosch previously mentioned, the only other Amazon original to support Dolby Vision was the Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan series. It made a lot of sense to include Dolby Vision support with that new series because it was Amazon’s most anticipated release at the time, but it was also the first content on Prime Video to support Dolby Atmos surround sound, so having one highly desired Dolby format without the other would have been quite disappointing.
Amazon has released many original movies and TV shows since Jack Ryan, but, while most support HDR10 and HDR10+, none have supported Dolby Vision. That changes this week with the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, which does stream in Dolby Vision. That’s not terribly surprising since it’s Amazon’s most anticipated and most expensive original series to date, so one would expect it to support all the best video formats. What is surprising, however, is that Amazon has gone back and added support for Dolby Vision to one other original series, The Wheel of Time.
The Wheel of Time was originally released almost a year ago in November 2021. At the time, it only supported the usual HDR10 and HDR10+ formats that most Amazon original content supported. At some point during the last week, Amazon added support for Dolby Vision to The Wheel of Time. This makes it the only Amazon original content, that I’m aware of, to be upgraded with support for Dolby Vision. This change is especially surprising so far after its original release.
Your guess is as good as mine if Amazon will be adding support for Dolby Vision to any of its other original content. I’d say it’s likely that Amazon is just giving The Wheel of Time a new coat of paint, if you will, since there will likely be a lot of new people navigating over to it due to the attention The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will be getting over the coming weeks. Both shows sit in the epic fantasy series genre, so it’s easy to expect the audience for one show to enjoy the other as well. Big thanks to AFTVnews reader “Oasis” for spotting these changes and letting me know.