Amazon now streams Prime Video content in regular HDR10 and Dolby Digital 5.1 instead of the higher-fidelity Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos standards.

Smart TV displaying Amazon Prime Video logo
Smart TV displaying Amazon Prime Video logo | Image: Thibault Penin/Unsplash

Those on Amazon’s ad-supported tier, included in all Prime memberships, must pay an extra $3/month to get Dolby Vision and Atmos back (and remove ads).

Amazon removes Dolby Vision HDR video and Dolby Atmos sound from ad-supported Prime Video accounts

4KFilme first spotted the change, with an Amazon spokesperson confirming the move in a statement to The Verge. “Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos capabilities are only available on the ad-free option, on relevant titles,” it reads.

To retain the audio/visual quality afforded by Dolby Vision and Atmos, people on the ad-supported $9/month Prime Video plan will need to pay an extra $3/month.

By comparison, Netflix’s ad-supported subscription is $7/month but caps resolution to 1080p. Disney+ Basic with ads is $10/month and supports 4K streaming, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmost and IMAX Enhanced. Apple TV+ offers 4K streaming with Dolby Vision video and Dolby Atmos sound in exchange for $10/month.

Prime Video is a perk of the $15/month or $139/year Amazon Prime membership. Even if you get Prime Video via your Prime membership, you’re still looking at paying an extra $3/month to keep streaming in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

What are Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos?

Dolby Vision is the highest-quality standard for high-dynamic range (HDR) video. Dolby Atmos is like Dolby Vision, only for surround sound.

Dolby Atmos deals with audio objects instead of sound channels that can be placed precisely in a three-dimensional space and rendered on the fly.

Apple’s devices and services like Apple TV+ support Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos in hardware, so your iPhone can shoot Dolby Vision video or play back movies with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos without taxing the battery.

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