Amazon will start streaming its original shows in 4K resolution in October, at least according to Samsung.
Samsung revealed the timeframe in an announcement about expanded 4K content on the company’s Ultra HD televisions. Amazon has been promsing 4K streaming for its original series since last year, but hadn’t said when it would actually happen.
Netflix, meanwhile, has been streaming House of Cards and some nature documentaries in 4K since May. Breaking Bad joined the 4K roster in June, and Netflix plans to add more of its original productions later this year.
Cable and satellite providers in the United States have yet to support 3840-by-2160 resolution format, though DirecTV says it will start offering 4K videos on demand later this year.
That leaves early 4K TV adopters to seek out alternatives. In addition to Netflix and Amazon, YouTube has been working with TV makers to support the site’s 4K content, and M-Go said earlier this year that it will stream on-demand Hollywood films in 4K to Samsung televisions. (There have been rumors of a subscription-based 4K service from M-Go and Samsung, but that hasn’t materialized.) Sony sells a $700 media player that can download and stream 4K videos to the company’s televisions.
The 4K content push may start ramping up, however, as the price of Ultra HD televisions starts to drop. Major brands are now selling 55-inch Ultra HD televisions in the $1,500 to $3,000 price range. That’s still roughly double the price of 1080p versions, but about half the price of last year’s models . With Amazon and Netflix putting more pressure on traditional service providers, the chicken-and-egg problem is sure to work itself out eventually.