Amazon will shoot all its original dramas and comedy series in 2014 using 4K video cameras, and will showcase that content exclusively on Amazon Instant Video.
The five new series commissioned by Amazon for its Instant Video streaming service, currently only available in the US and UK, will have their pilot episodes shot in 4K Ultra HD. Amazon's video streaming customers will then be able to watch the episodes in 4K, share their feedback, and Amazon will choose which series to produce in full.
Shooting the new series in 4K future-proofs them for Amazon, preparing the company for the slow transition from 1080p to Ultra HD video streams. Currently, Full HD 1080p is the highest quality widely available for movies and TV shows, with most streaming services and Blu-rays available in the format, but Ultra HD 4K TVs are entering the market and slowly dropping in price.
Amazon's studios director, Roy Price, is looking forward to the experiment. "All of the pilots and series we produce next year will be shot in 4K. That includes our first ever drama series that we will greenlight next year. 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."
Don't expect ubiquitous Ultra HD video streaming in Australia any time soon, though. Amazon recently launched limited local operations in Australia, including selling its Kindle Fire tablets, but no Instant Video streaming. Netflix is similarly absent, with no announced plans to launch any time soon.