Amazon Prime Video was one of the first streaming services to support 4K and HDR content, giving users access to films and TV shows in the best possible quality - so long as their own setup supports it.
Despite that, the company hasn't yet gotten good at offering viewers an easy way to browser content that makes the most of those formats, so it can be a fiddly and confusing experience trying to track appropriate films down - especially for HDR.
Here are our tips on navigating the Prime Video interface - whether on PC or using the app - to find 4K UHD and/or HDR content. Though we'll warn you in advance: there's currently no easy way to browse through exclusively HDR content, and no way to filter searches for HDR or 4K.
Can I watch 4K and HDR?
The first thing to make sure of is that whatever device you're using is actually capable of supporting the formats in question. For 4K (a.k.a. Ultra High Definition/UHD) you'll need both a 4K/UHD TV or monitor and one of the following devices for playback:
- Amazon Fire TV (2nd Generation)
- Samsung Ultra HD TVs (2014 or later models)
- Sony Ultra HD TVs (2014 or later models), and Sony Xperia XZ Premium mobile devices
- LG Ultra HD TVs (2014 or later models)
- Vizio Ultra HD TVs (2014 or later models)
- Xbox One S
HDR (High Dynamic Range) is a little trickier, as fewer TVs and monitors support HDR and there's an even more limited range of compatible devices for playback:
- Samsung SUHD TVs, and Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Galaxy 8, 8+, Galaxy Tab S3 mobile devices
- Sony Triluminos 4K TVs and Sony Xperia XZ Premium mobile devices
- LG OLED and Super UHD TVs
- Roku Ultra and Roku Premiere+ streaming media players
It's worth noting that for either 4K or HDR Amazon also recommends an internet speed of at least 15Mbps - otherwise you'll suffer stuttering and buffering, and may be forced to watch at lower quality.
The above info is all correct at the time of writing, but check Amazon's official video format help page to check the latest supported devices.
How to find 4K content
Assuming you have a 4K TV and a compatible device, you should see 4K content when browsing Prime Video, which the company calls 'Ultra HD'.
Ultra HD is easy enough to find, in part because if you're using a compatible setup then you should see a video category called 'Ultra HD Movies & TV', which will include compatible content recommended for you by Amazon's algorithms. You can also head here if you're looking for Ultra HD movies and shows to buy or rent, rather than stream through Prime Video.
If you can't see the 'Ultra HD' category on your home screen, that might mean you're not on a compatible device. If you think you should be, the best bet is to search for something that's definitely available in 4K - Amazon's own shows like Transparent or Bosch are a good bet - where you should hopefully see an 'Ultra HD' logo on the thumbnail image, or see 'Ultra HD' included in either the video title or at the bottom of the player itself.
Irritatingly, there's currently no way to search for solely 4K content on Prime Video, so if you can't see the Ultra HD category then you'll simply have to keep an eye out for the logo on thumbnail images while browsing to spot films and TV shows that offer 4K resolution.
How to find HDR content
The situation is even trickier for HDR, for two reasons: Amazon doesn't offer an HDR category to browse; and there are two distinct HDR formats support by different TVs.
Some of Prime Video's HDR content uses Dolby Vision while the rest supports HDR10, and different TVs and displays will offer support for one or the other - or both. That might be part of why Amazon has neglected to create a category for HDR content, as not everything would be compatible, and there's also once again no way to search for HDR - and even worse, there's no HDR branding added to thumbnail images.
All of that means there's only one way to find HDR content to watch: go onto specific video pages and look out for 'HDR' or the Dolby Vision logo below the player, alongside the IMDb rating, runtime, release year, and subtitling information.
If you start playing the video, most devices will also display either HDR or the Dolby Vision logo in either the top-right or bottom-left corners of the player - though it's obviously pretty irritating to have to start playing every film to find out if it has HDR or not.