updated 02:32 pm EST, Mon December 16, 2013
Filming in 4K resolution could lead to 4K Amazon Instant Video streaming
Amazon Studios will be shooting all of its 2014 original programming in 4K-resolution, including all pilots and series, for Amazon Instant Video and LoveFilm. The switch to recording in the higher 3840x2160 resolution will allow for the retailer's streaming services to offer content that caters to owners of Ultra HD televisions, a group that has been struggling to find media for the high-resolution format.
Alpha House, one of Amazon Studio's existing original shows
A total of five comedy and drama pilots will be filmed, including offerings from Emmy and Academy Award nominees behind The X-Files, The Darjeeling Limited, and Six Feet Under, as well as former New York Giants football player Michael Strahan, among others. "As a premium original content creator, we're excited about 4K and the future of Ultra HD technology," said Roy Pierce, Director of Amazon Studios. "We think customers are going to love watching these series in the highest resolution ever available to consumers and we can't wait to deliver it." Though Amazon has revealed it is recording content in 4K, it did not disclose when it will stream the content to users.
Finding content for 4K televisions has been an issue for Ultra HD owners due to the lack of availability, excluding upscaled 1080p shows and movies. In order to counter this, Sony offered buyers of its 84-inch XBR 4K LED TV a loaned media server that contained movies and short videos in the format.
Amazon is not the only one looking at offering Ultra HD video to its streaming customers, despite the added bandwidth requirement. Netflix is reportedly testing 4K content internally, with at least seven 4K videos added to its content catalog last month. Netflix is also a customer of eyeIO, a service that added the ability to encode 4K-resolution content for streaming, something which could help Netflix in its high-resolution endeavors.