newly formed original film and TV production arm, Amazon Studios, is wasting no time making a name for itself by announcing plans to shoot all 2014 full original series content, including comedies and dramas, in 4K Ultra HD
. A year from now it might be easy to downplay such an announcement, but as it currently stands, we're at the very beginning of a mainstream transition from Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) to 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160, or 8.3 million pixels).
Typically these kinds of shifts take a long time as hardware makers and content providers both wait for the other to make the first move. However, we've seen a number of 4K monitors
enter the retail sector in the past several months, which in turn is prompting content providers like Amazon Studios to release movies and shows in Ultra HD.
"As a premium original content creator, we’re excited about 4K and the future of Ultra HD technology, particularly as we move into drama series next year," said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios. "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."
None of this means that Full HD 1080p is dead or that your swank new 1080p HDTV is suddenly obsolete; we suspect it will be at least a few years before cable and satellite TV providers offer 4K programming en masse. However, consumers who are willing to pay a premium for a 4K television will have at least some 4K content to enjoy via Prime Instant Video and a few other outlets.