You managed to finish 2018 by keeping your resolution to cut the cord. In the process of making this change, you picked up a new TV and you're also rolling into the new year with an updated sound system. In the case of Dolby Atmos versus DTS:X, you decided to focus on the former. Great choice! Without a doubt Dolby Atmos is the most popular premium sound option on the market right now and it's starting to gain ground in the home theater arena.
Now that you've rebooted your home audio setup, you're looking for options beyond your thinning Blu-Ray collection. You've acknowledged the fact that physical media is slowly going the way of cursive handwriting and have readjusted your sights to focus on prospective streaming services that can play nice with your new gear. This is where we step in! Here's a look at what the industry's major players have to offer.
These are the streaming services that support Dolby Atmos:
Arguably the most popular media streamer of the lot, Netflix does in fact support Dolby Atmos on select titles, but there are a few prerequisites. For starters, you'll need the company's top-tier service plan, which recently received a price hike. If you've made it this far, a little extra cash probably won't stop you, but the wrong gear definitely will. Netflix currently offers Dolby Atmos playback via Apple TV 4K (tvOS 12 or later), LG OLED TVs (2017 or newer), 2018 Sony Bravia TVs, a Pixela 4K Smart Tuner, Windows 10, and every incarnation of Microsoft's Xbox One.
In 2018, Apple made good on its promise and released an Atmos-friendly update for its flagship Apple TV 4K before 2018 came to a close. To get Dolby's premium 3D sound format up and running, you'll need an Apple TV 4K (obviously) and an Atmos-enabled soundbar or AV receiver. As it stands, Apple currently has more than 150 Dolby Atmos titles available to rent and purchase.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon's Prime Video service learned a new trick last summer. The funny thing is that a large portion of the company's hardware played nice with Dolby Atmos out of the box, but its content told a different story. Thankfully, the world's largest online retailer got its act together and rolled out a Dolby Atmos update for Prime Video this past August.
Want to experience Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan (your only option right now) in one of the most immersive ways imaginable? You can pull this off with just about any device from Amazon's family of streaming boxes and sticks. But if you don't dig the company's in-house hardware, Atmos playback can also be achieved with an Xbox One, Samsung TV (2017 or newer), LG TV (2017 or newer), Vizio TV (2015 or newer), Nvidia Shield, Roku (third generation or newer), or an Apple TV 4K. That's a whole lot of hardware for very for little content. Hopefully this statistic will look a little less lopsided before the end of the year.
The Walmart brand isn't often associated with the word "high-end," but its streaming service is just that. Vudu has a healthy list of Dolby Atmos capable titles along with a bevy of supported hardware. You can sample movies with high-fidelity audio by way of an Xbox One X, Xbox One S, Nvidia Shield, Roku (4K capable), Samsung TVs, LG TVs, TCL TVs, Vizio TVs, Sony TVs, Hisense TVs and Apple TV 4K. The rule of thumb here is that Atmos should be a go if your equipment supports Vudu's 4K video playback.
Major players missing in action
As surprising as it may be, some of the streaming world's biggest contenders have yet to add support for modern high-end audio. While we're hoping things change sooner than later, we'd be remiss if we didn't call out a certain pair of content streamers especially this late in the game. Our fingers are crossed for a turnaround in 2019.
No, Hulu currently does not offer support for Dolby Atmos. For now the company tops out at 5.1 surround sound. Right now Hulu's library has a limited number of titles capable of 5.1 playback, but at the very least all of its original programming is up to the task.
Google Play Movies & TV
see hear here. Google Play Movies & TV currently stops at 5.1 playback. Dolby Atmos support is rumored to be on the docket but there's no clear release date in sight. On a brighter note, the company recently started making moves to upgrade SD and HD titles to glorious 4K free of charge.
There you have it! This concludes our list of major streaming services that play nice with Dolby Atmos. The only thing left to do is find a few flicks worthy of your setup. You literally have hundreds of options! Be sure to have fun and apologize to your neighbors because Movie Night is about to get a whole lot louder!
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