Nascent 4K services launched by pay-TV operators like Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and DirecTV (NYSE: T) have remained fairly bereft of programming relative to the major SVOD services.
Amazon's 4K-capable Fire TV
And Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has further extended OTT's Ultra HD advantage over pay-TV for early adopters looking to actually use the 4K resolution capabilities of their new TV sets, introducing a new 4K-capable Fire TV streaming box.
Retailing for $99.99, the newly upgraded Fire TV supports the bandwidth-efficient HEVC/H.265 codec and will allow users to stream Amazon original series including Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle, and a number of other movies and shows, in 4K. The box also taps into Netflix's growing library of 4K titles, which includes the new series Narcos.
Available starting October 5, the new Fire TV also includes integration of Amazon's Alexa voice control platform, as well as the availability of a $139 gaming edition.
The upgraded Amazon streaming box debuts just after the much publicized launch of the latest Apple TV device (NASDAQ: AAPL), which does not include 4K/Ultra HD capabilities.
While both Amazon and Netflix offer a far more choice in terms of current programming in 4K/Ultra HD, DirecTV has at least upgraded the movie lineup on its on-demand 4K download service. New titles include World War Z, Flight, Minority Report and Shutter Island.
Samsung and Fox roll out the first 4K Blu-ray player and discs
MStar's Nagra-on-chip security integration enables pay-TV 4K services to play directly on Ultra HD TVs
AT&T's DirecTV debuts new 4K set-top box, 4K Genie Mini