Much has been made of the pricing changes that Amazon has recently made to its Prime Video service. You probably already know what the furore’s been about: adverts, which have been introduced to the paid subscription for the first time. Removing them now incurs an additional charge of £2.99 / $2.99.
Needless to say, very few people are happy about the change. No one likes ads, after all. But did you realise that at the same time it added adverts to your existing Prime Video subscription, Amazon also took a couple of things away?
As initially spotted by 4kfilme.de and brought to my attention by ForbesAmazon has, with no warning, explanation or justification, removed Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support from the standard subscription tier of Prime Video, and getting them back involves paying that extra £2.99 / $2.99 for the ‘Go Ad-Free’ tier. I have now personally tested this on an Apple TV 4K, LG B3 and Panasonic LZ1500 and can confirm that it’s true.
Now, I was just as annoyed as everyone else about the arrival of ads on a service I was already paying for, but I am royally hacked off about the removal of Dolby Vision and Atmos. Partly, it’s the spineless way Amazon has gone about the change, having not even announced it. Then there’s the half-baked way it’s been implemented, in that content still shows the ‘Dolby Atmos’ flag even if you can no longer access the Dolby Atmos audio. On top of that, HDR10 and HDR10+ are still available, with only the Dolby formats removed.
Annoyingly, I actually watched Saltburn over the weekend and just assumed it wasn’t a Dolby Vision title. Turns out it is, and I just watched it in the inferior HDR10. If I’d watched it a week ago, it would have been in Dolby Vision.
If you’re thinking (perhaps hoping) that this is all just a mistake and that Dolby Vision and Atmos will be restored in short order, I’m afraid that I have it on good authority that it isn’t and that it won’t. I have reached out to Amazon for confirmation and comment, and will report back once I’ve had a reply.
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