Amazon customers who opt to continue with the new ad-supported Prime Video are going to have to deal with more than commercials as they watch programming. The service has reportedly removed access to Dolby features that enhance the video and audio quality of programs for its lower-tier members, as well.
Prime Video members on the ad-supported plan no longer have access to Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) video and Dolby Atmos sound. To enable those, you’ll need to pay the extra $3 a month, which also does away with the ads.
The features, which are available on several modern televisions, were not enabled when streaming via an ad-supported account, but did show up when the same program was watched on an ad-free one. German tech publication 4kfilme first spotted the change and the action was confirmed by Forbes.
Dolby’s HDR video is a technology that adds image data to onscreen pictures, resulting in a better picture quality. Dolby Atmos is widely considered the most immersive home-based version of surround sound and a go-to for home theater buffs.
Forbes notes that ad-supported customers still have access to HDR10+, an alternative HDR technology.
Amazon’s decision to add advertising to its base tier has angered some of its subscribers. While Disney, Netflix and Max all offer ad-based subscription levels, Amazon did not introduce its version as a lower-priced option for subscribers, choosing instead to begin including them in the base subscription model and charging a premium to avoid them.