Amazon has quietly downgraded the fidelity of its new ad-supported Prime Video tier, cutting the quality of certain shows and movies.
The streaming giant recently changed things up for the worse on its Prime Video streaming service, introducing ads to the equation and requiring an extra £2.99/$2.99 if you wanted to continue as before with an ad-free experience.
However, it turns out that this state of ad-versity is even worse than we thought. Amazon has also quietly stripped out Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support from the regular ad-supported tier.
German website 4KFilme ran some tests and found that Amazon’s subscription streaming service now ran lower grade HDR10 with Dolby Digital 5.1 on a range of high profile smart TVs (from (Sony, LG and Samsung). Upgrading to the ad-free tier and playing the same content again added Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos 3D to the equation.
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The Verge has since received confirmation of this sneaky feature cut from an Amazon spokesperson, who said that “Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos capabilities are only available on the ad free option, on relevant titles.”
It’s not so much that Amazon has rolled back these features in its new set-up. Though that’s annoying enough, support for enhanced streaming quality features like Dolby Atmos is far from universal on Prime Video.
Rather, it’s more the fact that, on top of already giving its subscribers a flat out inferior experience without cutting the cost, it has rolled out these further cuts without openly advertising the fact. It took some sleuthing from an enthusiast website to bring it to light, which rather sticks in the craw.