Amazon Is Releasing Its Upcoming Original Shows In 4K

8.3 million pixels per frame, but only if you have the equipment for the Ultra HD.

In a big move to popularize the new high-definition video standard, Amazon Studios has announced it will be shooting all five of its 2014 series pilots in Ultra HDTV, also known as 4K.

But is 4K the future, or the 2010s version of Blu-ray? The technology is ultra-bandwidth-hungry, an issue for streaming, which is how most people watch Amazon Prime. Also, Americans don't own Ultra HD TV sets, and you can't get the full resolution on tablets either—even the iPad Retina display doesn't quite come up to the level of 4K.

On the other hand, Ultra HD monitors are coming to the market (Amazon has helpfully organized some of these products into an online store and guide), and there are long-running rumors that the new Apple TV coming later this month will be 4K.

Amazon's current offerings include the comedies Alpha House, with John Goodman, and Betas. The company will release three kids series, Annebots, Creative Galaxy, and Tumbleaf, early next year. In addition, 11 new comedy, drama, and kids' pilots will debut in early 2014. Viewer feedback will help determine which get turned into series. Titles include The After (from a creator of the X-Files), Bosch, Mozart in the Jungle (Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola), The Rebels and Transparent (from Jill Soloway, co-executive producer of Six Feet Under). The new round of shows will be available exclusively on Amazon Prime Instant Video and Amazon's U.K. service LOVEFiLM.

[Image: Flickr user .reid.]

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