Amazon sets HDR plans as OTT services jump ahead of pay TV

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced that it is following Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) into the high-dynamic-range arena, making its original series available in HDR on its Prime Instant Video service later this year.

HDR is designed to create greater color contrast, producing whiter whites and blacker blacks. The technology is emerging just as 4K/Ultra HD resolution standards are on the early curve of adoption, creating confusion for both the TV video industry and consumers.

Several pay-TV operators, including DirecTV and Comcast, have begun offering the limited availability of 4K programming, but no cable, satellite or IPTV service has announced HDR plans.

Although 4K was introduced first and has an early leg up on consumer adoption, a number of video-tech pundits believe HDR has a better chance of ultimately catching on with mainstream consumers, since its benefits are much more visible on smaller screens.

"4K Ultra HD picture resolution was just the beginning," said Michael Paull, VP of digital video at Amazon. "HDR is the natural next step in our commitment to premium entertainment, and we can't wait for customers to have even more choice in how they watch their favorite titles on Amazon Prime Instant Video."

For more:
- see this Amazon press release
- see this Engadget story
- see this VentureBeat story

Related links:
Netflix is fast-tracking 4K, HDR to push Open Connect, beat cable
Netflix touts HDR video amid bullish Q4 earnings call
UHD Alliance coalition already has internal friction, post-CES report reveals