Amazon has updated its Prime Video service, now with “limited ads”. They are also offering an ad-supported version that costs users in the United States an additional $2.99 per month if they want to avoid advertisements.
Alongside this change, the company has also made alterations to the features available to subscribers who choose not to pay the additional fee. Starting January 29, these users have lost access to the advanced audio and visual technologies Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. Instead, they are limited to HDR10+ and Dolby Digital 5.1.
The change in service was detected by the German tech website 4K Filme and later confirmed by Forbes through tests on TVs from LG, Sony, and TCL. The tests showed that when using the basic, ad-supported account, Prime Video content no longer triggered the TV’s pop-up indicators for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, unlike the ad-free account.
Amazon has not provided an official explanation for the removal of these features.
The latest removal of Dolby features from the ad-supported tier was not initially disclosed by Amazon. The change only came to light after Forbes reported it, assuming it to be a technical error, and subsequently, Amazon confirmed the modification.
The manner of the removal has been criticized for potentially misleading some users because the Prime Video interface might still indicate support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos in the technical features section for shows, even though the actual playback does not deliver these technologies.
You can view Amazon’s announcement of the new “with ads” an ad-free service here.