Amazon reportedly prepping 4K streaming for tentative October launch

Samsung UHD 4K HU9000 Series Smart TV
While Netflix is currently the top dog of 4K streaming, Amazon is set to begin piping its own 4K streams as early as October of this year. That’s according to a press release in which, interestingly enough, Samsung revealed the information. Samsung announced this morning that its 2014 smart UHD 4K TV line will be able to support Amazon’s Prime Instant Video Ultra-HD streaming service when it launches in October.

Related: ‘Breaking Bad’ now available on Netflix in sparkling 4K/UHD resolution

Last week the marketing director for the online retail giant’s Prime Instant Video service confirmed that Amazon has a team specifically dedicated to preparing and releasing 4K content this year and beyond. He didn’t, however, give any indication as to when the high-resolution video would be made available. Additionally, Amazon Studios has already announced its plans to shoot each of its original series in 4K resolution from here on out.

As the industry prepares for an inevitable rollover to the higher resolution that will expand exponentially within the next few years, many are choosing to additionally film movies and TV in UHD, though exactly how it will be distributed is still being determined. A recent study predicts that 4K televisions will trace a popularity/price trajectory similar to that of HDTVs over the last 15-year period – except 4K panels will become just as ubiquitous in 10-12 years, instead.

Amazon’s move into 4K territory will clearly benefit Samsung, too. While Netflix has managed to integrate 4K streams of its original series mainstays Breaking Bad and House of Cards online this year, we’ve yet to see anything else materialize for Netflix in the new format. With a serious lack of available 4K content currently, there’s not much of an incentive right now for most viewers to shell out for a screen that supports the resolution – especially considering prices for UHD/4K TVs are often as much as double that of their 1080p HD counterparts. Samsung’s move to support streaming of 4K offerings from Amazon is an initial step toward heightening awareness of and building buzz for the approaching 4K tide.

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