Amazon Prime Video Apple TV app updated for 5.1 sound in UHD content, NFL streaming only o...

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited December 2017
On a recently updated document, Amazon has retracted claims that 5.1 sound is available in the early versions of the Amazon Prime Video app for the Apple TV, and that live streaming of Amazon channels and Thursday Night Football has limitations.




it isn't clear when the support document in question was updated. The document lists limitations and specifications for all streaming platforms compatible with Amazon Prime Video, spanning set-top boxes, consoles, and mobile devices.

Amazon Prime Video is available as a service on the third generation Apple TV. However, live streaming of Thursday Night Football, and Amazon Channels is limited to the fourth generation Apple TV and the 2017 release of the Apple TV 4K.




At launch, Amazon said that 5.1 sound was included in the the app, However, as shipped, receivers and televisions connected to an Apple TV were only getting PCM audio, and not the promised 5.1. Other systems not capable of 5.1 audio are Vizio televisions and blu-ray players from 2013 and earlier, Panasonic televisions, the Nintendo Wii, first and second generation Kindle Fire tablets, the Echo Show, website streaming to a computer, and most mobile devices.

Modern gaming consoles are capable of 5.1 sound, as are nearly all the embedded players in smart televisions.

The debut of Amazon Prime Video for Apple TV was highly anticipated, as it marks the first time users can browse and stream original content from the online retailer on Apple's set-top box. Popular programs produced by Amazon include "The Grand Tour," "Catastrophe," and "The Man in the High Castle," as well as acclaimed films like "Manchester by the Sea" and "The Big Sick."

Update After this article was published, Amazon updated the Amazon Prime Video app for 5.1 sound in 4K programming. Amazon claims that the audio improvements for HD and SD streamed content are coming soon.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    I'm a little confused by this. I don't understand what obstacles might prevent Amazon from streaming 5.1 audio to any device capable of supporting it. Does any other streaming service have this limitation?
  • Reply 2 of 22
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,634administrator
    I'm a little confused by this. I don't understand what obstacles might prevent Amazon from streaming 5.1 audio to any device capable of supporting it. Does any other streaming service have this limitation?
    Netflix can be 5.1. So, I presume not.
  • Reply 3 of 22
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,953member
    I'm a little confused by this. I don't understand what obstacles might prevent Amazon from streaming 5.1 audio to any device capable of supporting it. Does any other streaming service have this limitation?
    I'm a little confused by this. I don't understand what obstacles might prevent Amazon from streaming 5.1 audio to any device capable of supporting it. Does any other streaming service have this limitation?
    Netflix can be 5.1. So, I presume not.
    I suppose the questions I'd ask are: What prevented Amazon from including it? What coding hurdles are there for any tvOS App Store app wanting to support more additional channels of audio?

    I'd assume that Apple has all the APIs and that Amazon's encodes would be standard, but I honestly don't know.
  • Reply 4 of 22
    The Prime Video app was just updated today (12/20/17) with 5.1 support for UHD shows.  SD and HD shows will come later according to the upgrade notes.
  • Reply 5 of 22
    sevenfeet said:
    The Prime Video app was just updated today (12/20/17) with 5.1 support for UHD shows.  SD and HD shows will come later according to the upgrade notes.
    I guess that's a good start.
    These apps are too often ported multi platform applications, so iOS ends up with the lowest common denominator with very little if any iOS specific features.

    Now that I have Prime Video, I am wondering if I still need Netflix.
    Thoughts?
    eideard
  • Reply 6 of 22
    sevenfeet said:
    The Prime Video app was just updated today (12/20/17) with 5.1 support for UHD shows.  SD and HD shows will come later according to the upgrade notes.
    I guess that's a good start.
    These apps are too often ported multi platform applications, so iOS ends up with the lowest common denominator with very little if any iOS specific features.

    Now that I have Prime Video, I am wondering if I still need Netflix.
    Thoughts?
    For me personally, I find Netflix has much more original content I like compared to Prime. I really enjoy nature documentaries so it's great for me Netflix has all the good stuff from the BBC. I have both Netflix and Prime, but if I had to chose one or the other, I would go with Netflix. 
    edited December 2017 gilly331STnTENDERBITS
  • Reply 7 of 22
    sevenfeet said:
    The Prime Video app was just updated today (12/20/17) with 5.1 support for UHD shows.  SD and HD shows will come later according to the upgrade notes.
    I guess that's a good start.
    These apps are too often ported multi platform applications, so iOS ends up with the lowest common denominator with very little if any iOS specific features.

    Now that I have Prime Video, I am wondering if I still need Netflix.
    Thoughts?
    You want both. There's great stuff on Prime, but Netflix has a MUCH larger selection.
    StrangeDaysjbdragon
  • Reply 8 of 22

    I'm a little confused by this. I don't understand what obstacles might prevent Amazon from streaming 5.1 audio to any device capable of supporting it. Does any other streaming service have this limitation?
    Netflix can be 5.1. So, I presume not.
    You're right, that means it CAN be done. Is it possible that Amazon's encodes were stereo-only and they're having to re-render everything? Or that they have different encodes for different devices?  Very strange.
  • Reply 9 of 22
    sevenfeet said:
    The Prime Video app was just updated today (12/20/17) with 5.1 support for UHD shows.  SD and HD shows will come later according to the upgrade notes.
    I guess that's a good start.
    These apps are too often ported multi platform applications, so iOS ends up with the lowest common denominator with very little if any iOS specific features.

    Now that I have Prime Video, I am wondering if I still need Netflix.
    Thoughts?
    For me personally, I find Netflix has much more original content I like compared to Prime. I really enjoy nature documentaries so it's great for me Netflix has all the good stuff from the BBC. I have both Netflix and Prime, but if I had to chose one or the other, I would go with Netflix. 
    I agree. If I had to choose, Netflix for sure. Not to mention where would I get my Marvel fix from if I gave up Netflix? Netflix has a ton of original programming that I prefer over Prime. Like you I have both.
  • Reply 10 of 22
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,634administrator

    I'm a little confused by this. I don't understand what obstacles might prevent Amazon from streaming 5.1 audio to any device capable of supporting it. Does any other streaming service have this limitation?
    Netflix can be 5.1. So, I presume not.
    You're right, that means it CAN be done. Is it possible that Amazon's encodes were stereo-only and they're having to re-render everything? Or that they have different encodes for different devices?  Very strange.
    Well, that and the 4K streamed to the app after about 6PM ET is 5.1...

    Since the Fire TV set-top is 5.1 across the board, with HD, SD, and 4K, and is a H.264 box, I'm not sure where the disconnect is. Seems to me that a software patch on the app makes more sense than re-encoding everything.
    Herman-Siliakus
  • Reply 11 of 22
    Some shows already worked in 5.1 before the update, (I just tried The Grand Tour and Goliath, which are 4K HDR Amazon Originals). I suspect that the 1.0.1 update has nothing to do with 5.1 except maybe for allowing Amazon apparently over-complex backend systems to identify the device as 5.1 capable.
  • Reply 12 of 22
    Why must 5.1 be ONLY in 4K Titles and content? What's wrong with all the 1080 HD titles that have 5.1 soundtracks on any other medium?
  • Reply 13 of 22
    thrangthrang Posts: 766member
    I checked this morning and there is still no 5.1 audio for The Grand Tour - I do have automatic app updates enabled, so I presume I have the latest version of the app...
  • Reply 14 of 22
    thrang said:
    I checked this morning and there is still no 5.1 audio for The Grand Tour - I do have automatic app updates enabled, so I presume I have the latest version of the app...
    Were you streaming the 4K version or a lower resolution? 4K is supposed to be working now, with HD and SD coming soon.
  • Reply 15 of 22
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,953member
    Why must 5.1 be ONLY in 4K Titles and content? What's wrong with all the 1080 HD titles that have 5.1 soundtracks on any other medium?
    A day ago you could've asked that about their 4K content. How about we give it some time since their website detailing A&V specifications for all platforms list only a binary Yes/No for 5.1 support and the Apple TV still lists "Coming Soon" despite it going live for some of their in-house 4K content.


    edit: I see "lorin schultz" states it's coming for their other titles, too. I assume this was stated in a tweet yesterday.

    PS: Why can't this forum SW properly link a user's name with a space despite it being their own setup?
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 16 of 22
    thrangthrang Posts: 766member
    thrang said:
    I checked this morning and there is still no 5.1 audio for The Grand Tour - I do have automatic app updates enabled, so I presume I have the latest version of the app...
    Were you streaming the 4K version or a lower resolution? 4K is supposed to be working now, with HD and SD coming soon.

    4k UHD


  • Reply 17 of 22
    Soli said:
    [...] edit: I see "lorin schultz" states it's coming for their other titles, too. I assume this was stated in a tweet yesterday.
    I read that in an AI story:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/12/20/amazon-support-document-clarifies-51-stereo-coming-soon-to-apple-tv-nfl-only-on-newer-units


    Soli
  • Reply 18 of 22
    sevenfeet said:
    The Prime Video app was just updated today (12/20/17) with 5.1 support for UHD shows.  SD and HD shows will come later according to the upgrade notes.
    I guess that's a good start.
    These apps are too often ported multi platform applications, so iOS ends up with the lowest common denominator with very little if any iOS specific features.

    Now that I have Prime Video, I am wondering if I still need Netflix.
    Thoughts?

    ******

    Only my personal and very subjective experience. I take-up Netflix on a free trial 1ce or 2ce a yr and to my taste Amazon Prime Video wins every time.  So far.

    At the moment I'm a week into a freebie and watching more than previous.  By the end of Jan wk 2, though, series restarts on Prime, SYFY and others will happen - and I and my retiree budget will have to decide.  Likelihood is that I'll keep focus on Amazon Prime.

  • Reply 19 of 22
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,589member
    Nvm
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 20 of 22
    thrang said:
    I checked this morning and there is still no 5.1 audio for The Grand Tour - I do have automatic app updates enabled, so I presume I have the latest version of the app...
    Must have updated since 12/22. It's 12/29 and I'm sitting here watching The Grand Tour and listening in 5.1 while I type this.
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