Amazon Prime Video won’t offer Dolby Vision and Atmos on its ad-supported plan

Amazon on January 29 started inserting ads to the viewing experience of Prime Video subscribers. Company announced last year’s change told customers its service would begin serving “limited ads” with its movies and shows, so it could “invest in compelling content and continue to grow that investment over the long term.” Those who don’t want to see ads will have to pay an extra $3 a month. What it doesn’t say, however, is that it also removes access to Dolby features if subscribers choose to stay on the ad-supported tier. The change was first noted by a German tech publication 4k movie and approved by Forbes.

Forbes experimented with airing the episode Jack RyanDolby Vision high dynamic range video and Dolby Atmos sound are encoded on a TV that supports the technologies. The publication found that the overlay boxes above the video confirming the activation of Dolby Vision and Atmos disappeared when using an ad-supported account. These boxes looked like normal when played with an ad-free account.

This means that customers will have to pay an additional $3 per month on top of their subscription if they want to continue watching videos with Dolby Vision and Atmos and not have their shows and movies interrupted by commercials. Note, Forbes also found that ad-free accounts still have access to HDR10+, a technology comparable to Dolby Vision.

Subscribers were predictably unhappy with the change, enough for a proposed class action lawsuit filed a lawsuit against the company in California federal court. The complaint accuses Amazon of violating consumer protection laws and calls its rebranding “deceptive” and “unfair.” It claims that those who have already paid for a one-year Prime subscription can expect to enjoy the seamless browsing experience Amazon promises. But because they are also affected by this latest development, Amazon is “depriving them of the reasonable expectations they are entitled to.” The class-action suit seeks at least $5 million in damages and seeks a “preventive” order from the court. [Amazon’s] deceptive conduct”.

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