Prime Video for Apple TV lacks support for Dolby Vision and 5.1 surround audio

Despite streaming ultra high-resolution 4K video with high dynamic range (HDR) that looks awesome on 4K HDR television sets, Amazon’s new Prime Video app for Apple TV lacks support for HDR’s superior Dolby Vision implementation and 5.1 surround sound.

As a result, users of the app are at present limited to 2.1 stereo sound.

As per Reddit, titles tagged as 5.1 only stream in 2.1 stereo sound on Apple’s set-top box. The same titles play in 5.1 on other platforms, including Amazon’s own Fire TV. Both the fourth-gen Apple TV and Apple TV 4K support up to Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound output.

A poster noted that the app doesn’t even show the 5.1 icon for shows with 5.1 surround sound. That icon does appear in the Prime Video app for other platforms, like Nvidia’s Shield console.

Confusingly, Amazon Support wrote on Twitter that the app supports Dolby 5.1 audio.

However, a follow up tweet states they will look into this. The Amazon Device page reveals that support for 5.1 surround audio is “coming soon” for Apple TV so we at least know they’re planning an update at some point.

That being said, it’s not cool that Prime Video doesn’t render 5.1 surround sound despite Amazon advertising that it does.

Apple is now promoting the Prime Video app with paid ads on Twitter, through its rebranded iTunes Movies Twitter account and via the “What’s New” splash screen in tvOS.

The app is free to download, but you must sign up for Prime Video on ($10.99 per month or $99 per year) to unlock streaming. If you’re already a Prime member, you can simply add your Apple TV to the device list from within the Prime Video app.

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It brings Amazon Original series, support for Apple’s TV app, access to loads of older shows and movies, AI-powered recommendations based on your watch history and personal tastes, a cross-platform Watchlist, plus much more. As a bonus, any shows or movies you buy or rent through Amazon are also available to stream through the app.

Prime Video is compatible with the third, fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models. Needless to say, watching Amazon Originals and other shows in HDR and 4K requires an Apple TV 4K and a compatible TV set.

The Prime Video app is available at no charge on tvOS App Store.