Field Of Streams: Amazon Instant Video Enters The 4K Ultra HD Era

In the movie Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner was told "If you build it, they will come." The whisperings were referring to a baseball field, though they might as well have been talking about the 4K Ultra HD revolution. Hardware makers have largely gone on faith up to this point that if they build 4K displays, the content will follow, and sure enough we're starting to see more 4K video options emerge. The latest to jump on the bandwagon is Amazon, which today announced that it's serving up movies, TV shows, and Original Series in 4K Ultra HD.

"We want to deliver the best entertainment experience, and offering Ultra HD movies and TV shows raises the bar on quality and innovation that customers have come to expect from Amazon," said Michael Paull, Vice President, Amazon Digital Video. "We’re also excited that Ultra HD is the latest benefit of the Amazon Prime membership, giving members instant access to great movies and TV shows in a premium picture resolution at no additional cost."

4K Display
You'll need a 4K Ultra HD display to enjoy Amazon's catalog of 4K videos.

This is yet another added benefit to Amazon Prime members, who already enjoy free 2-day shipping on millions of items, unlimited photo storage in Amazon Cloud Drive, ad-free access to more than a million streaming songs, and much more.

Amazon doesn't have a huge catalog of 4K videos just yet, though it will grow over time. For now, the selection is rather small and includes movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Funny Girl, Hitch, and Philadelphia, along with TV shows and Amazon Original Series like the sophomore season of Alpha House and a few other offerings.

Of course, to enjoy Amazon's video content in 4K, you'll also need a 4K-capable display. The good news there is if you're in the market for a 4K television, they're not priced out of the stratosphere like they once were -- for example, $500 gets you a 39-inch Seiki brand 4K Ultra HD TV.